Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Last October, the Lord showed me a prophetic scene of an old man holding a dull, rusted sword. In this scene, I saw myself walk toward him and grab The Sword from his hand. With full intent of using it, I began to clean and sharpen it. Then I heard the words, "Generational transition of the fight. Use The Sword they never used to fight a battle they didn't fight."
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart,” (ESV). We know The Sword symbolizes the Word of God and the truth within it (Ephesians 6:17). However, by the looks of things today, the Word of God does not seem to be alive or active in our society. How is this so?
Why is The Sword Dull?
A blade will naturally dull with regular use, robbing it of its ability to cut. Could it be that our grandparents' generation clumsily wielded The Sword over doctrine that was legalistic instead of moral -- for instance, which denomination is best or which genre of worship is acceptable? These are cultural differences a lot of people in our grandparents' generation made into moral ones, causing a lot of church splits. Could this misuse in the handling of The Sword be the cause of its dullness?
Could these legalistic blows to the head our parents had to endure cause a lot of them to reject Christianity? And the ones who remained in the Church, to sheathe The Sword for fear of driving others away from Christianity? If this is true, it would explain the rust on The Sword.
Why is The Sword Rusted?
When something rusts it is because it’s in a state of deterioration or disrepair resulting from neglect or lack of use. Because of our grandparents' generation's failure to distinguish moral absolutes from legalistic doctrine, our parents' generation was already discouraged from swinging The Sword when it was time to do so. Instead of our parents re-sharpening the dull Sword to use it, they sheathed it and hung it up for display, to look at every Sunday for historical purposes.
The Sword’s lack of use within the culture is what ushered in complete moral anarchy within my generation. Looking back, you can see we went from one extreme to the other, legalism to anarchy. The normalization and acceptance of abortion, pornography, feminism, pre-marital sex, LGBTQ, atheism, etc., within the culture and even the Church, all happened under the watch of our parents’ generation. The Sword was kept but never used. Just as our Bibles get dusty on our nightstands when we don’t read them, so too can The Sword get rusty in its sheath when we don’t use it.
I love, cherish, and respect our fathers and mothers in the faith just as the 5th commandment requires. However, it is clear by looking at Western decadence that the few previous generations in the Church have failed to combat the evils that now rule in almost every area of our society. Of course there are individuals and churches out there whose swords are sharp and in good use, who have been faithful in fighting the good fight. But this word is for the Western Church as a whole, not for any particular individual or church. This word is not a rebuke, but rather a revelation and assessment the Lord has shown me with regards to the Western Church.
Keep the Sword Sharp
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it,” (ESV). To keep The Sword sharp we must first sharpen our children. Every generation must be boldly equipped with the truth about the moral laws of God (Psalm 78:5-8). These laws are unchanging and non-negotiable, unlike the genre of worship a certain denomination might prefer. Every generation must be taught the distinction between salvation and non-salvation issues.
Every generation must be taught how to defend the truth (1 Peter 3:15). Our children should not be returning from universities as atheists because of our failure to equip them. The Sword may be sharp for one generation then dull for another. That is why a generation cannot live off the faith of another. They must discover their own faith with the help of their predecessors. Properly equipping the next generation with truth is the whetstone that keeps The Sword sharp.
Keep the Sword from Rusting
A muscle not flexed regularly will become weak. In this case, The Sword not swung often will rust. Instead of simply knowing the truth, every generation must habitually speak the truth, lest it becomes foreign to society. A generation can keep The Sword sharp, but if nobody has the courage to pick it up and swing it, The Sword is useless. For the preservation of a Christian nation, The Sword must be swung daily, not only in the church but in every mountain of influence.
Every generation must have a healthy fear of inaction. To keep The Sword active, a generation must fear the consequences its nation will endure if they do nothing in the face of evil. It is paramount that every generation treats the devil like a roaming lion seeking to devour whatever he can (1 Peter 5:8), or like a thief who wants to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). This will keep a generation's hand grasping the hilt of The Sword, ready to strike when necessary (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Consistently and courageously speaking the truth is what keeps The Sword from rusting.
“One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4
Right now The Sword is in the hands of Millennials and Gen Z. These generations have re-sharpened and cleaned The Sword, and they are swinging it hard. But when the battle is won (because we will win) and when we grow old, let us not make the same mistake those before us did by allowing The Sword to be passed down to the next generation rusted and unsharpened. Let us properly equip those who are next in line with the truth. Let us display courage through our actions and words that every generation will desire to reflect. Let us keep The Sword sharp and let us keep The Sword swinging.