Summary: Everyone is in the spiritual conflict whether we like it or not. The question is whether or not we are a good soldier of the Lord. This message was preached the day after the 4th of July
The Christian life is a series of Battles. Here is the shocker, everyone in involved. There are no non-combatants in this spiritual war that is raging around us. Whether you are save, or lost, rich or poor, possess numerous seminary degrees or completely uneducated, everyone, everywhere is involved in this war.
We have a cultural war raging in this country and its roots are in the things of the spirit, not of the Holy Spirit, but all the unholy, evil and wicked spirits of the devil and his minions.
Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of this nation. When we look back at the origins of this nation, the Revolutionary War was fought as much in the spiritual realm as it was on the battlefield. Churches led the way in much of the fighting. The British commanders spoke often of “black robed regiment” speaking of the ministers, and pastors, who spoke about liberty from the pulpits. In those days, all minister wore black robes in pulpit.
One such minister, on January 21, 1776, Pastor John Peter Muhlenberg, was preaching from Ecclesiastes 3 – “To everything there is season and a time for a every purpose under heaven.” When he got to verse 8 and read “there is a time for peace and a time for war,” Pastor Muhlenberg tore off his minister’s black robe revealing a colonel’s uniform of the Continental Army and he said, “The time now is for war,” and he asked his congregation, “Who among you is with me?” 162 men joined him that day and went on to become come the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army.
In those days, a much different relationship existed between the Congress and churches. When the Continental Congress had messages that needed to be delivered to the people, they sent the messages to the pastors and asked them to tell all the people. The biggest distribution source for news was the pastors.
The church was very involved in the war and the very foundation of this nation. According to historian and constitution expert David Barton (founder of WallBuilders), “You find that not only did the pastors deliver the news, not only did they shape the thinking, they were often the military leaders,” Barton said, citing the first three battles of the Revolution as examples.
“During the first battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Lexington, Reverend Jonas Clark took 70 guys in his church and went out to face 700 British. When asked if the people of Lexington would fight, Clark replied ‘I have trained them for this very hour.’
“The second battle of the Revolution was the Battle of Concord where the British were met by Reverend William Emerson and 300 men from Concord.
As you look to the third battle of the Revolution, as the British retreated to Boston, many preachers brought their churches out to fight the British all along the way.”
Today, we are in a battle for the very heart and soul of this nation. Where is the church? We need to be as bold today as those churches of the Revolutionary War. Today’s message: "Every Believer a soldier." Everybody -everyone is involved whether you like it or not. Every believer is a soldier in the army of the Lord, the question is whether you are a good soldier or a poor soldier, or for many,
are you a soldier who has gone A.W.O.L (Absent without leave)?
Many of you have served in the military, and many of you have not. Have you ever considered yourselves as soldiers? As we have discussed last week, we are all in a battle, a spiritual battle. In this battle we face every day: There is no such thing a non-combatant; There is no such thing a sideline spectator; There no such thing as a disinterested party. If you consider yourself as such, then the enemy has won.
Ephesians 6:12 (NASB95) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Remember that our battle is not of the things that we can lay our hands on. So what is the fight Paul charged young Timothy to fight?
1 Timothy 1:18 (NASB95) This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight
Timothy’s call to preach and be the pastor at Ephesus was confirmed by many, outside of Paul. Paul was charging young Timothy to fight the good fight. However this was in the church. Timothy was to guard what was being taught. A great problem today. Why? Because people do not know their Bibles and are open to false doctrines. Because it was in the church – it was an uphill battle. Timothy was young, going against some of the elders. Paul tells young Timothy to “fight the good fight.” It was going to be a fight. The NKJV says “you may wage the good warfare.” HCSB says “strongly engage in battle” Translated directly from the Greek – it's a military term - "to fight [like or as a soldier] the good campaign or war.” Our call as Christians is to the battle because as with Timothy, error and evil are all around. We are to fight like a soldier.