Temple Baptist Church - 5-26-2013
A. First of all, I want to recognize all of our church members who served in the Armed Forces with their branch of service. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service to both this nation and my family.
B. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. A day set aside to remember our war dead.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971. On this day we need to pause and thank God for the men and the women who served our Armed Forces to bring Liberty and Justice for all to our country. May we truly pause and remember their sacrifice, their service, and their blood.
C. In all of the American wars, either by our country or within our country, over 45,000,00 men and women have served in wartime with app. 1,196,800 war dead and app. 1,500,000+ wounded in action. That is a tremendous number of young lives that have been given and forever changed while affording us the freedom that we now enjoy.
D. Freedom in a privilege, not a right! There are many in this country that enjoys the freedoms while misusing them. We do not have the freedom to do wrong in this land. We do not have the freedom to live here and defame this land. America has had some sordidness in its history and still is not a perfect land, but it is my country and I say, “Love it or leave it.”
E. War is not something that any sane man or woman wants, but we find in our text that war is sometimes a necessity. Men who will not fight will not remain free. Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” It is the cry of the patriot! It is the prerequisite for freedom! New Hampshire’s moto is “Live free or die!” In order to live free, men must sometimes die.
F. I want to look at the subject of “War” as found in the Scriptures for a while this morning. God has much to say on the subject: on both physical and spiritual warfare. And, by the way, there are causalities in both kinds of war. Men and women have died to give us our Bible. Men and women have died in order to give us religious liberty. Our spiritual heritage has been paid for by the blood of Christ and the blood of believers through the ages.
1. War Is A Necessary Thing – Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
a. God taught Israel to war - Numbers 1:1-3 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first [day] of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; 3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. (God said that, when the men were old enough, they were to go to war!)
b. God taught King David to war - Ps 144:1 Blessed [be] the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: (David was a man after God’s own heart and was a man of war. If you do not believe that spiritual men can be warriors, just ask the enemies of Israel what they thought of King David.)
c. Without the fight we are enslaved! - Numbers 10:9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.
d. Without war we perish! - Psalms 69:4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
2. War Is Often A Right Thing – Ex0dus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. (God is good and God is a man or war!)
a. We must war for our nation - Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (We must not give up on America because it is a good land; a God given land and is under constant attack from both without and within. We must fight our outside enemies! We must fight our inside enemies! To be passive in fight is to become the slaves of others.)
b. We must war for the Faith ONCE delivered (God expects you and I to maintain and battle for it) - Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (The Word of God is under constant attack but we stand and fight for it. It is a good fight! It is a right fight!)
c. We must war for the Old Paths - Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein]. (The old ways are rapidly fading into the “cesspool” of liberalism and worldliness. The old ways of doctrinal purity and stability are constantly being undermined from within while the old ways of holiness and separation are under constant attack from both within and without. We stand and fight for them. It is a good fight! It is a right fight!)
d. We must war for our Families - Psalms 78:5 -8 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. (Our families and our children are under constant attack and we must stand and fight for them. It is a good fight! It is a right fight!)
3. War Is A Perpetual Thing - Exodus 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD [will have] war with Amalek from generation to generation. (I once had a bumper sticker that said, “Eternal vigilance is the price for liberty.” The fight will not end until the Prince of Peace comes.)
Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
a. So, until then, let us fight Advisedly (A right fight!) - Proverbs 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
b. So, until then, let us fight Fearlessly (A willing fight!) - Psalms 27:3-5 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
c. So, until then, let us fight Continually (A perpetual fight!) - 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: