The Christian Battle

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The Christian Battle

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Our success, growth and rewards depend on our desire to become good, effective Christians and to continuously guard and maintain our stand for Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 2 Timothy 2:3-4 3 You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.
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states, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” Here, the apostle Paul challenged Timothy to be on guard against the affairs of this world lest he become influenced and confused. This Christian duty is what Jesus referred to in the parable of the sower.

The key here is growth. God wants each and every one of us to take the seed that was planted in us (some planted many years ago, some more recently) to grow and produce good fruits and be on guard against anything and everything that may stop that growth.

The Bible is very clear in presenting our three enemies.

First, we have the desires of our human nature (which God’s Word refers to as “the works of the flesh”). Second, we experience the pulls of a sinful society (often referred to in the Bible as “the world”). Finally, we face daily battles against Satan and his ever-deceiving tactics (he is referred to in the Bible as the “god of this world”). If we allow them, these deadly foes can come between us and God and separate us from Him. They will tend to put wedges in our minds and gradually cause us to drift from the guidance and power of God’s Holy Spirit and our faith in Christ.

Scriptures show these three enemies wearing and tearing away at God’s work and His workers time and time again. If we fail as good Christian soldiers, we will fail to live and uphold the doctrines of Christ in this world of sin and darkness. If we don’t recognize the enemy and prepare to meet him, he will move in and defeat us on various fronts. If we don’t learn to use our weapons of Bible study and prayer, we will allow the storms of life to overwhelm us.

A good soldier knows many battles are always looming on the horizon, so he prepares to handle them one by one. He doesn’t get confused and wonder why he must go into battle, for he is aware of his calling and expects to face the foe. The battles in which Christians are involved are a calling, and just like a soldier is proud to defend his country, we likewise should be proud to defend the cause of Christ in this age of “anything goes” and moral relativism.

We are told in Ephesians 6:10 Ephesians 6:10Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
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” to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Further in this passage, verse 13, it tells us, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day.”

There are clear instructions as to what we are to do when the works of the flesh, the world and Satan come against us. We must keep up the good work of faith, for “we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9 Galatians 6:9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
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).

God has tremendous promises for the good Christians who endure hardship. They are referred to by Christ as overcomers—those who endure until the end (the end of their physical life or until Christ’s return). We are told by Christ in Matthew 5 to rejoice in persecution, “for great is your reward in heaven.” In Revelation 3:5 Revelation 3:5He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
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we are told that “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name out from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” We are promised to sit with Christ on His throne in Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
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. Furthermore, we are given the ultimate promise in Revelation 21:7 Revelation 21:7He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
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, “he who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” Other scriptures in Revelation tell us we are to “reign with Christ,” and “eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.”

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 that our bodies will be changed and made like His glorified body. Finally we are assured in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 1 Thessalonians 4:17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
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that “we shall always be with the Lord.”

The price of being a good steward for Christ may be difficult at times, but the price is worth it (compare the wide and narrow roads in Matthew 7:13-14 Matthew 7:13-14 13 Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.
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). Also, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 1 Thessalonians 5:16Rejoice ever more.
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, Paul tells us to “rejoice always,” “hold fast what is good” (verse 21) and “may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 23).

These scriptures accentuate the positive and encourage us to “stick to it” and not “throw in the towel” and allow the cares of this life to overtake us. Instead we are to focus on whatever is true, honest, pure, lovely and of good report (Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
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).

Effective Christians are alert and ready. They know the drums of battle are always on the horizon. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to continue the fight for righteousness and heed the promise of Christ when He said, “Behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12 Revelation 22:12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
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). There is no room for complacency or “to be at ease in Zion” in these perilous times in which we live. May the Holy Sprit continue to help and inspire us to always keep our sense of urgency right through to the end of this age when we shall be changed from mortal to immortal in God’s glorious Kingdom.

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