I grew up with a military influence in my life. As a child I played 'Army' with the other neighborhood children. When the weather was bad, I played 'Army' with my little toy Army men in my room. As I got older I watched as my brothers and their friends one by one would leave home and join the military. My father, and both of my brothers, served in the US Navy. While other friends at school talked about what college they planned to attend, I talked about when I would join up and what training I would receive.
I graduated from high school in 1969, at a time when the war in Viet Nam was not only unpopular here at home, but it was also frightening to young men of draft age. Having enlisted prior to graduation, I volunteered to serve in Viet Nam, but by the time my training was completed, the war was basically over.
I had watched the 'peace' demonstrations on the evening news and had grown up hearing about Conscientious Objectors. Most of them objected to the war on the basis of their religious beliefs. I didn't really understand it all, but at that time there was a lot I didn't understand. It wasn't until after I became a Christian that I understood the connection between war and the believer. 
2Ti 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.
I. Why an Army?
A. Because we are at war
1. The battle lines were drawn long ago.
2. There is a battle being waged for the souls of men and women…boys and girls.
3. Just as our men and women are fighting to secure freedom for the Iraqi people and to maintain safety for us against terrorists.
4. We have been chosen to bring the message of freedom to people who are bound by sin.
5. That message is the only way for people to be set free.
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
6. What is the truth?
a. All have sinned…we are all under the sentence of death.
b. But God loves us…He made a way for us to be set free from the bonds of sin.
c. Jesus Christ is the Truth…He and He alone can bring true freedom.
d. When we place our faith in His finished work on Calvary…we can be saved!
Ro 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
B. Our enemy is real
1. He has many names.
Re 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
2. He is a liar and a deceiver from the beginning.
3. He wants to destroy mankind, and has done a pretty good job of it…look at the mess this world is in right now.
4. But, his days are numbered…Jesus is coming back!
5. And when He returns. He will ultimately cast the enemy into the lake of fire for all eternity!
Re 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
II. Chosen by God
A. Drafted or Volunteers?
"…that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier"
1. Many were drafted into the service during times of war.
2. Others willingly enlisted and chose to go to battle for their country.
3. Once they became a part of the service…it didn't matter whether they had been drafted or whether they had volunteered.
4. It didn't matter what they were in civilian life…now they were soldiers! (Ex. Saving Private Ryan - Capt. John Miller had been a school teacher in a small town in PA.)
B. God has chosen to save all who come to Him by faith.
1. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ…
2. We are made a part of God's army…
3. Whether we like to look at it that way or not…it is true.
4. The Scriptures do not talk of two separate groups…Christians and Soldiers in God's army.
5. Rather those terms are synonymous! As believers, we are to put on the whole armor of God and stand against the attack of the enemy!
6. So the real challenge is are we good soldiers?
III. Good Soldiers
A. A good soldier endures hardness
1. The apostle Paul serves as an example of a good soldier.
2. He was stoned, shipwrecked, beaten, and placed in dungeons.
3. All of this he called his 'light affliction'
(2 Cor 4:17) "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"
4. Nearing the end of his life he makes reference to the 'good fight'.
(2 Tim 4:7) "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"
5. Too many in the Lord's army faint at first the hint of adversity.
B. A Good Soldier Enlists Others
1. He is proud of his outfit. Ex. Company 350
2. The recruiters are not men who hate the service…they are the 'lifers'.
3. Andrew went to recruit Peter…and Philip brought Nathaniel.
4. What are we doing for the cause of Christ?
5. Are we recruiting others? Soul-winning… inviting folks…bringing others.
C. A good so`ldier will not collaborate with the enemy.
1. The world hates the Christian.
(John 15:18) "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."
(1 John 3:13) "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you."
2. A good soldier cannot fight the enemy during the day, and then go to a party with them by the night.
3. No soldier is more despised and disgraced than the one who collaborates with the enemy. (ex. POW special on TV)
D. A good soldier believes in the cause.
1. No soldier gives their best if they are not convinced the cause is right.
2. Politicians can debate whether or not the present war we are in is right or wrong…
3. But the men and women who are there believe in what they are doing!
4. They are convinced in the cause!
5. The same is true for those in the Lord's army…to be a good soldier we must believe in the cause of Christ!
6. If we are to make an impact on this world for the cause of Christ we must be convinced that He is the Hope of this world!
This morning, do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If not may I invite you to come allow us to share the Word of Truth with you that you might be born again?
Christians, are we serving as faithful and good soldiers in the army of the Lord? Or are we AWOL? Jesus promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." We are challenged to go forward for the cause of Christ and be good soldiers for Him.