You Are Not Alone

You don't stand against false teachers as much as you should.

"He may take my life, but he will never take my faith."

Ambrose said this during the middle of a siege. Outside the doors of the church they were in were Roman guards trying to get in. They would bang their swords against the doors. Days before this, the Emperor had sent word to take over this church.


While they were having service!

They barricaded themselves inside the church and held the line. For days they had stayed inside the church and kept services going.

Imagine it. You show up for church on Sunday and you have to barricade yourselves in. What food do you feed people with? Where do people sleep? Where will you get enough supplies?

After several days Ambrose got up to give a sermon. And in the middle of it he delivered the line above. He also said that the clang of the swords of those soldiers did not scare him. He said this within earshot of real clanging swords!

What caused all this? One simple thing: The Emperor was an Arian, and of the four churches in the town, he wanted one to worship his Arianism.

That was it. All Ambrose and the men of God had to do was give up their pulpit for the Emperor. The Arians even said, "How is it fair that you have four churches but the Roman Emperor has not even one?"

Ambrose didn't budge. And eventually the Emperor gave up. And Ambrose won and the four churches stayed Christ-honoring.

What about you? Would you back-down? What if they said you were unloving? Or not submitting to government?

In the early 20th century J. Gresham Machen was in trouble. He was being called to a council of the church. One of the first like it in a long time.

There were reporters outside taking pictures as he got off the train. It was big news. The Presbyterian Church was very upset, for Machen had been funding his own missionaries through his own board he had created.

Why? He saw the ones by the official church at the time in America as nothing more than social workers. They were not sharing the Gospel. He wanted men who would share the Gospel and not just give out food.

Machen saw them as not only not spreading the Gospel, but creating the exact opposite of the Gospel in an ecumenical nonsense that would harm souls.

The council told him he was wrong. Told him he had to stop.

But he didn't. And these actions eventually led to Machen being kicked out of the denomination, but forming the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He stood up to the false teaching on missions because he realized the importance of the Gospel.

Charles Spurgeon at the end of his life saw the world swinging towards liberalism.

It sounded Christian and used Christian language, but it denied the power of the Cross. His journal called it out in the "Downgrade Controversy" and it led to a firestorm.

Spurgeon could have conceded, compromised, or stepped back. Thousands heard the gospel everyday in his church. He was doing so much good. All standing up would do is cause a lot of controversy.

But he stayed the course and pressed on. He ended up losing many friends for calling out the liberalism of his day. His denomination voted him down 2000 to 7. He was crushed by the weight of it all and his wife said it caused him to die early due to anxiety adding to his many health conditions.

But years later, when people were waking up to the liberalism of their time, they looked to and saw that Spurgeon had been right and vindicated him.

He had stood up and lost, but won in the end.

There was a man who lived in Milan at the time of the siege. He looked to Ambrose as a wise man and was learning under him. He was not a Christian but was interested.

The next year after the siege this man became a Christian and wholly credits Ambrose as one of the main reasons he became one.

This man, Augustine, would be one of the most influential people in church history.

You see, Ambrose's strength under siege and fierceness against false teaching did not turn him away. In fact, it drew him to the passionate preaching of a man so bold for God.

We must be brave and stand up to false teaching. We must not compromise against it.

Let us be like Spurgeon, Machen, and Ambrose.

For we never know who is watching and will be moved by our stand for truth.

And we also know He who is always watching will see our struggle.