Warning: This May Offend You

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There are times when communicating God’s Word runs counter to popular beliefs. This message is one of those times. Now, what I’m about to write would not make the top ten most controversial messages from God. You may still somewhat disagree – does “somewhat disagree” even exist anymore? Our society seems to be in violent disagreement or violent agreement on any given topic.

Within this paragraph, I’m going to quote a verse that may raise the hackles of some folk. By the way, hackles are the hairs on the back of an animal’s neck, which stick up when the animal feels fearful or angry. Hear me out on this. Here’s God’s Word: 

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13

Be Servants

There, I hope you didn’t find that offensive. Strong Christian men need to teach and show this truth until men become strong Christian men. Somewhere along the transformation of our culture, men became prideful. Some prideful men became bullies, which led to confusing a strong man with and a bully. 

At least in the New Testament, God hasn’t called men to beat people into submission. No, God has called men to be strong enough to be a servant. They must be strong enough to take a beating that belonged to someone else, strong enough to be lied about, ridiculed, and demeaned yet still love their oppressors. They must be strong enough to provide for their families and show Jesus to a cruel world. The Apostle Paul didn’t pen this next passage of Scripture from a five-star hotel.

Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. – 2 Corinthians 11:24-27

Act like men, be strong

So, when the Apostle Paul wrote, “act like men, be strong,” he wasn’t just talking the talk, he was walking the walk. And now, more than any other time in our nation’s history, we need Christian men to be strong Christian men. Women deserve strong Christian men, wives deserve strong Christian husbands, children deserve strong Christian fathers; society deserves strong Christian male role models. 

I’m quoting from memory, so the words will be wrong, but the message will be correct. While in prison in Romania during the era of the Soviet Union, Pastor Wurmbrand was tortured for his faith. In his book, he made a fascinating statement. Again, quoting from memory, he said, “If you fear beatings, then have your wife take a broom handle and beat you. You’ll find that you can survive it. You should not fear it.”

Brother Wurmbrand was serious, and I know my wife is more than willing to give it a go. 😉 Still, I’ve not felt an unction from the Holy Spirit to ask her to test my ability. Even so, all Christian men must be strong men. Strong is not synonymous with muscular. It means not to melt when put in a flame (my words).

Being a man of God is a dangerous business

Jesus was crucified, John the Baptist was beheaded, Stephen was martyred, Paul was stoned, and either was dead or was left for dead, James was executed, and the list goes on. Being a man of God is a dangerous business, but it’s God’s business. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus wasn’t murdered. He willingly took our punishment, so husbands do the same for your wives.

No man can fulfill his calling unless he is a strong Christian man. No married man can be a good husband unless he’s a strong Christian man. No church can fulfill Christ’s purpose for her unless the men of the church are strong Christian men. And no nation can fulfill God’s purpose without strong Christian men fulfilling God’s call on their lives. This message may not be popular, it may cost me followers and raise your hackles, but it’s the truth of God.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

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