The Call of the Soldier
In the Book of Second Timothy, the Apostle Paul compares the Christian to a soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 says, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” God calls each of us to be soldiers of Christ.
In Ephesians we are told to put on the whole armor of God. There is this ever-constant war going on between Good and Evil. Ultimately, we know that God will be triumphant over evil; but right now, we are in the middle of the battle. Satan is attacking in all fronts. If you do not believe me, turn on the evening news. Satan knows his time is short and he wants to take all he can with him. Because of this he makes sin seem desirable and entices many people to do that which is wrong. He attacks the saved and unsaved alike. It is his goal to keep as many people from Heaven as possible. Therefore, he going to do what he can to keep the unbeliever in the darkness and believer from being the light. This is why it is so important for us to put on the whole armor of God that we might defend ourselves against these attacks and be better servants for Christ.
We not only need to protect ourselves from the fiery darts but we need to rescue as many as possible from the darkness. Romans 10: 14 says “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” We are the tools God uses to tell others of His saving Grace. We need to make sure that we are properly equipped. The book of 2 Timothy shows us what the soldier of Christ ought to be. Through this blog series I want us to take a deeper look at how we can be better equipped to battle the forces of evil. In writing this blog I have used material from the Ryrie Study Bible. The outline belongs to Dr. Charles Ryrie.
We are going to be looking at the Call of the Soldier Found in verse eight. The Bible says, “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” In this post we are going to see, two callings of the soldier of Christ.
The first call we notice is the Call to Courage. It takes much courage to be a solder of Christ. Paul tells Timothy not to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. He says don’t be ashamed of Christ or the gospel. Don’t be ashamed to admit you are a Christian. Paul goes on to tell Timothy to be a partaker of the affliction of the gospel. It is true that the gospel can be bring affliction and conflict. People do not like to be told they are wrong or that they have sinned. When you confront someone about their sins, you can expect a confrontation. As soldiers of Christ we need to be willing be afflicted for the sake of the gospel. Today we live in society that does not like the church. They do not like the things in which we stand for. Therefore, when we do take a stand, we may be met with confrontation. There may come a day where we need to be ready to become partakers of the affliction of the gospel.
We have assurance though that Jesus has taken care of everything. He has abolished death. As Christians we do not have to fear death. Death is the finish line for the believer. When the believer crosses the finish line of life, he no longer has deal with the things of the world. No more pain. No more suffering. He instantly enters Heaven, in the very presence of God our Heavenly Father.
In verse eleven, Paul tells us that he had been appointed an Apostle, a preacher and teacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all have been given the Great Commission. We are all commissioned to be preachers of the gospel. You may never stand in front of a congregation, but you will stand in front of your family, your kids, and grandkids. You will stand before your co-workers, your neighbors, those you come in contact with each and every day. You may never preach a message, but your actions, your words, how you communicate with them will preach the gospel. God may even give you opportunity to witness to them. To simply tell what God has done in your heart and how they can have the same experience.
The first call of the soldier is the call to be courageous, the second call for the solider is the call to Faithfulness. In verses thirteen and fourteen, Paul tells timothy to hold fast, to stand faithful.
2 Timothy 1:13-14 “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”
Paul tells young Timothy to hold fast to the things which he had been taught, to the things of God. As believers we need to hold fast. Hold fast to the things that we have been taught. We then need to stay faithful. Faithfulness in important in the military. You have to be able to trust and rely on your fellow soldiers. A soldier can’t simply go home when the battle gets too difficult. We need our soldiers staying faithful until the battle is over. The same is true in the army of God. We are all in this together. We need to come along side and stand up for the cause of Christ. Paul tells us to not be ashamed of the things of God. Too often we allow things to distract us or intimidate us. We allow what people think of us to distract us from the mission of the gospel. May we put aside those things that distract us that cause us to be fearful.
In Mark 8:38, Jesus tells us, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Then again in Luke 9:26, He says, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.”
We are all called to be soldiers of Christ; the question is, are we willing to be fulfill the duties that come with the calling? Christ sacrifice everything that we might be called his children. What are we willing to sacrifice for Him?. There are many dying and going to Hell simply because we are too scared to tell them how they can have everlasting life. If we are going to be called soldiers of Christ, we ought to start acting like it. We need battle ready and willing to fight. I want to encourage you as I encourage myself to pray for courage and boldness to stand up for Christ. Pray that we would not be ashamed of God or the things of God; and that we will tell others of His Saving Grace. My question for you today is, are you a soldier of Christ?