© 2023 United Church of God Australia
All correspondence and questions should be sent to . Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to .
“Onward, Christian Soldiers” is a 19th century English hymn. The theme is taken from references in the New Testament to the Christian being a soldier: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2:3).
We must ask ourselves if we are diligent Christian soldiers, or are we becoming too passive? It is easy to slip into the attitude that nothing can change or be done until Christ returns.This approach is reflected in the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), and the description of the Laodiceans in the book of Revelation. The reference to the Laodiceans being “blind” seems to indicate they don’t know they have a lax attitude (Revelation 3:14-22).
The pressures of political correctness can lead to wrongly directed tolerance, where evil is called good and good called evil. We are warned, “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). Paul entreats us in Ephesians 4:1: “I…beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [Greek word is klesis which means calling] wherewith you are called.”
Unless we are alert to the correct priorities the cares of this world can become our number one priority, affecting our zeal for God. There can be so many physical things we believe have to be done in order to survive that Christ admonishes us, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
The New Testament is replete with instructions to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. Satan has tremendous power and is actively deceiving and diverting Christians from their goals of growing spiritually and drawing closer to God. The Apostle Paul was aware of this and encourages us, “Finally… be strong in the Lord… Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against…against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
The devil now has at his disposal the communication and behavioral technology of the 21st century to continue to deceive the whole world, but Paul reminds us dedicated Christians have more power at their disposal than all of Satan’s devices: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God …Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
One of the vital truths the Bible teaches is that we have the spiritual weapons at our disposal to enable us to gain the victory over Satan: “If God be for us, who can be against us? ...It is Christ…at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:31-37).
United News (May-Jun, 2019)