This morning we're going to be looking at the call to arms. Armed combatants have doubtless heard “To arms! To arms!” preceding armed combat. In our country we've been at the ready to go to arms to protect and defend our land, our country. A call to arms turns farmers, merchants, fathers, husbands, women and children into patriots prepared to go to war.
In the Bible, Christians are portrayed in the New Testament as soldiers.
- 1 Timothy 1:18; 6:12
- 2 Timothy 2:3; 4:7
- 2 Corinthians 10:4
Throughout history God's people have been called to arms.
The Jewish Kingdom
The kingdom under Judaism was a physical kingdom, an earthly kingdom. Those people were sometimes called to war, holy wars, such as the conquest of Canaan. Judaism was a civil as well as a religious system.
Then, God’s people literally fought wars in which men, women and children were killed, such as conquest of Canaan. This was God's righteous judgment being carried out against those people who were idolators.
Because Israel did not completely destroy the enemies of God when conquering Canaan, Israel was led into idolatry and away from God by the very people they failed to destroy. They were to not make pacts or treaties with any of them. They were to utterly destroy them. Yet, Israel made treaties with the enemies of God.
- Joshua 9:3-15
Israel was fooled, and duped into believing they were not Canaanites and thus made a covenant with them to take them as servants. Later, this became a snare to the Israelites.
Israel intermarried with ungodly people, which introduced idolatry into Israel.
- Deuteronomy 7:1-4
They were told to not even intermarry with these people. But we know that is exactly what happened.
When you think of the Babylonian captivity, most but not all were taken into captivity. But, some remained. They, who had remained in the land had intermarried with those that were moved into the land. Ezra and also Nehemiah calls them to put away their foreign and strange wives.
- Ezra 10:3
- Nehemiah 13:26
Remember that Solomon was a great servant of God earlier in his reign. He had built the temple, and was blessed by God with great wisdom wealth and great rigches. Later in his reign he married strange, oreign women. And, they led him away from the Lord.
Israel didn't always conquer the nations round about them. ANd, thus they were led away from rightoues living before God.
The Jewish Kindom was a physical kingdom, they fought phsyical wars.
The Christian Kingdom
The kingdom under Christianity, unlike the kingdom under Judaism, is a spiritual kingdom that also is involved in a holy war.
As a spiritual kingdom, the weapons of our warfare are not material or literal weapons. We don't take up a literal sword, or spear, or a literal AK47 and take up spiritual warfare.
Jesus is accused of seeking to overthrow Rome. But Jeuss says, my kingdom is not of this world.
- John 18:36
His Kingdom is not of the world, else we would fight a physical battle, but the Kingdom is spiritual. The weapons of our warfare are not physical weapons but are spiritual.
- 2 Corinthians 10:4
Yet, a spiritual war rages all around us, regardless of whether we realize it.
- 1 Timothy 1:18
WAr a good warefare, to fight in a war. It is a battle that requires us to be valiant, it requires us to conduct ourselves in a spiritual realm of warfare.
We must be valiant soldiers in the army of the Lord.
- 1 Timothy 6:12
We're to war, fighting the good fight of faith. It is a struggle of faith, to lay hold on eternal life and not let go. It is a war for our souls and the souls of men.
- 2 Timothy 2:3
We've got to endure and be steadfast. It is hard to serve God in the midst of the warfare going on around us. Soldiers are prepared to face the worst.
- 2 Timothy 4:7
Earlier he had told Timothy to fight the good fight of faith, and Paul has said he has done that. A spiritual war rages all around us. We are armed for battle if we gird ourselves with the Word of God.
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
- Hebrews 4:12
The Word of God is our weapon.
- Ephesians 6:10-17
We're to put on the power of HIS might. David came out against Goliath to prove that God saves. It isn't our strength it is God's strength. That word, panoplia, the panoply of God, we put ont he whole armor of God. We can't leave any part unguarded.
- Romans 10:15
The armor is to protect us. The only part of that panoply that is offensive, that we are to take to the enemy is the Word of God that will defeat the enemies of God. We're aren't to fight a defenseless battle, we're to take the battle to the people to teach the Word of God.
The Enemies of the Kingdom
Who are the enemies of the New Testament kingdom, who are the enemies of the Lord's church?
- 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Notice the kingdoms enemies include strongholds, imaginations of man, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.
World religions besides Christianity are enemy kingdoms, e.g. Buddhism, Islam, other eastern religions, Judaism.
Denominationalism is an enemy of the Lord’s kingdom because it differs from the one, true church for which Jesus Christ died and over which he is head.
- Colossians 2:18-23
Remember what Jesus said, vainly you worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.
Why is there denominationalism? They have different doctrines. They pull off an dmake their own little groups. Their doctrines are not the same because they do not come from the Word of God. That fracturing is detrimental to the Kingdom of God.
Even, apostates among the churches of Christ and false teachers are enemies of the kingdom.
- Romans 16:17-18
It's when that doctrine, the teaching of the gospel is changed and perverted. You are to mark them, and avoid them. They don't serve God, then, who do they serve? You're either serving God or Satan.
They cannot deceive those who are simple, if we mark and avoid them.
- 1 John 4:1
How do we try the spirits today? We give it the Berean test, Acts 13:7?. We understand that those who teach doctrines contrary to the doctrine of Christ are those who are enemies of the Kingdom of God.
Worldliness, humanisum, atheism, hedonism and materialism are enemies of the kingdom of God.
- Proverbs 16:25
- James 4:13-15
- Psalm 14:1;
- 2 Timothy 3:4
- 1 Timothy 6:10
False lights today are enemies of the Lord’s kingdom, such as; popes, apostles.
- 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
The Warfare of the Kingdom
How is the current holy war fought?
If the New Testament kingdom were a physical kingdom (but it is not), God’s people today would use bullets and bombs to wage war against the enemies of God.
Think of the past, the Crusaders, Popes and other religious leaders in so-called Christianity who harmed or killed supposedly in the name of God did not realize that the New Testament kingdom is a spiritual rather than a physical kingdom.
Muslems make the same error regarding the nature of God’s kingdom and fly airplanes into buildings, detonate bombs, and they murder people in the name of their god.
The Lord’s kingdom is not to use physical force to war against world religions, denominationalism, atheists, homosexuals, or any of those things. However, just because the weapons of our warfare are not bullets and bombs does not mean that the Lord’s kingdom today is not engaged in a fierce holy war.
God’s people are surrounded and outnumbered by the allies of Satan. Sometimes our spiritual enemies include our fathers, mothers, siblings, our children, other Christians, preachers, elders, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, or governments.
- Matthew 10:35-36
Enemies of God are both without and within the Lord's church.
- Galatians 2:4
- Jude 1:4
- 2 Corinthians 11:26
Christians must prove to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We're to fight the good fight of faith.
- 1 Timothy 6:12
- 2 Timothy 2:3-4; 4:7
We too need to fight the good fight of faith, and finish our course.
Compromise and tolerance of the ungodly worldares not viable options for the faithful child of God.
It might be easier to recognize that we are in a fierce spiritual war if we used bullets and bombs. However, it is a grave failure to not recognize the enemies of God that are all around us. It is far greater a tragedy to make alliances with the ungodly world.
- James 4:4
We cannot have it both ways. We cannot be neutral in the fight. We can't be on the one hand engaged in a spiritual warfare and engaging in friendliness with the world, and wordly things.
We've got to make sure that we understand who and what we are up against. We need to understand that we are in a battle for our souls and the souls of one another. We fight to bring the gospel to a dying world.
We have to become part of the spiritual warfare by obeying the gospel of Christ. You do that by hearing and believing the Word, repenting of sins...
- 1 John 2:15-17
Brethren, the sinister forces of Satan ruthlessly and mercilessly bring about massive spiritual casualties to the right and to the left. Even the spiritual bodies of fallen Christians lie in heaps all over the place!
Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, will be victorious over Satan and his army.
- Revelation 17:14
However, Jesus Christ is not the Captain of your salvation if you are not a Christian, or if you are not a faithful Christian,
- Hebrews 2:10
- Mark 16:16
- 1 John 1:9
If you want to know about how to join the spiritual battle that has already been won, and be victorious with Jesus, please contact us.