Fulton County Gospel News

a work of the mammoth spring church of christ


The Lord's Army

By Leland L. Reed

We sing a song in Bible school, “I’m in the Lord’s army.”  I can only find reference to the army of the Lord in Revelation 19; however, 2 Timothy 2:3 calls us soldiers of Jesus Christ. Being a soldier of Christ therefore puts us in His army.

For those that have served in the military you know you have to follow orders. The military is not a democracy. You don’t get to vote to take that hill or bypass it—if the order is given you take the hill.

If we are in the Lord’s army then we must follow the orders or commands of our commander, Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus gave the order to his apostles to go and teach then followed that command to teach them, those that obeyed the teaching of the apostles, to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Therefore a direct command to each and every one of us to teach God’s word. Paul told Timothy “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” II Tim. 2:2

It seems every time we get in a discussion about evangelism someone brings up the point that when we support a missionary that we are partakers in that work. That is a true statement when we consider Romans 10:15: “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” The question that must be asked is this all we are required to do?

During the civil war of our country it was permissible to pay some one to take your place in the army. Again a question that must be asked and answered, is it permissible to pay someone to take our place in the Lord’s army, to go and teach so we don’t have to? The command was and is to follow all the commands whatsoever our Lord gave (Matthew 28:20). Some will say, “I can’t teach; I don’t know enough.”  I am sure there are some that are not able to teach, however they can assist those that can and will teach. Most every one of us has friends, neighbors, relatives or co-workers. If we are not comfortable in leading in a Bible study set up the study and take someone that is capable and you can be the silent partner, take notes, help by babysitting or whatever needs to be done to help with the study. I just read about an eighty year old lady that was teaching a friend also eighty and she teamed up with a younger lady and they taught God’s word to her friend and she obeyed the gospel. We must remember that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16); it is not you or I, or how eloquent we are—teach the gospel and let it work on the hearts of men.

Peter gave the command of God in First Peter 3:15 to be ready always to give an answer for the hope that is within us. This was not a request—it was a command.  We cannot ignore the command of our commander Jesus Christ if one is to be a good soldier of Christ (2 Timothy 2:2-3). Then Jude gave the command to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). Again, this is not a request but a command. The Lord has given us several commands to teach (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 9:60; 1 Timothy 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:2; 2:24); to ignore them is to rebel against our commander. Those that have been in the military know that if you rebel against your commanding officer, you will pay the price for disobedience. That price could be anything from loss of rank to time in prison—or even death. However if we rebel against our spiritual commander, the price, unless we repent, is eternal death in hell:  “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9).

There are many aids available to teach alien sinners—make use of them. It is amazing how easy it is to teach using these methods. Just to name a few: Jule Miller films, Search for Truth, Open Bible Study, and there are many more.

Another part of teaching that needs to be dealt with is teaching new converts. New converts need to be grounded in the truth so they to can become teachers and can discern between right and wrong: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).  How can they reach this point unless an older (mature) Christian teaches them?

We must consider that the church will not grow unless we follow the command of our Lord and Savior to go teach. Christ said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  If we want to abide in his love we must obey Him. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10).

God demonstrated his love for man by sending his only begotten Son to die for us. Is it to much to ask that we teach God’s word so others can have the blessing of salvation also? Remember what Ezekiel was told by God:

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest himnot warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 3:17-19).

This principal still holds fast today and we are required to warn the sinner of his condition.  “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27).  “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16).

Christ came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). We are His instruments to save the lost. “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

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