In 1954-1955, Christian writer J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the epic novel, The Lord of the Rings, which pictured the epic struggle against light and darkness, and even had a “Satan” character: Sauron, who was the “lord of the ring”. A few years ago, this was turned into a three-part movie series.
If you saw the movies, you might remember one part that I think is very appropriate to use as an illustration for our church right now.
In the third movie, The Return of the King, Aragorn (the King) and his men had come through many battles, including an epic one at the city of Gondor, which they won. But many of his men had been killed and the enemy still had lots of demons at his disposal, his strength far from exhausted.
Aragorn and his advisors met on what to do next. Keep in mind again that even though their numbers were small, they were victorious but battered and bruised. Conventional wisdom said pull back and recuperate; rest; consolidate gains; relax for a minute. But Aragorn, feeling this was a moment of destiny, decided to do the unthinkable. Vastly outnumbered, unaware of the whereabouts of Frodo (who had the key to destroying Sauron), his men exhausted….he decides to march on the Black Gate! Essentially, he decides to gather up the remaining warriors and march INTO the DEVIL’s territory!
And that is just what he did. They ride out of camp, march into Mordor (basically, Hell), and BANG ON THE GATE, demanding the enemy come out to face justice!
Well…after the gate finally opens, there are 10,000 demons in battle dress ready to fight on their own territory…with the enemy Sauron looking down on the whole deal.!! Aragorn’s troops are understandably nervous…so he steadies them with a electrifying speech. I’ll paraphrase for our context...
“CRCC…hold your ground! HOLD YOUR GROUND! Men and Women of CRCC…my brothers and my sisters….
I see in your eyes, the same fear that would take the heart of me. Our enemy wants the day to come when the courage of God’s holy people fails....But it is not that day! He wants us to forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship....But it is not that day! He wants an hour of wolves and shattered shields when our faith fades, the glory of God is dimmed, and the mission of His Kingdom comes crashing down. But it is not that day! Today we fight!! Stand on God’s Word…people of God!!!”
A bit melodramtic? Maybe! :) But still so true...
D6 is an assault on the devil's kingdom. Getting serious about personal evangelism...same thing. Preaching the Word without political correctness...same thing. Missions and taking care of widows...same thing. Getting people of out debt...yep...the same thing.