Summary: * Since the death of Jesus Christ approx. 2000 years ago 43,000,000 Christians have become martyrs,
Is There A Soldier in The House?
2 Tim. 2:3
One of the most sobering scenes I have ever seen is a picture of Arlington cemetery of the rows and rows of crosses of the many that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we enjoy. I am reminded of those also in the army of Christ who have died on the battlefield of faith and of the legacy they have left behind. I think of those in Hebrews chapter 11, great men & women of God who were good soldiers of the cross and died to preserve our precious faith. Share fate of Jesus= followers!!!
* Since the death of Jesus Christ approx. 2000 years ago
* 43,000,000 Christians have become martyrs,
* Over 50% of these were in the last century alone.
* More than 200 million Christians face persecution each day ~ 60% are children
* Every day over 300 are killed for their faith in Jesus Christ,
* Unfortunately, persecutions is a way of life for Christians in over 60 nations of the world today,
Literally hundreds of thousands of people today are being killed, brutalized, sold as slaves, imprisoned, tortured, threatened, discriminated against and arrested solely because they are Christians. I Peter 4:12-16 - Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ=s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. If any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. Also see Phil. 1:29; Matt 5:10-12
What I want to show you this morning is how Christian service is like military serviceY You know that military is not always an option, right? Some people get drafted. Some people volunteer. Some people go to get an education. Some people go to stay out of trouble. Some people enlist because they come from a family of enlistees. It=s the same in the church. But here=s where a analogy breaks down. Regardless of how you end up in military service, you know what you=re getting into. But the call to Christian service is a call to unknown situations and circumstances.
POW - Prisoner of War or People of Worship.
Paul and Silas. Acts 16:22-30 (Read) A List of Paul=s suffering are found in 2 Cor. 11:23-28
Will we be people of Worship???
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 2:3
See the word hardness in the text. Paul uses a Greek word, which describes this best. He uses the word kakopatheo. This word shows up three times in the New Testament:• In 2 Timothy 2:3 (this text) it=s translated, Ahardness@.• In 2 Timothy 2:9 it=s translated, "suffer trouble."• In James 5:13 it=s translated, "afflicted."I have noticed that all three times this word appears, it never appears around sinners, but it appears adjacent to the saints.• In 2 Timothy 2:3 - it is adjacent to both Paul and Timothy.• In 2 Timothy 2:9 - it is adjacent to Paul and all believers after him.• In James 5:13 - it is adjacent to the scattered church in Asia Minor.
MIA - Missing in Action or Men in Action.
Missing - 1) Not present; absent; lacking 2) Said of one whose whereabouts or fate in battle has not been determined.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28
WIA - Wounded in Action or Women in Action.
John the Beloved,
What about those who are wounded?
"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt 5:10 12
God will work out all situations for His good.
"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. Gen 50:20 (Joseph & his brothers)
Can God use persecution to further His work in our lives? Can he anoint and protect His people during times of great trial and persecution? Can He reveal Himself to us in times of persecution? The answer to all of these questions is yes! Jesus never promised us a life of ease and pleasure. His word specifically tells us that we will be hated and persecuted by those who do not know Him. 2 Tim. 3:12 - All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. No Christian is exempt from what the Lord has declared in His word. This should not bring fear to our lives, but it should cause us to rejoice knowing that we have been counted worthy to take part in the fellowship of His sufferings. If we really want to know the Lord in the way that the Apostle Paul knew Him, we must be willing to go all the way with Jesus. We must be willing to lay our lives down for the cause of the Gospel. People everywhere are looking for a cause. Today I=ve given you one.