Sun, 5 August 2018
One of the most intriguing figures from World War II is a Japanese soldier named Hiroo Onoda. He was deployed to the Philippines by his commanding officers. He was given strict orders never to surrender. He took those orders seriously.
The war officially ended in August of 1945 with V-J Day, but not for Onoda. He refused to believe it. He continued to wage guerilla warfare for 29 more years. This was no laughing matter. Estimates are that he was responsible for killing at least 30 Filipinos and wounding approximately 100 others. He finally laid down his weapons when he was “relieved of his duties” by his old commanding officer who was flown to the Philippines so that he could personally issue the order.
That is tragic—fighting when the war is over.
But there is another tragedy, equally as dangerous.
This other tragedy does not consist of fighting when there’s no war; instead, it consists of not fighting when there is a war. It is perilous not to know when you have an enemy that is bent on your destruction.
On September 11, 2001 the United States was caught half-asleep by a group that intended our destruction. Nineteen terrorists aboard 4 jet planes launched an attack that shook our country to its core. Almost 3,000 people died that day.
Some of these terrorists had been in our country for months. Some had taken flying lessons. It was a plot that was detailed and deadly. If we had but known that an attack was imminent—if we had been more alert--perhaps the course of events could have been different.
It is bad to fight when there is no war. It may be worse not to fight when there is a war.
I have a news alert for us this morning. We are at war! To ignore this reality is to add to the danger that already surrounds us. In a new sermon series beginning this Sunday, we are going to learn that, not only are we in a war, but we have been given the armor necessary to win the war!
“We’re at War!”
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (6:10).
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil(6:11).
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm (6:12-13).