Written By: C. T. Studd
Every true Christian is a soldier of Christ, a here par excellence. They are braver than the bravest, scorning the soft seductions of peace and her oft-repeated warnings against hardship, disease, danger and death, which Christians count among their bosom friends.
The otherwise Christian is a chocolate Christian, dissolving in water and melting at the smell of fire. They are living their lives on a glass dish or in a cardboard box, each clad in soft clothing, a little frilled white paper to preserve their dear, little, delicate constitutions. God never was a chocolate manufacturer and never will be. God’s people are always heroes. In Scripture, you can trace their giant footprints down the sands of time.
Noah walked with God. He didn’t only preach righteousness, he acted it. He went through water and didn’t melt. He breasted the current of the popular opinion of his day, scorning alike the hatred and ridicule of the scoffers who mocked at the thought of there being but one way of salvation. He warned the unbelieving and, entering the ark himself, didn’t open the door an inch once God had shut it.
Moses–the man of God–was a species of human chameleon: scholar, general, lawgiver and leader. He was brought up as the pharaoh’s grandson, with more than a good chance of coming to the throne. Only one thing stood between him and the crown–Truth. He could have a throne for a lie. He faced ignominy, banishment or, likely enough, death for truth. But he played the man: “Refusing to be called the son fo Pharaoh’s daughter, the chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin and success for a season, accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt” (cf. Hebrews 11:23-25).
Real Christians revel in desperate ventures for Christ, expecting from God great things and attempting the same with exhilaration. history cannot match these feats of Moses. How was it done? He consulted not with flesh and blood. He obeyed not men, but God.
David was a mighty man of valor. When all Israel was on the run, David faced Goliath, alone yet with God. David’s secret was that he had but one director: He, the infallible One. God directed David’s stone, as He directed the youth. Too many directors spoil the sport, and two are too many by just one. Thus Christ said to His soldiers: “He shall teach you all things, He shall guide you into all truth” (cf. John 16:13). There is one director of Christian men–God, the Holy Spirit. His directions do require instant obedience, but not the endorsement of any man.
Whilst others were learning pretty theories, David, like John the Baptist, had been alone with God in the wilds, practicing on bears and lions. The result? He knew God and did exploits. He knew God only. He trusted God only. He obeyed God only. That’s the secret. God alone gives strength. God adulterated with men entails the weakness of iron and clay–chocolate brittleness!
Yet hero as he was, even David once played the role of chocolate soldier. He stayed at home when he should have gone to war. His army was far off, in danger, fighting the enemy. David was home and secure. He was within sight of God’s house and often went there, but still he suffered the one great defeat of his life, entailing such a bitter, lifelong reaping as might well deter others from the folly of sowing wild oats.
Yet, the prophet Nathan confronted David, and in his simple, quick and full confession, David proved himself a man again. It takes a real man to make a true confession–a chocolate soldier will excuse or cloak his sin. He is a self-murdering fool and is killing his conscience to save face, much like Balaam beating the ass who sought to save his life.
Chocolates are very fond of talking loud and long against those they call fanatics. God’s real people have always been called fanatics. Jesus was called mad, and so were the Apostle Paul, and the preachers Whitfield, Wesley, Moody and Spurgeon. No one has graduated far in God’s School who has not been paid the compliment of being called a fanatic.
We Christians of today are indeed a tepid crew. Had we both half the fire and enthusiasm of the men who volunteered for the North or South Pole Expeditions or for any ordinary daredevil enterprise, every soul on earth might know the name and salvation of Jesus Christ in less than 10 years.
We Christians too often substitute prayer for playing the game. Prayer is good, but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is naught but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable pharisaism. We need as many meetings for action as for prayer, and perhaps more. Every orthodox prayer meeting is opened by God saying to His people: “Go work today; pray that laborers be sent into My vineyard.” It is continued by the Christian’s response, “I go, Lord, whithersoever Thou sendeth me, that Thy will may be done on earth as in Heaven.” But if the meeting ends and nobody goes anywhere, it would be better to never have been held at all. Like faith, prayer without works is dead.
Let us make a real start now–at once. For years, we’ve declared we were just about to begin, and then never began at all. We must divorce chocolate and disobedience and marry faith and heroism.
God’s summons today is to the young men and women of Christendom, who call themselves by the name of Christ. Listen: “And it shall be in the last days, I will pour forth My Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on My bondmen and on my bondmaidens in those days I will pour forth of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy; and I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs in the earth beneath; and it shall be that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (cf. Acts 2:17, 19, 21).
But how can they call on Him of whom they have not even heard? Must you stay, young man? Cant you go, young woman, and tell them? Wilt thou be to Christ the partner of His throne or a chocolate Christian? Wilt thou far or wilt thou fight? Shall your brethren go to war and shall ye sit here? When He comes, shall He find faith on the earth?
To your knees! To your Bible! Decide at once and don’t hedge. Time flies, so cease your insults to God and quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying and cowardly excuses.
Good Lord, baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire; cure us of this dread plague of sleeping sickness, that even as we unceasingly pray, Thy name will be hallowed everywhere!
2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build up the church, seek revival, and encourage pastors.