Some very sobering words from the pen of John Stott:
The world’s opposition is strong and subtle. And behind these things stands the devil, bent on ‘taking men alive’ and keeping them prisoner. For the devil hates the gospel and uses all his strength and cunning to obstruct its progress, now by perverting it in the mouths of those who preach it, now by frightening them into silence through persecution or ridicule, now by persuading them to advanced beyond it into some fancy novelty, now by making them so busy with defending the gospel that they have no time to proclaim it.
–From “The Message of 2 Timothy” (The Bible Speaks Today series: London and Downers Grove: IVP, 1973), p. 126.
Pray that I/you wold:
1. Clearly proclaim the gospel in its simplicity
2. Boldly proclaim the gospel in spite of opposition
3. Remain in the gospel as my only message to the world (and to myself)
4. Give myself to the preeminence of the gospel call above everything else
Stott calls this “Satanic oppression” and I believe he is right. The devil would want nothing more than for us to minimize the work of the gospel in our lives, to destroy it, to have us get beyond it, to ignore it, to change it, to be silenced as bad stewards of it, and simply pretend that it does not matter.