There are many goats in the church. These are people that confess Christ but have no mercy on the poor in their midst. There are people in the church, that really look like the real thing, yet these are tares. So you are in a fight for Christ and you are in the war and consider yourself a soldier, so what is the kind of soldier are you? Are you what Paul said is a good soldier? Read on…
KEY Scripture in italics.
My words in plain type.
2 Timothy 2:3-7 (New King James Version)
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
How good are you at enduring hardship for Christ? Are you a person that suffers being hungry or going without some things like going to the movies because you have spent a lot on the Ministry that week? Do you have real hardship in your life because of you relationship with Jesus?
What do you have to endure until it stops? Are you suffering in some way because you are an arch enemy of Satan and he is hurting you back because you are hurting his kingdom?
Do people think that you are strange because you rarely talk about anything about God and His Kingdom? Do you lose sleep doing the will of God?
Do you miss out on things you used to love because you are spending so much doing what God has called you to do?
Is life harder and harder the closer you get to your dream? Have you got a huge amount of spiritual warfare coming at you from all angles?
Or are you a contented Christian and quite happy and not experiencing any hardship at all?
When a man joins the military his whole life changes, he has to live a lot of times on a base and he is often on tours and he is not his own, but he is almost a slave of the country and he is always under orders and he has to do them.
A soldiers superiors say “go” and a soldier cannot argue he has to get up from that fox hole and run under gunfire from an enemy that is trying to kill him. When he is a soldier, his life is not his own anymore.
A soldier cannot just leave camp and go to the local movies and go out to a bar and have a few beers when he has to fight in the morning. A soldier can only have down time when the army lets him have it. And if he sneaks out and does it anyway, he would get in a lot of trouble.
So too we are Christs little soldiers and we are in a real war. We have to be set apart and we have to be vastly different to the people in the world. Our hearts should be set on Jesus and our time and resources employed to further the work of the great commission.
Our lives are to be one big shining living example of Jesus on earth and we are to have mercy and compassion on people that are having a hard time. We shouldn’t have our hearts set on the possessions of the world and a good name among men. We should not be buying luxury cars and living it up in wealthy lifestyles without helping the poor in two thirds of the world.
Jesus said, if we are to follow him we should:
1. Deny ourselves: That is go without the best money can buy and sow the money into the Gospel. Deny ourselves means instead of two nights watching TV, having two nights at a soup kitchen spreading our love with the homeless.
2. Take up our cross: Follow every direction off the Holy Spirit, jumping over jumps that He has us do. Like making up with that arch enemy. Or giving 20% of our income instead of just 10%. Doing the hard things of the Gospel.
3. Follow Jesus Doing everything Jesus taught us to do as well as everything he tells us to do into our hearts as we live on earth.
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.
5. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
You should not run the race of the Christian life without obedience. You don’t deserve the prize of eternal life if you have had a life of disobeying what Jesus taught us to do and not to do.
Jesus has fifty things that he said for us to do and not to do. Few people know what he taught us to do. Jesus said that if we hear his commands/teachings and we don’t apply them in our life, then when hard times come into the world, we will have our house fall as we didn’t obey him. Jesus calls Christians that do not obey him foolish builders that own the house on the sand.
I hope this is a sobering message for you. Talk is cheap! Anyone can say they love Jesus. Try and be a soldier guys and follow him to the letter!
Matthew Robert Payne