1 Corinthians 13:3 “And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
It was at the end of what was one of the bloodiest wars in history. Berlin had been sacked, allied forces had conquered Europe and Adolph Hitler had ended his life in a bunker with his wife and children.
On May 7, 1945, the German High Command, in the person of General Alfred Jodl, signs the unconditional surrender of all German forces, East and West, at Reims, in northeastern France. Three months later Emperor Hirohito announced the official surrender of Japan and WWII had come to a close.
An unconditional surrender is a surrender in which no guarantees are given to the surrendering party. They cannot make any stipulations of their own, they must fully submit to the criteria of the ones to whom they surrender.
When we make a decision as to whether we will accept or reject God’s call, the expectation of an unconditional surrender is at stake.
We have lost the war, the moment we sinned we were destined for defeat. Our sinful nature was our weakness, our enemy the devil sabotaged our life. Satan made himself look like our ally but when we fell, the realization of his treachery became all too apparent. On the other side of this great chasm of war stands the King of kings. He has never lost a battle and the war was over before it even started. We made a foolish decision to steel ourselves against a bulwark of strength and power and now we face the proposition of surrender or die.
The conditions for Surrender?
The Lord has issued us the edict, He has drawn up the covenant agreement, and now it’s our decision as to whether we submit or perish in the fight.
Luke 14:26-27 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
To surrender to Christ means giving up everything. Our priorities cannot be elsewhere. If we think we are going to bargain for the terms of the agreement, we are sorely mistaken. We have lost and we have no grounds to dictate our demands. Many have gone before us and tried to change the rules, twist the circumstances, or manipulate the conditions but they have all fallen flat.
The Mighty Conqueror has gone up against some formidable foes and has yet to even wince at the prospect of defeat. Many thought He had succumbed to the enemies relentless attack at Calvary, only to realize later it became His greatest victory. There has been no ploy He hasn’t discovered, no king He hasn’t defeated, no scheme of the enemy He hasn’t out maneuvered, He simply is the greatest of all time. He has 6000 years of battle hardened victories under His belt and He maintains a forward position all the time.
Exodus 15:6-7 “Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power;
Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
And in the greatness of Your excellence
You have overthrown those who rose against You;
You sent forth Your wrath;
It consumed them like stubble.”
Once we have come to the inevitable conclusion we are defeated, once we see that our ways are not God’s ways and our strength is no match for His all consuming power, we recognize we must submit. How do we come before such a King? By what measure must we approach His glorious throne?
Micah 6:6-7 “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
If we bring our own sacrifice before Him, it will be counted as unworthy.
The sacrifice of repentance must be done in humility, it’s not easy to bring such a sacrifice before a Just and Holy God. It’s not easy admitting defeat.
What gift can we bring that He does not already own? As a defeated people, condemned for our injustice, sin, and rebellion—the penalty is death. How can we offer to Him anything that He does not already own?
Matthew 10:39 “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
This is what the King says to us……
The conditions for surrender are a bit of a paradox. A seemingly absurd proposition that proved to be well founded and true.
The Offer: Give Him your life and you will find it, attempt to keep it for yourself and it will be lost forever.
The offer seems ridiculous, why would a conquering King want to save the life of His enemy? We have positioned ourselves completely contrary to His Holiness. Our lives have been an affront to His name, His glory, and His goodness. Every time we sinned, we defied His glory and strove to establish our own glory.
At the table of surrender, He offered His love and all we have to offer is hatred.
Why would God even care about us????
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
You see, in the beginning we were once aligned with His purposes, we were created by Him and for Him. We were on the side of the greatest King of all, but then we rebelled against His authority and positioned ourselves contrary to His divine leadership. The very prospect of switching sides seems preposterous now, why would Adam and Eve leave a position of strength and victory for death, destruction, and sorrow?
They believed a Lie.
The enemy of our souls is Satan, he has been working for 6000 years to deceive, corrupt, and ruin mankind. We have also believed the lies by the way we live, by the sin manifested in our lives, or by the things we have placed our trust in. We have been defeated and our loss came from within. The Lord didn’t destroy us, we have ruined ourselves. We have allowed this deceiving spirit to continue to promulgate a narrative of self-empowerment apart from God and all it led to was our loss.
The criteria for reentry into God’s army is very clear and defined. We must pay for our sins, and the penalty for sin is death.
What can we do to be Saved?
The answer to this question was given 2000 years ago….there is nothing you can do to earn Salvation. Only Jesus can fulfill the criteria for surrender.
Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
The God who is victorious in battle, chose to align Himself with us in defeat. He assumed a position of shame to redeem His people from the grave. At Calvary, the culmination of His love was manifest upon a Cross and His blood poured forth upon the ground for us.
But that wasn’t the End.…
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
The grave was robbed of its prize, death lost its sting and those who once lived in shame have now lifted their heads victoriously. The conquering KIng knew we couldn’t win this fight so He won it for us. The One we thought we were battling turned out to be our advocate. He stands across the table of reconciliation and proclaims a way to be made Holy before Him, a way bought with His own Life.
Psalm 40:5 “Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders You have done, and the plans You have for us—none can compare to You—if I proclaim and declare them, they are more than I can count.”
The enemy is still among us. He prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
We had focused our defiance in the wrong direction!
For those who are controlled by this cruel master, Satan has entered the hearts of the abortionist, the atheist, the ungodly, the sexual predator, the blasphemer, and the vile and reprobate. It is these and others who still attempt to carry the deception first found in the garden and bring the deception into our midst today. They seek positions of power and authority so they might relegate their influence upon the masses. We know better, we have seen the corruption that is in the world, we have experienced this corruption and we have been given new life.
Our battle is not only against ourselves, there is an enemy who we once thought to be our friend.
Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
For those who have surrendered to the King, they must remember their allegiances, they must not forget who they fight for and that the victory is sure. They must separate themselves from the camp of the enemy and position themselves in the midst of the King’s army.
Isaiah 8:9-10 “Be shattered, O you peoples, and be broken in pieces!
Give ear, all you from far countries.
Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces;
Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces.
Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
Speak the word, but it will not stand,
For God is with us.”
Our rules for engagement are clear, the moral law is our guide in righteousness, and the Word of God is our weapon. We don’t cower in fear but live victoriously in Christ. Our faith in God is our shield, our feet have been covered with the gospel that goes forth, our waist has been girded with Truth and the breastplate of righteousness protects us from harm. Our helmet is Salvation and our Hope is sure, we died with Christ and He has lifted us up into the realm of the redeemed.
Have you surrendered your life to Christ?
If not, you are still counted as His enemy.
Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or set foot on the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither, and who prospers in all he does.”
One side will rise victoriously, one side will be cast out into utter destruction. What side will you choose? There is no neutral ground, you are already in the battle, you have no choice. The war has already been won, the fight for your souls rages on.
vs. 4-6 “Not so the wicked! For they are like chaff driven off by the wind. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD guards the path of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.“
Join the camp of the righteous, humble yourselves before the King and He will lift you up— it is a win-win proposition. This world holds nothing worth fighting for, for them it will all be for loss.
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors….
Do you want to live life victoriously?
Unite with Jesus through humility and contrite spirit of repentance. Jesus has already won the war, stop believing the lies and let Him save your soul.
In the end there is honor given to those who remain faithful…the true mark of unconditional surrender.