Paul called true Christians good soldiers for Christ. Are you? Or is Satan ready to take you captive?
God conscripted His chosen people in both the Old and New Testaments to be soldiers in His army. “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt,” wrote Moses (Exodus 12:41; New King James Version). God took the nation of Israel, a ragtag bunch of dirty, faithless, weak-willed, whining slaves, and made it His army.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,” the Apostle Paul wrote his beloved son-in-the-faith, Timothy (2 Timothy 4:7). Paul recognized that the Christian life is a fight—at times full of exhausting battles. He expected all Church members to follow his example (1 Corinthians 11:1). No matter how hard the battle gets, we must never, never, never, nevergive in. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” he admonished Timothy (2 Timothy 2:3).
Our Military Commission
God commissioned ancient Israel, as soldiers, to take back and cleanse the land promised to our founding father Abraham. Demon-inspired, idolatrous people—who cared little to know or understand the true God—squatted on that good ground and defiled God’s chosen land with their immoral lives and pagan practices. God had given those Gentiles an opportunity to observe His way of life and embrace it. Centuries before Israel’s exodus from Egypt, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had walked among them and had shown them God’s ways. Yet they wanted no part of it.
God’s New Testament Church’s commission is the same, only spiritual and universal in scope. God wants us to take back the entire Earth from Satan and his evil demons and cleanse it for 1,000 years—all in preparation to renew and rule the universe under Jesus Christ. That is great news. But we are not there yet. We are in a fight, individually and collectively—it’s the most colossal battle in history. Do we have the passion to win this war?
Keep Your Outpost Safe
It takes deep thought to view living the Christian life in military terms. Truthfully, it is the only way to make the Christian way of life work. Notice, Jesus Christ used military terms to describe His own life on Earth. “I have told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world,” He told the disciples just before His crucifixion (John 16:33; Easy-to-Read Version). Jesus Christ succeeded in living God’s way of life to the very end. If we do not follow Christ’s sterling example, we will suffer tragic defeat.
When I first came into God’s Church in 1975, I did not understand the concept of being a good soldier for Jesus Christ. I had been raised as a Roman Catholic. For 18 years of my life, I was taught that because I was Catholic, I had it made. I didn’t have to overcome sin—just make it to confession before I die. It has been hard to get that satanic thinking out of my mind. Real conversion is a difficult endeavor; it is a raging war at times. To become truly converted requires the heart and discipline of a battle-hardened soldier.
I remember hearing God’s ministers compare regional offices to outposts, which is a military term. “Will you pray earnestly that God will stop the hand of Satan and his persecutors in that area?” one writer pleaded in the Good News. “Will you ask God’s blessing and guidance for … the men and women who are assisting … in this ‘outpost’ of God’s Work?” (May 1960). It was not until I came into the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg) that I began to understand what that term really meant. Because of the massive Laodicean defection from God, those few who remained loyal to Christ had to work feverishly to establish new outposts for God’s Work around the Earth. This involved more than just establishing regional offices—it also meant building solid field congregations.
Do you realize that every pcg congregation, whether big or small, is one of Christ’s outposts? And if you are one of God’s scattered sons—“one from a city” or even a nation—you are an outpost for Christ.
Be assured, Satan hates each outpost and you! We cannot afford to be naive: Satan wants to shut down your outpost—literally wipe it off the map. Are you doing everything to keep your outpost safe from vicious attack?