By Joe Slater
War in Gaza. War in the Ukraine. War in Iraq. War in Libya. There is no shortage of wars!
Christianity has never been advanced at the point of the sword. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal” (2 Corinthians 10:4). But yes, Christians are engaged in warfare, though it is of a spiritual nature. Do we take this war seriously?
Our goal is not to “go along and get along,” but to destroy Satan’s strongholds and capture as many people as we can for Jesus. Meanwhile, we strive not to become casualties ourselves. As soldiers of Christ, we put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6).
We have a cause that is worth fighting for. Paul called it “the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). This is not some petty squabble. Absolute evil is pitted against total righteousness. There is no such thing as neutrality; either you are with Jesus all the way, or you are against Him, even if you don’t intend to be (Luke 11:23).
Once you have enlisted in God’s army, there is no honorable discharge or retirement. You are a soldier for life unless you defect. As he faced imminent death, Paul looked back over his life and said he had fought the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7). Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful. That motto would fit Paul, and we ought to serve so that it fits us. Such service may involve enduring “hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3). It certainly will mean putting Jesus and His church first and foremost in our lives, rather than being preoccupied with mundane matters. “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 Timothy 2:4).
One last thing about this army: It’s all volunteer! Becoming a Christian is something you do of your own free will. You “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Romans 6:17). God doesn’t force anyone to serve Him; you are free to “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). May we all make the right choice, and may we be always faithful!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com