A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ
by David J. Stewart
Updated September 2019
“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.” ―2nd Timothy 2:3-4
This is a powerful passage in the Scriptures. Very few Christians would consider themselves a SOLDIER for Jesus Christ, but that's exactly what the Bible calls Christians who are fighting today's spiritual battle against the forces of evil. There is a raging spiritual war in the world. Everywhere we turn we are confronted with incoming missiles of temptation, booby-traps of evil and doctrines of devils.
Many Christians wonder if they are called by God into the ministry. May I say, EVERY believer is called into the ministry so-to-speak. Soulwinning is a COMMAND, and not a call. There is a specific call to leadership in the ministry; but EVERY Christian is commanded by the Lord to go soulwinning. Jesus taught in Matthew 29:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...” Matthew 28:19-20 is commonly referred to as “THE GREAT COMMISSION.” Jesus commanded His disciples to go get lost sinners saved with the Gospel, baptize them as a public profession of their faith, and then teach them to do likewise.
Sadly, in most churches today this could be called THE GREAT OMISSION. Most churches never get past the GO part, which is disobedience to the Lord. A church congregation that doesn't GO soulwinning is a DEAD CHURCH! Of the churches that do GO soulwinning, most fail to mentor their converts to become soulwinners themselves. In Luke 8:14 Jesus spoke of the Seed, “which fell among thorns... which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” Luke 8:11 says, “The Seed is the word of God.” Most believers today bear no fruit (i.e., souls saved) because they are choked by the cares, riches and pleasures of this life. They have become entangled with the affairs of this life and are NOT good soldiers of Jesus Christ. The Word of God takes a backseat to their desire to make money, enjoy the pleasures of life and take care of everyday business.
A Military Soldier verses a Soldier of Jesus Christ
2nd Timothy 2:3-4 is so rich in doctrinal meaning. Many of the similarities between a soldier in the military also applies to a soldier of Jesus Christ. A soldier in the military is trained to take his rifle apart, clean it and reassemble it. He is very familiar with his weapon, for his life depends upon it. Likewise, a soldier of Jesus Christ needs to be familiar with the Word of God, for It is his weapon... “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand ... And take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:13,17). Ephesians 6:12-18 teaches us concerning the whole armour of God; but the Bible is our weapon. This is why I make such a big fuss over the faithful King James Bible. To trade in one's trustworthy King James Bible for a corrupt New International Version is like trading in a Browning Automatic Rifle for a squirt-gun. The King James Bible is a double-edged sword; but the New International Version is a plastic-knife. If you mean business for God, then you need a reliable weapon!
A military soldier sleeps next to his rifle. I believe that every Christian should have a Bible close at all times. I keep a stack of the Gospel of John in my car at all times. I carry one in my pocket. I keep a small New Testament with me on my bed while I sleep. I keep a Bible on my desk. I just gave my neighbor a pack of six Gospels of John, because I want his family to have the Word of God. It is my weapon against Satan and every evil known to mankind. I don't need any other Book besides the Bible to fight the Devil.
The Bible is Intended to Be Used as a Weapon!
Attempting to fight against the Devil without a Bible means going into war without a weapon. There is NOT enough emphasis in churches today concerning the Word of God. Increasingly we hear more psychology and less Bible, more dogma and less truth, more speeches and less sermons. The Bible is the SWORD of the Spirit, which was intended to be used as a weapon. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” God intended for His Word to pierce, divide and discern. Sadly, the Bible nowadays is being used more as a novelty or religious manual than as a weapon against false teachings, false prophets, false religions and false Christs. A weapon's purpose is for fighting, defending, attacking and warfare. The best way to expose the darkness is to shine the Light of God's Word.
The King James Bible offends the wicked, which is why Satan has attacked and changed It. All modern perversions of the Scriptures remove the Word “Godhead” completely, butcher 1st John 5:7, corrupt Philippians 2:6, diminish 1st Timothy 3:16, twist Matthew 8:2 and water-down the quick and powerful Words of God. Tragically, apostasy has set into America's churches like rigor mortis into a dead body. Most churches these days are nothing more than businesses—with maintaining a steady flow of monthly cash as their top priority. That is not Biblical Christianity. Any time that money is a factor there will be a conflict of interest between the love of money verses the Biblical obligation to preach the truth. The biggest and most financially successful churches in America today are also some of the most compromised. Here's a perfect example.
A False Gospel in Churches Today
The Apostle Paul was continually warning the people about false prophets who would secretly bring damnable heresies into the Church. The most subtle and damnable doctrine which Satan has brought into churches today is the false gospel of Lordship Salvation. This is the deadly teaching that a person cannot be saved simply by trusting Jesus to forgive their sins. Lordship Salvationists require a lost sinner to make a commitment to clean up their life in order to be saved. That's not what the Bible teaches. God deliver us from Hollywood ministers, like Ray Comfort, who don't know what they're doing and wrongly divide the Word of God. The Bible teaches that we are saved by Christ's righteousness, and not by works of self-righteousness. Our part is to trust upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus is the Lamb of God Who paid our sin debt.
Tragically, many believers are so caught up in the riches, cares and pleasures of this life that they don't see the spiritual battle underway. Others don't care. 1st Corinthians 15:34, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” A man wrote to me and said Christians shouldn't worry about the New World Order because Satan must run his course. He is completely wrong. Although we cannot stop the New World Order from ultimately forming, we certainly can fight against Communism, and should. God wants us to contend for the faith (Jude 1:3) and take a stand for righteousness (Ephesians 6:13).
William T. Still eloquently states...
"Although the eventual ascendancy of the Antichrist to a position of global power is inevitable, the ascendancy of Communism is certainly not. Every day that Communism's march toward global hegemony is retarded is, in Christian terms, another day to rescue a few more souls from Satan's grasp and in political terms, another day to live in that uniquely gentle form of freedom found only in America."
SOURCE: William T. Still, pg. 145, New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies (Lafayette, La.: Huntington House Publishers, 1990)
We can defeat Communism! If we fail to do so, then the New World Order has won another battle toward their ultimate goal of world domination. We ought to stand for what is right as born-again Christians, as patriotic Americans, as citizens loyal to the U.S. Constitution (that outlines our God-given freedoms and rights)! Freedom is not free, and those who take it for granted will eventually lose it to tyrants. Liberty is the right to choose. Freedom is the result of making the right decisions.
God's Call To Spiritual Duty For Every Believer As a Soldier of Jesus Christ
Every Christian believer, like it or not, is engaged in spiritual warfare against the flesh, the world and the Devil. Try as some believers may to avoid this never-ending battle, they cannot escape spiritual warfare, they can only succumb to defeat or help embolden the enemy. Many people are familiar with the ancient Roman days of games, in which gladiators fought to the death, fending off wild exotic animals and all manners of treachery in the arena.
“I will endure to be beaten, to be bound, to be burned, to be killed by the sword!” —Roman Gladiator theme
But in the spiritual realm our weapons are very different than the worlds. Our weapons are listed in Ephesians 6:12-18; namely, prayer, the Gospel, salvation, faith, truth, righteousness and the Word of God. As Christians, the greatest sacrifice that we can make is to present our body as a living sacrifice to serve God. Truly laying down one's life as a sacrifice in death is a high price to pay, but serving the Lord day by day, preaching the Gospel and making an eternal difference is the greatest sacrifice of all...
Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Very few believers think in terms of being a solider, which is why so many Christians today are failing. The battle is not just for full-time ministers, church staff, missionaries, Bible professors and clergy. These are paid positions. The truth is that we are ALL missionaries for Christ. Many churches have an excellent sign above the exit door that reads: “You are now entering the mission field.” I love that! We are all ambassadors representing our dear Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul taught the believers at the church of Corinth that they were ambassadors for Christ. 2nd Corinthians 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.” It is a destructive fallacy that there is such a thing as full-time Christian service. Every born-again believer is on duty 24 hours a day, each and every day of our life. The layman sitting in the pew is no less obligated to faithfully serve God, than the man standing behind the pulpit on Sunday morning.
I used to work as a truck mechanic for over 4 years in the late 1980's. During that time I met a Christian man who drove a garbage truck for a living. I had serviced his vehicle, changing the oil and various other maintenance tasks. He loved the Lord and witnessed to the people on his garbage pickup route. He would hand right the plan of salvation on several 3 x 5 cards, bundle it with a rubber band, and hand the cards to people he met. He handed me one of his presentations. I never forgot that. Folks, that man is faithfully serving God! Whether you collect garbage for a living, or work as a nurse, or drive a taxi, you can and ought to share the Gospel with others.
Every believer is already in full-time Christian service. I believe many Christians who work in paid job positions already have the only reward they will ever receive, because they never preach the Gospel or do anything for God without getting paid. That is shameful. We all have a responsibility to labor to get souls saved. We learn this truth in the parable of The Sower And The Seeds in Luke 8:10-15. The seed is the inspired Word of God. God's goal for every believer is found in Luke 8:15, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” The purpose of the parable is soulwinning, not salvation. Many Bible students (like Evangelist Ray Comfort) misunderstand this passage, interpreting it to mean that salvation can be lost, but that is not what is going on. The subject at hand is maturing in the Lord to “bring forth fruit.” A good soldier of Jesus Christ labors with the Gospel to bring forth fruit. That is our primary function as Christians here on earth.
Pawns In The Game
You Need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!