As countries around the world face great upheaval, we must remember the weapons of our warfare look nothing like those of the world (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Where I live, righteous indignation often results in violence begetting violence. Christians are angry and want to fight back against the forces coming against them. It’s understandable and natural. But it is natural only in the context of the old self we put away when we gave our lives to Jesus (Ephesians 4:22-23).
Our new nature looks like Jesus (Ephesians 4:24), so we now must fight back in the way He modeled for us. We fight back by immersing ourselves in the Word of God, praying for our enemies, and loving everyone as ourselves. It all seems counter-intuitive, but this is what Jesus taught us to do.
Jesus used Scripture to combat evil
When the devil was tempting Jesus to follow him instead of God the Father, Jesus would fight back by quoting Scripture to him (Luke 4:1-13). Truth made Satan back down and run away. You can’t quote Scripture to the enemy if you don’t know any. The Psalmist declared repeatedly that he hid the Word of God in his heart so he could stand strong in times of trouble (Psalm 119:11-18; Psalm 37:31). As the world grows ever darker, we desperately need the light of God’s Word to shine brightly. The Word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Do you want to fight back against the world? Read the Bible, meditate on it, and memorize it.
Jesus spoke up against evil
We can be peaceful and still speak up for the truth of God’s Word. Jesus often would respond harshly to the Pharisees when they made ridiculous claims and statements (Matthew 12:24-34; Matthew 23:13-36). Christ did not pull any punches and was both bold and blunt in His responses to them. Few people opposed to Jesus would leave a conversation with Him unscathed. While Jesus loved the person confronting Him, He also would not let them get away with spouting untruths and making excuses. It wouldn’t be loving to let the blind continue to stumble in darkness. We fight back against our accusers by lovingly declaring God’s truth and humbly expose the lies they are telling themselves. Want to fight back? Brush up on your apologetic skills. A few excellent resources to get you started include the “Stand to Reason” website, J. Warner Wallace’s books, videos, and podcast, and the book, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” by Frank Turek.
Jesus sacrificed Himself
In the end, Jesus forgave those who were doing such horrendous evil to Him (Luke 23:32-34). Despite everything He suffered, He still loved them. No matter how well we fight back, we may lose a few battles here on earth. We know we will face persecution (John 16:33). We may be thrown in prison, tortured, or even killed for the sake of Jesus. All I know for certain is that Jesus gave His life for me (1 John 3:16 ) and if I will acknowledge Him before men, He’ll acknowledge me before the Father (Matthew 10:32). If I hold fast to Jesus, He will do the same for me. He’ll never let me go (John 10:28; Deuteronomy 31:8).
As you contemplate how to fight back against a world spiraling out of control and growing ever more hostile to the faith we profess, remember to respond as Jesus did. Study and quote Scripture to your enemies. Pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Point out their errors humbly and lovingly, and back up your arguments with the Word of God. And in the end, forgive them (Ephesians 4:32). Love them just as Jesus loves you. Remember, we can’t lose because we have Jesus and He holds the key to eternal life.