WE NEED WARRIORS 11-10-19
We Need Warriors
November 10, 2019
War is not a pleasant topic. It is not something we like to think about, discuss, or remember. But it is a reality in this world, and will continue to be until the day Christ returns. The prophet Isaiah looked toward that day when he wrote, “The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
There are people who think we should never engage in warfare, never support the military, and never pick up a weapon. Sometimes they even quote Scripture to support their views: “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27), "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.” (Romans 12:20). And yes, we are called to do good to those who hate us, pray for those who persecute us, and feed them if they are hungry. Our first responsibility is always to shine the light of Christ in this dark world. We are to share His love and forgiveness with those whose hearts are empty, broken, and lost in the chaos and confusion of our troubled society.
But the Bible also says, “There is a time for war” (Ecclesiastes 3:8). Revelation 12:7-9 even speaks of war in heaven itself: “Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon - the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world - was thrown down to the earth with all his angels”.
What if the United States never had an Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, or National Guard? What if we hadn’t sent troops to fight in World War II? How different might things be today? A popular quote, once repeated by President John F. Kennedy, is, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Remember, the Nazis at first thought Hitler was Germany’s Savior. And soon the world will think of the coming Antichrist as their Savior. Evil rarely knocks on the door looking like evil. If it did, we would never open the door. But it cleverly disguises itself as good. Satan’s greatest tool is to deceive you into thinking that evil is good, and good is evil. The Bible says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” (Isaiah 5:20) “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness”. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). As Christians, filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to discern good and evil. And since we do, we are to call out evil for what it is, and then stand against it!
While our trained military rightly takes a stand against those who would harm and kill the innocent, those who would take away God-given freedoms, and those who would tyrannize and enslave the defenseless; all Christians are called to enlist in God’s army. We are to be warriors “against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” as you heard in our third Scripture reading (Ephesians 6:10-18), and in which you also heard about the armor with which we should protect ourselves as we do battle, and about our powerful weapon, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (vs. 17).
Paul also instructed us in 1 Corinthians 10:3-5 by writing, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” Spiritual weapons waging spiritual war - the war for souls. And while we thank our veterans for the physical lives they saved, through much personal sacrifice, we also thank all of the veterans, past and present, who have fought, and continue to fight, bravely in the war against those who would send souls to hell through deception, empty promises, and outright lies. The early Christians who were put to death in ways clearly devised by minds possessed by evil, the reformers who stood against falsehood infiltrating the Word of God and polluting the pure truth of the Gospel, the missionaries who brave hostile environments in order to share God’s love with those who have never heard of Jesus Christ, and God’s plan of redemption through Him.
The Lord is calling you to be a warrior. Even if you are not called to go to a foreign country to share God’s Word, you can support those who are, and you can share it with your neighbor. And while you might not be called to stand in the pulpit and preach, you can support your church, invite others to church, and pray for both its leaders and members. Every Christian has some talent, gift, or resource they have been blessed with that they can use to bring lost souls to Christ and glory to God. And even those with limited physical ability, funds, or opportunities to serve can do the most important act that every Christian should do each and every day – and that is to pray! Pray as if your life, and the life of every soul on earth, depended on it. Pray persistently, pray expecting an answer, pray for the lost, pray for Christians, pray like Miss Clara prayed in her “war room” which was her prayer closet, as we did in our Congregational Prayer earlier in this service: “Lord, we need a generation of believers who are not ashamed of the gospel! We need an army of believers, Lord, that hate to be lukewarm, and will stand on Your Word above all else! Raise ’em up, Lord! Raise ’em up! Raise up a generation, Lord, that will take light into this world; that will not compromise when under pressure; that will not cower, Lord, when others fall away! Raise ’em up, Lord, that they will proclaim that there is salvation in the name of Jesus Christ! Raise up warriors, Lord, who will fight on their knees, who will worship you with their whole hearts. Raise ‘em up, Lord! Raise ‘em up.” Amen.
"We Remember" (Steven Curtis Chapman) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB2KJI4M8yc
"Warrior" (Steven Curtis Chapman) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqrwLLE1azI
from the movie "War Room"