“Hold the Fort” vs. “Advancing the Kingdom”

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20 KJV).

Fort Macon located on Bogue Banks Island just East of Atlantic Beach, NC is one of my favorite places.  Last month I had the opportunity to visit this historic site once again.  This brick fortress is best known for its use in the Civil War.  However, it has come to  have several different meanings for me as it has often been a place of prayer and meditation.  Recently, my mind has been pondering a hymn titled, “Hold the Fort” (Lyrics printed below)  It was written by Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876).  His life along with his wife’s ended tragically in a train wreck.  Mr. Bliss did not think that “Hold the Fort” was a good hymn.  Yet, it was popular in his day.  Personally, I do not like the hymn either.  The lyrics and the title do not adequately describe the role of the church.  We are not commissioned to hold the fort.  Sometimes it might appear that we are holding the fort, bunkering down in fear waiting for Jesus to come rescue us.  However, we are supposed to be going into the highways and byways and telling people about Jesus!  Let’s not embrace a “Hold the Fort” mentality but an “Advancing the Kingdom” mentality!  As we look forward the Christ’s Second-Coming let’s be busy fulfilling the “Great Commission!”

Hold the Fort
Ho, my comrades! see the signal waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”
See the mighty host advancing, Satan leading on;
Mighty ones around us falling, courage almost gone!
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”
See the glorious banner waving! Hear the trumpet blow!
In our Leader’s Name we triumph over ev’ry foe.
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”
Fierce and long the battle rages, but our help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander, cheer, my comrades, cheer!
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”

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