What does the Bible say about Christian’s in the armed forces?
The Bible is full of men of God who fought against God’s enemies. King David is a prime example, from when he killed the giant Goliath when he was still a boy, until his middle age, when as the king of Israel, he still went out as the leader of the army. But when, at the end of his life, he wanted to build a temple for God, God refused, because David had killed so many people in his lifetime.
1 Chronicles 22 6 Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. 7 And David said to Solomon: “My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of the Lord my God; 8 but the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight.”
The problem today, is that fighting is very seldom for God, it is mostly politics. When we look at what is going on in the world today, we see constant wars, terrorism, violence, even wars between factions where both of the warring parties are claiming that God is on their side, and it never seems to stop. But of course, it is the duty of every citizen to defend our country against attack, and so the defense forces are necessary. Unfortunately, many wars are fought far from home, in situations where it is difficult to say why the particular country is a threat to ours. So, wars are not always righteous, and the ones who suffer most are the women and children.
As Christians, we are all involved in the greatest war ever, what we call the Great Conflict, being fought between Jesus and Satan. This war started in heaven, when Lucifer, an angel very close to God, rebelled and wanted to take over God’s position. When cast out of heaven, together with a third of the angels who supported him, he managed to deceive our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, to join in the rebellion. That is why we live in a world of sin and war. But Jesus, the Son of God, loves us so much, that He was willing to lay aside His divinity, and come to earth to save us from the devil’s reign of sin. He went to the cross, took upon Himself all of our sins, and paid the price for each one of them. He therefore takes our sins, and gives us His righteousness, which is a gift of salvation and eternal life with Him. But still Satan fights on, and his aim is to destroy as many of us as possible, before we can make our decisions for Christ. Look at what the Bible has to say about this ongoing war.
Revelation 12 7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Isaiah 14 12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
1 Peter 5: 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
2 Corinthians 10 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Ephesians 6 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wicked-ness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints …
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
So as you can see, while you in the armed forces are battling against earthly enemies, all of us Christians are also battling a powerful enemy, whose aim is to stop as many of us as possible from accepting God’s free gift of salvation and eternal life. And the only way of fighting the devil, is to have a close personal relationship with God, and to depend 100% in Him to help and protect us in this war with the invisible enemy. As a Christian soldier, you are battling on two fronts at the same time; firstly the visible earthly enemies, and secondly the invisible spiritual enemy. And the devil can use people in your own army to lead you astray, to take part in things which will eventually pull you away from God, so you have to especially on your guard. You should be the example for your mates, and rather draw them to Jesus, not the other way around.
Finally, Jesus told us that we as Christians, should love our enemies and pray for them, for every person on earth is someone who God loves and wants to save, to be with Him forever. This we can only do as we grow in our own close personal relationship with God.
Matthew 5 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Ephesians 2 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
I wish you God’s blessings as you put your lives on the line for your country. Please understand that you are also a participant in the Great Conflict, and that God is depending on you to be an example for Him, to all those around you. God bless!
1 Peter 5: 8
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