In Ephesians 6:17, the Apostle Paul tells us to take up the â€œsword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.â€ According to Hebrews 4:12, Godâ€™s Word is â€œquick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.â€
Despite the clear teaching of Scripture, todayâ€™s church is reluctant to take up the â€œsword of the Spirit.â€ Instead, we attempt to avoid the persecution of a politically correct culture by leaving our sword sheathed or by blunting its sharp edges. We appear to believe that the best way to win converts is by sensitively prodding a world at enmity with God toward Christ with the slightest, imperceptible pricks. By doing so weâ€™ve foolishly convinced ourselves that we can buddy up to a fallen world that bruised and bloodied the body of Christ on the cross of Calvary.
In the face of this flawed philosophy, weâ€™ve just received another demoralizing report on the sorry state of affairs in Southern Baptist life today. Church membership has declined for the fourth straight year and our baptisms have hit a sixty year low. One cannot help but wonder how todayâ€™s church growth gurus explain these continuing trends, especially in light of our spiritual sensitivity training and vastly improved marketing technics.
Do you suppose that our futile evangelism could actually be our own fault, for failing to unsheathe our sharp two-edged sword? Could it be a consequence of our soft-soap peddling of the Gospel to a politically correct world? Instead of speaking with authority the absolute truth of Godâ€™s Word, as our Lord did (Matthew 7:28-29), we sheepishly present the Gospel as our personal opinion so as to avoid offending anyone. Far from unashamedly acclaiming it, we apologetically suggest it, as though oneâ€™s spurning of it amounts to no more than a mere difference of opinion devoid of any eternal consequence.
What would happen if we unsheathed our sharp two-edged sword and started mightily wielding it in the world today? What if we became unapologetic about our faith and started boldly proclaiming it without fear of raising the ire of todayâ€™s politically correct masses? I say itâ€™s time we unsheathed the â€œsword of the Spiritâ€ and sharpened up its edges! What do you say? One thing for sure, if we fail to do so the church will continue to lose ground and many a man his immortal soul.