Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!
Aragorn, The Return of the King
The quote above from Aragorn prior to the final battle in J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Return of the King strikes a chord with all of us. There is something deep in each one of us that longs to engage in something significant and larger than ourselves.
As we discussed in our last post, we must see our vocational calling within the context of this final great battle. Theologian Cornelius Plantinga in his book Engaging God’s World talks about the struggle of fulfilling our work in the Kingdom:
A Christian who goes to work for the kingdom (that’s every Christian) simultaneously goes to war. What’s needed on God’s side are well-educated warriors (warriors who know what’s going on). We are now fallen creatures in a fallen world. The Christian gospel tells us that all hell has broken loose in this sad world and that, in Christ, all heaven has come to do battle. Christ has come to defeat the powers and principalities, to move the world over onto a new foundation, and to equip a people—informed, devout, determined people—to lead the way in righting what’s wrong, transforming what’s corrupted, in doing things that make for peace, expecting these things will travel across the border from this world to the new heaven and earth.
The late scholar Anthony Hoekema in his book The Bible and the Future writes, “the kingdom of God, therefore, is to be understood as the reign of God dynamically active in human history through Jesus Christ, the purpose of which is the redemption of his people from sin and from demonic powers, and the final establishment of the new heavens and the new earth.”
God’s people should be encouraged, knowing that God has brought the powers of the age to come into our midst. He has done this through the ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ and the saving and empowering presence of His Spirit. It is within this context of Christ’s victory in the final battle that we go to work each day to serve the common good and the advance the Kingdom of God.
Question: Do you feel the longing to participate in something significant? Do you view your own work as part of the epic, final battle of history? Leave a comment here.