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Hold the Banner High

Dr. Shelton Smith

In an age such as our twenty-first century has been, the world has become a seething caldron of wickedness. The debauchery of our society has plunged headlong to record-setting low levels. Human behavior is so vile, so ugly, so depraved that one can hardly imagine it, much less believe it is actually happening!

The holocaust of abortion, the degeneracy of homosexuality, the corruption of politics, the menace of liberalism—you can keep adding to the list and it will be a long one because there is so much of it. The world is on a downhill slide, on a collision course of destruction.

Although I’m stirred by this tragic direction of things, it is not the scene out in the world which concerns me most. Because we have studied the Scriptures, it comes as no surprise to us that the world is waxing “worse and worse” (II Tim. 3:13). We are not happy about it or content with it, but we expected it to come.

The greater concern that I have is the carelessness, the complacency and the compromise within the ranks of God’s people! Although such dereliction is not new (as is evidenced by the history of Israel in the Bible), it is nonetheless disturbing.

In this era of the last days, our crowd can become soft, accommodating and be blown about with whatever ill wind is howling; or we can hear the voice of God and rise to the occasion—to hear His call; to do His bidding; to cry aloud and spare not; to give the Devil his due; to stand up and preach clearly, loudly, faithfully, unhesitatingly. My predecessor, Dr. Curtis Hutson, emphasized to me and to others in his dying days that we should “hold the banner high.”

As the world sinks lower and lower into the ungodly abyss, we can go down the trail with them or we can resist, stand our ground and be true to God.

We can coast, drift, go along to get along; or we can be men of God, the people of God, His emissaries, His ambassadors and real soldiers for Christ!

The choice will not be easy; but it is clear, at least to me, what we should do.

Even if the pornographers are operating openly and unhindered in your town, the preacher ought to be the one to stand against them (and his church ought to stand shoulder to shoulder with him). It may take you five years, as it did in our town; but, thank God, we closed them down and ran them out of the county.

When we get our act together in the church house, it will be felt up and down Main Street all across our country.

“But,” you say, “we’ve drifted away. We gave in to the trends. We are not ‘on track’ as we once were.”

All the more reason to do what needs to be done and do it now. Cut the grass around that old flagpole, move the junk piled against it and get the flag hoisted once again! Run it all the way to the top and let it fly in the wind! What a sight to behold!

I get misty-eyed seeing Old Glory wave the stars and stripes from its lofty post. How much deeper the emotion, the blissful joy, of a God-called preacher and a fundamental, gospel-preaching church who will hold the banner high for Christ and the Bible.

Hold up the Bible banner, the gospel banner, the salvation banner, the soul-winning banner, the personal separation banner, the ecclesiastical separation banner, the fundamentalism banner, the revival banner; hold the banner high!

Let’s get up, hold it up, keep it up and not give it up until we go up in the rapture!

Amen! Amen! Amen!


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