Your Ultimate Waterloo: To Life or to Death?
Those who know a fair amount of history likely know about the Battle of Waterloo. Waterloo is a town in Belgium where the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s Army suffered defeat at the hands of the British and the Prussians in 1815. Napoleon actually escaped after the battle, and it would take several weeks before France was finally subdued by the forces fighting Napoleon and before Napoleon actually surrendered to the British. Nevertheless, the result of Waterloo meant that the end of Napoleon’s reign was inevitable; and it paved the way for Napoleon’s eventual surrender to the British and subsequent exile for life to the remote island of St. Helena. The name Waterloo has thus come to mean more than just a geographic location or a historical battle, but rather it is also a term implying any notable and decisive defeat.
In the Bible we read in Revelation chapter 15 (reading the whole chapter, which is eight verses). “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.”
The God of the Bible, the God of the whole Universe, will surely prevail against every person and against humanity as a whole. I don’t believe that a whole lot of people understand the mercy and grace offered in Jesus Christ’s Gospel as a chance to choose to practically welcome that prevailing (or you could say sure, righteous reign) in this life in order to be spared from wrath and condemnation in the next (on Judgment Day and in eternity). And that is what the Gospel of Christ indeed is. And there is no salvation by the grace of God displayed through Christ’s death for sins otherwise.
Napoleon stood a chance at the Battle of Waterloo. He might have prevailed there so that at least his defeat to take him out of power would have come at another place and time. Yet God has set a day where man’s ultimate defeat is inevitable- unless an individual practically reckons himself defeated before God in this grace period which is life; and lives out that defeat so that his independence before God, along his attachment to that which is unrighteous before Him, is shattered. Every man’s Waterloo before God then will come one day. God will prevail over man. The matter of how and when though is crucial. It will not be the same for everyone.
We read in 1 Corinthians 15:20-25: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ (those that are His- seen by the next verse) shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
There is an enmity against the Lord and against His Christ in every individual that we must choose to have our own Waterloo with God over; and that we must then stick to if/when we make the right choice about. Responding to an altar call, saying a sinner’s prayer to accept Christ (especially as a child, but anytime really), and/or many other common unreliable methods not derived from the Bible by no means accomplish this Waterloo with God. You’ve got to deal with God in the depths of your heart and come into line with Him regarding your desires, your pursuits, and your values, We must turn to Him so as to forsake unrighteousness in His eyes and pursue righteousness in His eyes in the thoughts and intents of our hearts. We must worship Him in the depths of our hearts so that no suffering to do righteousness before Him is considered an overreach nor unreasonable in any way; and no reward offered us by the world to do evil before Him could persuade us to comply.
Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
And then in Mark 8:34-38 we read “And when he (Jesus) had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
What is bad religion? It is simply religion which does not uphold, insist on, and teach rightly how to walk out the Waterloo with God as defined by the Bible unto life. What is good religion? Everything that is the opposite of this, everything which properly upholds and applies the Word of God; and thus recognizes Jesus Christ’s pre-eminence in actuality and puts man in His proper place before God (the only place where there is salvation from the wrath of God, the Waterloo unto eternal death and condemnation). Good religion always involves the choice from the depths of the heart to die to self and follow Jesus Christ to pursue everything that is right, true, and holy in His eyes; and to shun everything which opposes such.
It is a mighty shame that bad religion now isn’t just confined to religions which deny the ultimate authority of the Bible and/or deny Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God, the 2nd person of the Trinity. It is also abundant in Christendom (i.e. under the label of Christian).
2 Timothy 3:1-5: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness (i.e. a form of Christianity), but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
Like the wicked Amalekite King Agag in 1 Samuel 15, these who have a form of Christianity, yet deny the power thereof, say that the bitterness of death is past when it is not. They say that if you adhere to our concepts and what we do, you are surely safe. They promote salvation through sacraments, sinner’s prayers, altar call visits, decision cards, etc as if these represent a Waterloo with God. Some even go as far as equating the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the gift of Christ of the 3rd person of the Trinity dwelling in man and bringing him into communion with the blessed eternal God, they equate this with jabbering in an unintelligible language- something a person with no understanding of the Gospel, (especially) a small child or even a parrot, can be taught to do! It is insane! Yet tens of millions are deceived in this way, thinking they are serving God and definitely in His grace because they do this!
Yet consider how a person could be deluded about the state of their souls in other ways if tens of millions can be deluded in this way (btw: Biblical tongues are always natural languages which can be verified as such; and which serve as a practical means to communicate Biblical truth- just read Acts chapter 2).
Joshua 24:14-20 (Joshua in his old age is speaking to Israel after they had originally conquered the land of Canaan): “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the Lord drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.”
The choice to serve God is way easier said than done! It is not something which is like “Well, I did that.” The opposition from the world, the flesh, and the devil is too great. It is bigger and more decisive than a defeat at a major battle like Waterloo! Satan has his shallow counterfeits. The idols and values of society must go. Righteousness must prevail in our hearts and be walked in without compromise. You will be at enmity with the world, since it is corrupted by Satan’s lies. You will be at enmity with compromised churches corrupted by unbiblical concepts and fleshly displays of religious exhibitionism (hypocrisy, strange fire, no sword to man’s carnal values, carnal pursuits, carnal impulses, etc).
You say you love Jesus and serve Him, or you say that you will from now on, let’s see what you actually do. A healthy skepticism to such words is actually Biblical.
Joshua 24:21-27: “And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel. And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.”
Christian Baptism is supposed to be the declaration that we are under Christ’s authority so that henceforth we should not serve sin through the life He offers to those who worship and serve God under His authority. Christian baptism is intended as an initial act of obedience in entering into the whole package of Christianity. Things like infant baptism are evil because infants cannot have a repentant attitude and obedient, ready mind towards Christ. Baptism cannot represent to them what God intended it to represent. It is no different than with the little children (and others) who get coached into saying the sinner’s prayer, and then maybe even into baptism, in the evangelical and Protestant churches. It becomes a ritual that has an incredibly strong tendency to serve as a substitute for the entire package of Christianity rather than as a knowledgeable, willing entrance into the whole package of Christianity like it should be regarded as.
So many likewise have a false hope of salvation through having responded to an altar-call or something similar. So many so-called Gospel ministers glory in getting people to respond to an altar-call (think Billy Graham crusades and the many different crusades that report statistics which, if added up and taken at face value, would indicate that the entire population of earth has been saved twice over! It is really madness). I’ve been in meetings where the vast majority came up to the front near the end. I have little doubt those who put on these meetings considered them to be successful because of this. The altar, or whatever was at the front, was so crowded that anyone who really wanted to pray and seek God would have been better off just staying where they had been sitting.
I could end with a loud and/or smooth sounding appeal to any who might hear this. Yet that would be weakening the points I want to make and practically supporting some of the concepts I am seeking to rebuke. Instead we’ll close as the Bible basically does, considering the implications of Jesus being the Alpha and the Omega. That means (among many other things) that He is your Creator and your Waterloo, the One with whom you ultimately have to do. So really, set your heart on getting everything out of your life that displeases Him and on learning to walk in all that He commands you to do. This is a battle none of us are escaping without surrender and submission- or ultimate destruction!
Revelation 1:7-8: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
And that will be a horrible day for those who are not prepared. A lot of people take comfort in the fact that Christ will come back to rule and reign. Yes, He will lay down the law by putting down evil and upholding righteousness as the Judge of all mankind. And that should terrify everyone who is not wholeheartedly seeking Him and striving to live in line with His righteous ways here and now (and that includes most professing Christians)! Only those who are not at enmity with His reign, by currently living in surrender to Him so that He’d have no controversy with them if He came back today, ought to take comfort in Christ’s 2nd coming and the Day of Judgment which will basically accompany that.
There was this song back early in the decade of the 2000s about standing before Jesus and being overjoyed at His presence. It became very popular, not just among the contemporary Christian music crowd, it even crossed over into great mainstream music popularity. That popularity shows the deadly misconception that the professing Christian world, and the world as a whole, has of Jesus. They don’t see Him as the utterly holy, uncompromising authority figure that He in truth is. They see Him as an all-loving, humanistic figure whose primary purpose is to make them happy and blessed. Or at least someone who’d never harm anyone- except for maybe those whom they consider the worst of the worst villains. The false conception of Jesus being an effeminate, hippie figure with long hair goes hand in hand with these things. Mountains of Scripture have to be ignored for such a picture to be maintained.
Hebrews 1:8-9: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
Just consider Jesus cleansing the Temple. To anyone who had been partaking in the selling, buying, or money-changing in the Temple; and even to anyone who was not already mourning over that and doing what they could to stand against that, Jesus cleansing the Temple would have been a horrible, horrible sight! The Temple was the one place on earth where Jesus had jurisdiction at His first coming, since of course the Temple was His Father’s house. Of course He owned everything then, yet He assumed limitations in His manhood, like Philippians chapter 2 talks about Him coming as a man to serve and to die. When He comes back in glory to judge, it will be the Temple cleansing times one billion (approximately); and it will be for the ultimate destruction of His enemies. He will prove that He is not mocked and that those who persist in their resistance to Him are fools who imagined a mischievous device which they are not able to perform (see esp. Psalms 2 & 21). He will demonstrate the utterly evil and foolish nature of being His enemy by casting down His enemies in a show of terror which no man will be able to stand before.
Revelation 22:10-20: “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book (this is obviously no less true of every other book of the Bible as it is the Book of Revelation), If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
Hebrews 4:12-13: “For the word of God is quick (i.e. alive), and powerful, and 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: Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
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