"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of men and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."I think of the Apostle Paul who often spoke of men deserting him and the ministry.
"This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me;..." II Timothy 1:15aDesertion occurs even today. Some claim the Scriptures are not relevant to today's culture. I wonder if these same people are at all familiar with the culture of Paul's day, for society's ills were the same.
Others claim God has not called them. My brow always furrows at this. If you held a glass of water in a desert before a person dying of thirst, would you claim that you were not called to share with him that glass? And when that person died of thirst, would you so easily claim that someone else was responsibility to give that person a drink? It seems so selfish to have hold of true salvation and not be willing to share it with another. To me, such a person is as good as a deserter.
Thomas Paine's message stirred the souls of those men. I put to you that each day we face times that try men's souls. Each moment a person dies to spend eternity in hell. Was that someone whom the Holy Spirit prompted you to share the Gospel message, only you refused because you feared man more than God?
"When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." Ezekiel 3:18In Paine's time, the future of the freedom of the American people rested upon these starving, ill-equipped, demoralized men. Their circumstances certainly did test their character, their fortitude--their souls. Each born-again believer holds the message of freedom for those who do not know. Will you listen to the Holy Spirit's prompting and pull yourself together to cross the Delaware to reach a man, woman, or child held captive by sins bonds? Will you be willing to follow our Great General, the Lord Jesus Christ and defeat Satan's mercenaries that hold others captive?
Or will you be one that makes excuses, closes your ears to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and walks away?
"These are times that try men's souls..."