The Bible states:
Jude 1:3b “I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”
Being a true believer – and contending for or standing up for the faith that you believe in – is a serious proposition in the world in which we find ourselves living today. Being a Christian is not for whimps! Living by the truths of the Bible and declaring them as the correct way to live life will mean that along with declaring you will also be defending the faith that you believe in. Not easy in a world of many religions, various belief structures, and twisted Christian doctrines and beliefs. Holding to the truth as recorded in the Bible and seen in Him who declared Himself to be the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life is not an easy proposition. Christianity is not for whimps.
Many believers today take the easy way out. They don’t speak up when opportunities present themselves. They don’t tell others of their faith in Jesus Christ. They don’t present Jesus and a relationship with Him as THE answer to each and every problem a person is having. They don’t tell others that without knowing Jesus personally as Lord and Saviour that they will spend eternity in a Christ-less and loveless Hell. It is simply easier today to say nothing.
I believe when we don’t take a stand for Jesus and defend or contend for the faith we believe in – that we will eventually not even really believe in it ourselves any longer. When it is not regularly tried and tested – it becomes unreal and irrelevant and then forgotten. When we are not reaching out and contending for the faith we become dull of hearing and the Christian faith slips into the category of ‘another religion’ instead of being the great adventure it is meant to be as we get to know God and then do mighty exploits with Him. When we are no longer defending the faith it usually means we are also no longer living it (and thus no one even knows we are a follower of Jesus and so we are never confronted and so do not need to defend or content for what we believe).
It is certainly the easier way. Less hassles. No arguments. Nothing new to learn. No embarrassments when we lose the argument or lose a friend as a result of a heated discussion. We prefer to keep the peace in spite of the fact that Jesus never called you to be a peace keeper – He told us we would be peace makers. Peace keepers compromise so that they don’t rock the boat. Peace makers are willing to work hard and fight for what they know to be true and right (God’s Word).
So, yes, it is the easier way. But then “dead fish float downstream”. Easy. No hassles. No effort, No problems. No conflict. But also NO LIFE! Pacific coast salmon swim upstream to reach their spauning grounds. Dead fish float downstream. Fish grain strength and life by swimming into the current. Dead fish float downstream. So, many believers who do not contend for or speak up and defend the faith lack life and spiritual strength or backbone. They may be saved or born again (or maybe they aren’t) but they are not alive, passionate, dedicated, dynamic, vibrant, winsome or effective as ambassadors for Christ Jesus. Their faith lacks punch and is like a bowl of three day old Rice Crispies – no snap, crackle and pop.
2009 is a year when the Lord wants to change all this and He is calling His people to stand up and speak out. He is asking that we contend for and defend the faith once delivered to the saints. He is asking us to tell others of the night-and-day difference that He has made in our lives. (1 Peter 2:9) He wants us to first build our own house upon His Word and then teach (tell) others how to no longer build their house upon the sand. This is called contending for the faith!
So, are you swimming upstream – with all the effort and energy and struggle that takes – experiencing the life it also brings – or are you laying on your back and floating downstream along with the dead fish?