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the Gates of Hell

“STORM THE GATES OF HELL” sounds a bit out of place today in our “easy living”, “get rich quick” Christian circles. Yet, this is exactly what we need—not only to hear but to do!

     Christians by nature should be an AGGRESSIVE people. Such a man was Jesus. He never ran from the battle; He faced it head-on. A cowardly spirit is beneath the lowest duty of a Christian. People ask me, “Why all the aggression? Aren’t we supposed to be a meek, loving people?” Well, read the accounts of Jesus. He certainly was meek, but not weak. He was loving enough to do something about the evils that presented themselves.

     With the Christian, it’s the inward battle that must be waged, fought, and won. Against whom? YOURSELF! Once you’ve got dominion over your self-life, you stand a much better chance of dealing with the enemies of Ephesians 6. Satan can do nothing against a surrendered will to Christ. He can only operate through unsurrendered wills and unconfessed sins. Yes, we all have areas that cause us to lose some battles against evil.

     In waging the internal conquests, we have an army of enemies to fight. The list mentioned in Galatians 5 could be broken down in order to expose numerous bosom sins. In this Christian walk, God expects, even DEMANDS us to confront these enemies that have lain nearest our heart, and put them under foot. Oh, how many have I seen come to the threshold of victory and then let one enemy remain . . . to their destruction! Time and space limit the telling about battlefield casualties that have happened because a person was not willing to totally deal a deathblow to a bosom sin.

     David said, “I have kept myself from my iniquity.” David had to deal AGGRESSIVELY in his life. What cowards I have witnessed on the great battlefield of the “self-life”! Some made great promises to God, only to back away when under fire. Others made heartfelt vows, only to break them when faced with them. I’ve heard others cry with bold declarations that they would go all the way, only to stop ahead for comforts and conveniences. I’ve seen many start out wielding the sword against the self-life, only to get weary and join the enemies of their souls.

     What are we willing to pay for the crown of victory? Our family? Our friends? Our life? True enough, Jesus laid down the rules: the first rule, lay aside your family (Luke 14:26); the second rule, deny yourself (Matthew 16:24). Would a loving God require such a sacrifice as this? Did He require such sacrifices of His people before? Yes, a million times, YES! Could it be that we love these more than Him? If so, they have become idols, a lust, a sin. Our attitude should be as such: “Father take my love, my lust, my idol which is dearest to me—the sin which separates us (me and you, Lord).” Lay your idol upon the altar willingly and you shall find greater treasures in the Lord.

     Truly this is a warfare: blood, sweat, and tears must be poured out. When Jesus put forth these words, “Ye must eat my flesh and drink my blood,” many turned away and followed him no more. Things haven’t changed. He still requires things of His true disciples and we see a multitude of believers following Him no more.

     Churches are full of compromising Christians; not only compromisers, but outright sinners, traitors and adulterers. Christians, it is either ALL THE WAY or nothing! God did not, does not, and will not tolerate such things.

     We all have the same chance for victory. Every Christian, when confronted with death to self-life, will shriek and rant inside. Our hearts will shake with fear and plot treason. Our flesh will rant and rave at the thought of de-promotion. How can one really write about the conflicts, the wrestlings, the anxieties a Christian feels, before he can bring his heart to this surrender? All the time Satan will amplify the matter. He will plead the cause in our behalf if we will but spare ourselves the pain, the suffering. And we can quickly lose the battle by sparing one bosom sin. ONE!

     When was the last time that you were confronted by the Holy Ghost to surrender a hidden sin? Did you place it upon Heaven’s altar or did you shut it up into a deeper place in your heart? What tragedies I’ve seen when this latter thing happens! Instead of bringing the sword down upon our enemy, we quickly hide it (our enemy), thinking God doesn’t see. When we feel that the heat is off, we begin to flirt and embrace it in our thoughts and affections in secret. Fools we are! God sees and knows. Can a man carry fire in his bosom without being burned?

     We become walking time-bombs from then on. At the right time and at the right place, Satan will free this sin and will come out with all fury. All the time, we thought we had a peace treaty. Fools we are! Here we become a traitor and a casualty of the world, a mere coward, a fool.

“When was the last time that you were confronted by the Holy Ghost to surrender a hidden sin? Did you place it upon Heaven’s altar or did you shut it up into a deeper place in your heart?”

     Now is the time for God’s people to walk uprightly. Others have walked the crooked path and fell into defeat. We are to walk singularly, not after the world’s gods. We are told not to be conformed to this world, that is, to accommodate ourselves to the corrupt customs (gods) of this world. Yet God’s people tempt Him daily with such things—people, places, objects. We go on and on in rebellion, following the standards of the times and thinking God doesn’t care. HE CARES!!

     A Christian by nature should stand fixed by Godly principles, and not change because of change. We should remain steadfast in our commitments, our service, our honor to Him. Will you walk hand-in-hand with the world? Many do, thinking it’s okay, thinking they’re accepted. But we’re all fools according to the world’s fools, and when we’re in the world, the only way we can be “safe” is to refuse to confess JESUS CHRIST openly. But this sets us up to not permit Jesus to confess us before the Father. Many lose Heaven because they are ashamed of Christ now.

~Col. James Green, March 1986~

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