Remain, Abide, Stand
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has not one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15: 9 – 17 NIV)
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6: 10, 11 NIV)
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. `He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORD.”
(Revelation 19: 11 – 16 NIV)
These three passages of scripture may seem to not tell a story that is consistent. However, I believe that this is exactly what is happening today. The armies of heaven are being led forth by our Lord and Savior. We are being led forth loving each other. We are able to stand against the wiles of the devil and defeat the nations because we are clothed with the whole armor of God. We wear the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes of the gospel of peace, and we carry the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. We are fully prepared to ride forth behind our King and our Lord and slay the nations.
But be aware what “slay the nations” means. When a “sinner is slain” she or he is converted to follow after our Lord and King. A “sinner slain” is a person who has repented of their sin and become a new believer. This happens by the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Words are spirit and life. With words the gospel is proclaimed and those who opposed us join us because they see that we love each other.