Swords and Christianity
Christians have always lived in a world hostile to Christianity. In the early centuries Christians were thrown to the lions in the Roman Coliseum and burned on stakes. Even to this day, Christians are being persecuted and killed throughout the world, perhaps more than at any time in the past 2000 years.
In America where there is still a quiet tolerance for Christians, the pressure continues to mount for Christians to be silenced. America has already thrown the Bible out of public schools, where once the Bible was read and honored and taught.
There is a constant move among enemies of Christ to silence, or at least control what a preacher can preach from his pulpit. These enemies of Christ consider preaching what the Bible says about sin as “hate speech”.
Whereas some religions are advanced by the sword, true Biblical Christianity does not and has never been advanced by force.
Why then does Jesus tell his disciples in his last conversation with them in the Upper Room, as recorded in Luke 22:35-36 to buy a sword and carry it?
He reminds them that throughout their three years as His disciples, they did not have money nor extra clothes; just the basics. They did not have to carry swords. He was there to protect them and supply all their needs.
Now, as Jesus is preparing them for His departure back to Heaven, He teaches them to start preparing to take over the responsibility for their own needs, including a wallet, money and a bank account to pay their bills. He even encourages them in verse 36 to do whatever is necessary to purchase a sword for their own protection. They would be traveling in dangerous places and would need to defend themselves from hostile men and wild animals.
Does that mean that we Christian today should do the same thing; carry swords or guns for our protection? I personally have never carried a weapon. I’d rather trust my protection to government which is given the responsibility of protecting and avenging us from our enemies. That is clearly taught in Romans 13. Government does us a terrible disservice when they fail to avenge us when we have been harmed or lost a loved one to murder. See my article CAPITAL PUNISHMENT elsewhere on this web site to learn what the Bible says about it.
Understand this! Christians do not advance the Gospel of Christ with guns. They never have and they never will. False Christianity has done that in past centuries, but Bible Christianity is never advanced by force. We have a much greater power than mere weapons. The Bible itself is described in Hebrews 4:12 as being sharper than a two-edged sword which pierces the heart and exposes sin. That’s why you find the Bible throughout this web site. Throughout my ministry of over fifty-four years, I have never trusted in my ingenuity or opinions or psychology to change lives; but I have learned to use the Bible to accomplish what I could never accomplish.
Not only do I use the Sword of the Lord, the Bible, but I am also clothed in the armour of God as described in Ephesians 6:10-20.
Jesus, in His final conversation with His disciples in the Upper Room, warned them of the hostility they would face from a hostile world. Read of it in John 15 and 16. In fact, going back to the beginning of His earthly ministry in His Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew 5,6 and 7. Jesus reminds the people in Matthew 5:10-12 that they are blessed of God when they face persecution for Christ’s sake.
Christ is now in Heaven. The sinful world can no long harm or even touch Him. But we Christians remind the world of Christ and for that reason they pour out their hatred on us. “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in Heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
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