Summary: When it comes to the subject of the war, people are usually found somewhere between the emotions of anger and gratitude: anger for what is happening right now in the middle east or gratitude for a nation that is committed to making the world a safer place
Opening Statement: Allow me to clear something up. When it comes to the subject of the war, people are usually found somewhere between the emotions of anger and gratitude: anger for what is happening right now in the middle east or gratitude for a nation that is committed to making the world a safer place. Quite honestly, I personally have leaned further to the side of gratitude than I have to anger.
Key Word: I want to first of all balance the emotion of anger toward what is happening with Biblical truth. Then, I want to tell you why I am more grateful these days than I am angry.
Balance Your Anger with Biblical Truth
While some in our country have opposed the war in which we are presently engaged, opposition at this juncture is a mute point. We are now in the war, so lets support our troops and let¡¦s understand the role of government. I believe it is important for us to understand that God placed government and our governing authorities in place with a purpose to protect the people and punish evildoers. When a military operation like a terrorist group, or a nation that is representing evil strikes out, we must fight to stop the evil.
„X "There is a time for war and a time for peace." Eccl. 3:8
„X "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers." Proverbs 21:15
„X "(Government) is there to serve God for your benefit. If you break the law, however, you may well have fear. . . he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of justice to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." Romans 13:4 (JB and NIV) Fallen, sinful people hurt each other and God has set up government to hold that in check.
There are many, many examples in the Bible where God commanded a war, where God said, "Go to war!" When you look at the great heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 -- Joshua, David, Gideon, Samson -- these guys were all warriors. When you look at the Bible you find that sometimes war was the right thing to do.
In the Gospels, we note that Jesus never told a Roman soldier to leave the army. If Jesus had been a total pacifist, He would have said every time He saw a soldier, "Leave your army! Come follow Me." But not once did He ever say it was morally wrong for them to be in the service. In fact, in Matthew 24:6, He said there will always be wars in the world until the Prince of Peace comes back. There will always be wars. Twice in the New Testament, Jesus cleansed the temple by force. It says He made a whip and He went in and He cleansed the temple. He didn’t politely ask them, "Would you guys, pretty please get out of here?" He forced them out. They were in the wrong place, so He forced them out.
Application: We are not to passively sit back and allow evil to run it¡¦s terrible course if we have the God-given capacity and ability to protect innocent human lives by holding accountable those who have proven that they will use whatever means necessary to take innocent lives. Some leaders must be forced out when they allow their country to become a safe-haven for evil to prosper.
Transition: This is not where I want to focus today. It¡¦s just a point of clarification. Here¡¦s what I want to say¡K
Express Your Gratitude by Doing Your Duty
Opening Statement: Prisoner of war Pfc. Jessica Lynch was rescued in a U.S. commando raid on an Iraqi hospital this past week. U.S. special operations forces slipped behind enemy lines and seized Lynch from the Saddam Hospital under cover of darkness on Tuesday. Lynch was treated for undisclosed injuries. U.S. officials in Kuwait said on condition of anonymity that she is believed to have broken legs, a broken arm and at least one gunshot wound. An Iraqi pharmacist who works at Saddam Hospital told Britain’s Sky television that he treated Lynch for leg injuries but that she was otherwise healthy and that "every day I saw her crying about wanting to go home." The pharmacist, who gave his name only as Imad, told the TV network that Lynch knew the U.S. troops were on the other side of the Euphrates River and "she kept wondering if the American Army was coming to save her." Until Tuesday, Lynch had been listed as missing in action, and her family did not know whether she was dead or alive. "You would not believe the joys, cries, bawling, hugging, screaming, carrying on," Lynch’s cousin Pam Nicolais said after the rescue. "You just have to be here."