Christmas brings to the Christian mind the thought of peace—the Prince of Peace is with us.
So, this isn’t intended to damper that message in any way. The redemption offered by that miraculous conception and birth is indeed the good news of all the ages.
I’m composing this commentary on that very birthday. But it will be posted beyond this most profound day of celebration. So, we look toward the new year—2021.
Although there have been years of tumult during my many decades of life, with World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and a hundred lesser conflicts, the war we’ve been engaged in the farther into the twenty-first century we travel is more intense than any of those bloody, physical eras of warfare.
So, while the Prince of Peace hasn’t yet assumed His earthly throne as He one day will, we face an epic struggle—as laid out precisely by Paul, the great apostle and prophet.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, where with ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:11–17)
Before 2016, my observation was that this warfare was largely of the unseen realm; I believed it was veiled by the enemy so that it was hidden from view except on rare occasions when it flared and burst through that surface layer of obscurity. For example, the times when genocide reared its ugly head around the world, and when our national leaders decided it was okay to murder children still in the womb.
But those horrors quickly emulsified and were absorbed into the hellish spiritual warfare described by Paul in the passage quoted above. Even Christians became numbed to such atrocity, and things again appeared more or less tranquil as daily life continues toward the new year.
Life is no longer so tranquil, as we can testify from the issues and events of the last half decade. The surface that formerly obscured the boiling evil just beneath it now erupts almost hourly with issues and events that seem to indicate the lateness of the prophetic hour. The battlefield being prepared for the most horrific war on humanity ever to be waged.
We’ve entered that “evil day” prophesied by the Apostle Paul. A quick look at his list of the characteristics of end-times man listed in 2 Timothy chapter 3 makes that clear when considering our minute-by-minute news stories.
Without meaning to frighten or spread panic, the world as configured presently doesn’t have its best days just ahead, as often declared by optimistic politicians. That “evil day” instead lurks somewhere in the murky future. As Shakespeare’s witch would put it, “Something wicked this way comes.”
The year 2021 indeed looks to be fraught with, particularly, war of a spiritual nature. Paul, again, has told about the kind of war we face, and he’s outlined precisely how to successfully prepare for it and engage those wicked enemies in high places.
The good news, now!
This same Jesus, whose coming to earth in the form of a baby, as God in flesh, we just celebrated, is now full grown and sitting at the right hand of God the Father. He is omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing). He promised that He will return to put an end to all wickedness. He has promised to bring all who believe in Him to live with Him forever in heavenly dwellings that He, Himself, has prepared for us (John 14:1–3).
The reality that He will soon call His people—the Church—to Himself in the Rapture is something we should trust. We’re instructed to be looking up and listening for His shout, ”Come up here!” (read Luke 21: 28 and Revelation 4: 1).
Meantime, while we’re awaiting that spectacular moment, each of us should be a spiritual warrior in God’s royal ambassador service. The Prince of Peace is on His way! Battlefield 2021 is one that might well see the most glorious victory ever to put an end to warfare on planet earth!
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