Summary: This sermon about God’s call to Joshua is also a call to us as His church. The true story of Colonel Strong Vincent during the Battle of Gettysburg illustrates strength and courage in the face of battle.
Be A Strong, Courageous Soldier For Jesus
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:
2"Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them--the children of Israel.
3Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.
4From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.
5No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
6Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
7Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
10Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
11"Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ’Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’ "
12And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying,
13"Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ’The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’
14Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them,
15until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’S servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise."
16So they answered Joshua, saying, "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.
17Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses.
18Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage."
Gospel Chapel is in a battle against the enemy.
Our enemy is the old devil and his forces of evil.
Their aim is to destroy this church…
And kill our faith in the process.
I’ve often wondered what would happen here…
If the Lord suddenly called me home.
Would the Elders and Deacons find a capable man…
Who could lead this church in the fight against the enemy?
Or would this little Army of the Lord give up…
And close the doors?
There are times when it seems that the devil is winning!
Though Gospel Chapel entered the battle here in 2001…
With a strong group of Christian soldiers…
Several have deserted us!
We are now left with a group of Christians…
Who are under attack by the enemy.
It would be easy to throw down our spiritual weapons…
And run away from the fight!
Is that what we are going to do?
Are we going to let the devil win here?
Are we going to surrender to the enemy?
Today’s story is about a man who fought in the Civil War…
And gave his life at the Battle of Gettysburg.
At the start of the Civil War, Strong Vincent was a 25 year old man. He graduated from Harvard in 1859 and pursued a career in law, opening an office in Erie, Pennsylvania. He was amongst the first to volunteer when the war began and joined the Pennsylvania Militia as an adjutant and first lieutenant of the Erie Regiment. In appearance, Vincent looked like a soldier. Athletic, barrel-chested, he was devoted to the duties of a soldier. On September 14, 1861, Vincent was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry and was promoted to colonel the following June. After the death of his regimental commander in the Seven Days Battles, Vincent assumed command of the regiment. He developed malaria on the Virginia Peninsula and was on medical leave until the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862. He was offered the position of Judge Advocate for the Army; but he turned it down saying he had come to fight. On May 20, 1863, he assumed command of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps, Army of the Potomac, replacing his brigade commander, who was killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville.