Summary: What it takes to be a veteran of the faith of Christ, something we all need to be and do. 1- Obey the Commander 2- Engage the enemy 3- Fight to the end
INTRO.- ILL.- When Dwight D. Eisenhower was President from 1953 to 1961, he received a letter from eight-year-old Keith Aiken of Trumbull, CT. Kevin wrote, “After listening to the news about the cold war, I am worried about the people in the world. In thinking it over, I have a plan. Get all the leaders together who want war, put them in a ring and let them fight it out.”
I’m sure that many veterans of foreign war feel this way about war. Just let those who want to fight, do the fighting! Don’t involve everybody else in it!
War is a terrible thing and yet it seems that war is inevitable in our world.
Matt. 24:6 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”
Most Bible commentators believe, however, that Jesus was talking about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, which took place about 70 A.D. But could it be that wars are also a sign of the second coming of Christ? Many people believe so. Wars do seem inevitable.
ILL.- Gen. Sherman once said, “You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is hell!”
I don’t question Sherman’s feelings and convictions about war. If you’ve never been there you just don’t know. However, I have heard it put this way. WAR IS HELLISH, BUT NOT HELL! Based on Scripture, I would say this is true. Nothing is as horrible as hell.
ILL.- WWII qualifies it as perhaps the greatest war, or the most hellish war in history. In all, 61 countries with 1.7 billion people, three-fourths of the world’s population, took part.
In terms of money spent, it has been put at more than $1 trillion dollars, which makes it the most expensive war of all.
The human cost of lives, not including the 5 to 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, is estimated to have been 55 million dead – 25 million of those military and 30 million civilian. War is indeed hellish!
Some aspects of war are never right, regardless of the war, but we must support those are willing to go and give on behalf of their country!
As someone wrote:
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN, who salutes the Flag,
Who serves under the Flag.
Today we want to honor all our armed service veterans. To you, veterans, we owe a debt of gratitude because you were willing to go, to serve and to give on behalf of the United States of America! God bless you!
PROP.- Now let’s think about what it takes to be a veteran of the faith of Christ, something we all need to be and do.