1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of  Luke, Militancy: Strength of the Backbone - Lesson 220

 

We will be studying Luke 21 starting in verse 8 today.

One of the distinguishing marks of a military man or woman is his or her bearing.

Military bearing is the manner in which a soldier, sailor, marine, or airman carries him or herself not only in uniform but also out of uniform.

Military bearing is taught, especially in the early training of our armed forces.

One of the most emphasized parts of military bearing is in the manner in which one stands at attention and in which one marches.

The use of the backbone is a major part of that training.

The backbone, unless trained tends to bend, desiring to transfer the load to other bones of the body.

But the backbone is designed to carry the load.

In boot camp the soldier is commanded to put the shoulders back, the chest out and to suck the abdomen in.

When he or she does this the backbone engages fully and is then doing what God intended it to do.

There used to be instruction, and I heard it many times as a child, but you will not hear it much anymore, that went like this. "Get some backbone".

I am afraid that nowadays it is "Get some wishbone!"

But when it was said to "Get some backbone", it was said to a person who was weak and not ready to take a stand against that which was wrong.

It was instruction to a person whose strength of character and resolution was weak and who was not prepared to do the right thing.

That person was not at attention to the problem but was bending and not willing to face the results of a head on confrontation with evil.

A head on confrontation with evil requires a man or woman at attention with a backbone fully engaged and not trying to shift the load to other bones not intended for such a load.

I believe this instruction of our Lord in Luke 21 is such instruction.

In brief it is to "Get some backbone", for hard times are coming.

Stand at attention, with backbone fully engaged for you are going to go through unbelievable events and your backbone will be put to the test.

Now we know that not every event that Jesus Christ tells of will happen to each one of us.

The fact is, it may be that none of these events will take place in our lifetime but does that mean we are not to be prepared for each occurrence?

The fact is that most men who have gone through boot camp never use the skills that they were taught but they are to be always at the ready to use them if their country calls upon them.

Their backbone is to be stiff and ready to fight the fight that is necessary to defeat the enemy.

And that is what the Lord also expects of his disciples and tells them of what to prepare for in the coming days.

Get some backbone for the days ahead are going to challenge you to stand tall and true!

Verse 8,  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. 9But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

He knew that times would be bad and that during those bad times there will be those who come claiming to come in His name.

There will be those who are even bold enough to claim to be Him.

He will claim that the time of the kingdom has come and he is the one who will bring it in.

The false "messiahís" promise "good times," which is simply manufactured good news for saints going through trouble.

They will be the ones who preach the prosperity gospel and sing the "Happy Days are here" again song.

They are the ones whose backbones bend to fit the culture.

But we who believe Godís word are given to know that they are false messiahs and are not to be paid attention to regardless of how miraculous they come across. We are to have backbone!

The Gospel of Matthew has more to say on this subject and provides even greater warning for disciples to stay on their toes regarding false messiahs.

Matthew 24:23-24,  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Matthew in chapter 24 verses 10-13, tells us that Jesus warned that many will "turn away from the faith" in following such "saviorís," and that the love of most would grow cold.

As is usually the case it is a matter of faith being weak and looking for deliverance before God is ready for deliverance.

God has called us to attention but these who turn away from the faith desire to be at ease!

To be too eager to escape the tough times causes a person to look for deliverance and there are many waiting at the door who will promise to provide deliverance.

Verse 9-11,  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. 10Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: 11And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

So we see here that fear is the big motivator which moves a person to deny or to distort his faith and his practice.

Fear is both the enemy of, and the opposite of, faith.

If you have fear you donít have faith, and if you have faith you donít have fear!

Jesus tells that the last days are going to be full of that which would cause fear, despair and darkness but he is the light and he expects his children to be light in dark days.

The Bible tells us that dark days are the occasion where light is most revealed.

Paul wrote in Romans 5:20,  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

He instructed the Philippians in chapter 2:14-15,  Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

There is no avoiding many of these events for the kingdom of God will come only after these things have come to pass, Jesus tells us in verse 9.

9But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

The principle continues in that the cross always precedes the crown.

Verses 9-11 tell us that turmoil and upheaval on this earth is normal.

We are not to think of wars, commotions, earthquakes, famines pestilence and fearful sights as necessarily indicating that the coming of the kingdom is near.

I does seem that every cataclysmic event brings out the doomsayers and those who say Christís coming is just around the corner.

But we are to know that these things are to come to pass and are normal on this sin cursed earth and we are not to be terrified by them.

These things indicate that there will be a great time period between the two comings of Christ.

But in verse 12 Jesus brings the disciples back to that which is next on the calendar or at least precedes the calamities that he speaks of in verses 9-11.