The Lost Battalion
During World War I, a segment of American troops were cut-off from their division and soon came to be referred to as “The Lost Battalion”. They were completely surrounded by a deadly, vicious foe, bent upon their destruction.
In their precarious plight, they were faced with two courses of action. They could surrender, and suffer whatever punishment the enemy might impose, or they could fight their way back to their own lines, and be fortified and secured in the strength and might of the entire division. They chose the latter course, and with grim determination and courage, extricated themselves from the clutches of the enemy.
Why did they get into this predicament in the first place? Without doubt, one reason was their not properly evaluating the strength, cunning and resourcefulness of the enemy. They underrated his ability to out-maneuver them.
Sometimes Christians are like that. They do not properly evaluate their enemy. They sometimes, at least temporarily, lose sight of the fact that, in Satan, they have the most cruel, vicious, merciless and deadly foe that ever jeopardized the fate of mankind. An enemy who is constantly scheming and planning their eternal destruction..
The thing we are specifically thinking about is this — the failure of so many of our folk to regularly attend Bible School and the Sunday and Wednesday evening services of the church.
Satan knows where he is going when the Lord comes “in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”, and he is desperately trying to take as many of us with him as he possibly can. He is too sly to try a frontal attack. He knows that a Christian would not, for a minute, entertain the idea of not attending services at all. He is far too crafty to make any such suggestion.
He knows that Christians, like everybody else, are creatures of habit, and that “habit regulation” is his most powerful weapon. He knows that bad habits are usually the easiest formed. Wonder why? So, he goes to work trying to regulate our habits. In that smooth, oily tone, he suggests — “You’ve worked hard all week — Sunday is your only opportunity to sleep late — skip Bible School and get a few extra winks,” or, “Sure is a fine day to enjoy the great outdoors — take an outing — absent yourself from worship,” or, “You can’t get to the Wednesday evening service on time — stay home and listen to the radio or watch TV.”
Here’s an oldie — “Don’t worry about not contributing of your means. Why not long
ago, you gave twice as much as you pro-posed.” On and on he goes, knowing that, once the habit is formed, it is easy to keep it growing. habits! habits! bad habits! Easy to form — Hard to break.
Friends, there is grave danger in absenting ourselves from the church services. Certainly, such a course leads in the direction of apostasy. Each time we miss a service, we lost an intangible “something” that can never be regained. So, if we find the habit of “absenteeism growing upon us, let us follow the example of The Lost Battalion, and with courage and determination, ‘fight our way out of it’.”
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