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Stand!

We are living in a time of moral upheaval.  It is, I believe, the times spoken of by the Apostle Paul.  He told the church in Ephesus to be ready to “stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.”  With the many levels of immorality that are now rampant and the vast cesspool of iniquity that is forming around us, every person will determine whether they will stand for Biblical truth and righteousness or be swayed into sinful compromise.

Every generation has been faced with the same decisions and come to the same crossroads in their respective journeys.  Some have had less of a cultural struggle than we face, but Godly individuals have always had to decide whether to stand for Christ or to follow the broad way of worldliness to destruction.  The tragedy is that our culture has experienced a major shift in embracing the most decadent forms of behavior and elevating them to normalcy in policies and now even in adopting new laws.  When the time comes for each of us to “choose”, I pray we will have already determined that we will obey God rather than men.  Our allegiance to Him comes before all other things.  As we stand for truth and righteousness, others will be inspired by our actions and many will join us in obedient surrender to our Lord’s commands.

Standing firm against evil is not easy, but it is always right.  When we determine that is our course of action, we receive power from the Lord to help us to remain courageous in the fight.

When I was a small boy, I attended church every Sunday at a big Gothic Presbyterian bastion in Chicago. The preaching was powerful and the music was great. But for me, the most awesome moment in the morning service was the offertory, when twelve solemn, frock-coated ushers marched in lock-step down the main aisle to receive the brass plates for collecting the offering. These men, so serious about their business of serving the Lord in this magnificent house of worship, were the business and professional leaders of Chicago.

One of the twelve ushers was a man named Frank Loesch. He was not a very imposing looking man, but in Chicago he was a living legend, for he was the man who had stood up to Al Capone. In the prohibition years, Capone’s rule was absolute. The local and state police and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation were afraid to oppose him. But singlehandedly, Frank Loesch, as a Christina layman and without any government support, organized the Chicago Crime Commission, a group of citizens who were determined to take Mr. Capone to court and put him away.

During the months that the Crime Commission met, Frank Loesch’s life was in constant danger. There were threats on the lives of his family and friends. But he never wavered. Ultimately he won the case against Capone and was the instrument for removing this blight from the city of Chicago.

Frank Loesch had risked his life to live out his faith. Each Sunday at this point of the service, my father, a Chicago businessman himself, never failed to poke me and silently point to Frank Loesch with pride. Sometime I’d catch a tear in my father’s eye. For my dad and for all of us this was and is what authentic living is all about.    (Bruce Larson, in Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, pp. 124-125.).