Monday, November 16, 2009

Spiritual Veterans

2 Timothy 2:3-4 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.

Intro: Today we want to honor and esteem all veterans and especially those veterans who are with us in the worship service today. In doing so, we want to take a look at what is required to become a true veteran of the cross of Christ.

You see before you, this morning, two flags. The American Flag, and the Christian Flag. One represents our country, and the other represents our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. To serve either of these flags (and the kingdoms they represent) faithfully and effectively, one must meet certain requirements. Before one can become a veteran, they must first be a good soldier.

Let us now take a look at what is required to be a good soldier and thus become a true veteran of the Lord.

I. Volunteer.

First of all, to serve either flag one must do so voluntarily.

1. America no longer forces men and women to serve in the military service of their country. They are asked to volunteer to serve.
Recruitment officers are sent out to encourage people to volunteer to serve in the military.

2. God does not force anyone to serve in the service of His Kingdom, but He does plead with us to volunteer and come to salvation through Christ our Lord. He also sends out recruitment officers to urge people to serve in His Army.

2 Cor. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Christ is pleading today for the sinner to come and serve Him willingly.
The benefits are tremendously great!! They are “Out of this world”.

II. Complete Faith.

A. When you serve this (point to American) flag, you must have faith in the American government that it will supply your every need. Your food, clothing, shelter, medical needs, and even your companions are supplied by your government.

B. When you serve this (point to Christian) flag, you must also have faith in the one who has called you into His service that He will supply your every need. You will not have to worry about your physical needs when you serve Christ.

Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

1. Christ will even provide Godly company for you to keep!!

1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

C. When it comes to faith, the Lord wants us to be true veterans; “experienced through long service (and) practice.”

III. Complete Commitment.

A. When you serve this (American) flag, you are expected to be completely committed to your country and to allow nothing to prevent you from performing your duties and serving faithfully.

B. When you serve this (Christian) flag, you are also expected to be completely committed to Christ and His Kingdom. You are expected to serve Him faithfully, not allowing anything to keep you from doing His will.

Luke 5:11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

C. Commitment requires discipline.

IV. Complete Obedience.

A. When you serve this (American) flag, you are required to follow orders and are expected to be obedient to the letter.

B. When you serve this (Christian) flag, Christ expects and requires no less.

Matthew 26:19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

V. Complete Devotion.

A. When you serve this (American) flag, you are expected to be completely devoted to the country it represents.

B. When you serve this (Christian) flag, Christ expects you to be completely devoted (consecrated) to Him and His Kingdom.

C. To be a true spiritual veteran, one must be completely devoted to the service of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Con: To become true veterans of the cross, we must first be good soldiers of the cross. May the Lord, this Veteran’s Day, make us all true Spiritual Veterans.