Summary: Every Christian should have the commitment of a Soldier to the cause of Christ. What does it mean to be a soldier? What 3 things are required of soldiers? And what 3 things can you expect from God as a soldier?
2 Tim. 2:3-4
1. At one Army base, the annual trip to the rifle range had been canceled for the second year in a row, but the semi-annual physical fitness test was still on as planned. One soldier mused, "Does it bother anyone else that the Army doesn't seem to care how well we can shoot, but they’re extremely interested in how fast we can run?"
2. As a group of soldiers stood in formation at an Army Base, the Drill Sergeant said, "All right! All you idiots fall out."
As the rest of the squad wandered away, one soldier remained at attention. The Drill Instructor walked over until he was eye-to-eye with him, and then raised a single eyebrow. The soldier smiled and said, "Sure was a lot of 'em, huh, sir?"
3. AIR FORCE RECRUITS
a. The Air Force was way undermanned so they did a special hiring effort. A pair of twin brothers who looked like they had just stepped off a Marine Corps recruiting poster walked up to them.
b. The Air Force recruiter asked, "Son, what skills can you bring to the Air Force?" The first brother said, "I'm a pilot!" The recruiter got all excited, turns to his aide and says, "Get him signed up today!"
c. The recruiter asked the 2nd brother, "What skills to you bring to the Air Force?" "I chop wood!" "We don't need wood choppers in the Air Force, what do you know how to do?" "I chop wood!" "You’re not listening to me, we don't need wood choppers, this is the 20th century!"
d. "Well," the young man said, "you hired my brother!" "Yes, but he's a pilot!" "So what! I have to chop it before he can pile it!"
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Tim. 2:3-4, NKJV. [Paul also referred to himself as a soldier in 1 Cor. 9:7 and to Epaphroditus (Phip. 2:25) and Archippus (Phm. 1:2) as “fellow soldiers” with him in the Gospel.]
1. From time to time we list in the bulletin those young men and women who are currently serving as soldiers in the military.
2. But in the verse we just read, and other verses, we learn that we are ALL soldiers.
3. Since that is the case, let’s look at 1). what it means to be a soldier, 2). the 3 requirements of soldiers, and 3). 3 things you can expect as a soldier.
4. The title of tonight’s message is “Soldiers.”
I. WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SOLDIER
A. EVERY CHRISTIAN IS A SOLDIER
1. AUDIENCE QUIZ: “WHAT ARE SOME UNIQUE THINGS ABOUT SOLDIERS? (Uniforms, haircuts, new recruits don’t take much – the Gov’t meets all their needs, often deployed, given orders, bootcamp, etc.).
2. God reckons all of us as soldiers. We must be soldiers if we would stay free, and if we would free others.
3. Thomas Jefferson said, “Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.” So if we would be free, we must be soldiers.
B. WE’RE IN A WAR BTW 2 KGDMS
1. The N.T often speaks of the warfare we’re involved in; “War” Rom. 7:23; 2 Cor. 10:3; 1 Pet. 2:11; Rev. 12:7. We are to “fight” the good fight, and “wrestle” in prayer.
2. SOLDIER DEFINED: “In a war, soldiers are the people who do the fighting…A soldier is the man or woman who fights for their government and carries the weapons, risking their life in the process. (Vocabulary.com)
3. The “Church” is not a democracy. You either obey Jesus or you're wrong. Obedience is true freedom. Freedom to not have to submit to the carnal nature.
II. 3 THINGS REQUIRED OF SOLDIERS:
A. FAITHFULNESS. “2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” 1 Cor. 2:4.
1. The bottom line of faithfulness is commitment. We must be committed to something -- if we're not, there's no purpose in life. You belong to something; act like it.
2. God will never make you, as a robot, do his will. You, as everything else, must make a choice for God. There’s something (a cause) bigger than us.
3. If we commit ourselves to never put a cigarette in our mouth again (I will suffer the rest of my life rather than to disgrace You), God will rise to make us victorious.
4. You have to ‘will’ to be faithful. The mark of a mature Christian is that they can discern good and evil.