Full Sermon available on Anabaptist Perspectives

Original published in the Daughters of Promise Magazine


In about 400AD a young man by the name of Telemachus became a believer and became involved in mission work in a rather remote monastery. So as he headed back to Rome, getting close to the city, he noticed there were lots of people there. The Romans had just defeated the Goths and there was to be a big celebration.

And so as they saluted the Empire, the carnage begin. Telemachus was watching this and as he saw what was happening, he was just stunned. He began to yell,

“In the name of Jesus, stop!”

But he could not be heard.

So he ran down the stairway and jumped over the wall down into where the gladiators were.

“In the name of Jesus, stop!”

The surprised gladiators halted for just a little bit and then as the crowd began to yell at the interruption, one of the gladiators got his sword down into the heart middle of the chest of Telemachus. He fell on the floor of the stadium and died.

History tells us that immediately the roaring of the crowd ceased. People begin to leave.

Pretty soon the emperor left. The gladiators left. Within an hour of his death the emperor issued an edict saying, “No more war games in the stadium.” All because one man got in the way of evil.

Brother and sisters, get in the arena and yell, “Stop, in the name of Jesus!”

We must be willing to step between the abused and abuser. “In the name of Jesus, stop!”

We stepped between the seeker and the lie.

We step between the youth and the hedonist.

We step between the unborn and the abortionist.

Stop divorcing. Stop these school shootings. Stop these abortions. Stop these church splits. Stop pornography.

Faithfulness is not holding the fort, it’s storming the gates of hell. The complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ isn’t radical, it’s normal. We must get in the face of evil with uncarnal weapons. We step between with weapons that are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.

Young people are infused by God for adventure. Will that drive take them to rescue the perishing in Greece and Iraq and Jordan and Syria and maybe in a pro-life clinic downtown?

Young people, let that volleyball bounce off the court while you wrap your life around something eternal. Will we dunk basketballs or converts?

Is this a message in morbidity? Is this only enhancing a martyrs complex? I say with Scrooge, “Bah, humbug.”

Paul says, “for me to die is gain”. We’re talking about how Jesus got in the way of evil. We’re not talk about handing out tracks or singing in the park. We’re talking about getting in the way of evil.

Jesus made a full body attack against the cross. And He died.

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