Remembering Our Fallen Heroes
By Pastor J.D. Link
Psalm 120:6-7 says, “My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.” As Christians we should desire peace, for “blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt 5:9). However, that decision is not always ours to make. The Apostle Paul encourages us to be at peace, as much as possible, with all men (Rom12:18). Unfortunately, there are many individuals – and nations – who do not wish to live in peace with others.
On Memorial Day, we honor the memory of those who have given their very life in battle for the safety and defense of our Country, Constitution, way of life and Judeo-Christian values. Approx. 1.3 million soldiers, airmen, seamen and marines have sacrificed their life blood on the battlefield in the past 240 years, from the Revolutionary War to the present. The freedoms we enjoy, and too often take for granted, have been preserved by the grace of God and the sacrifices of our armed service members. They deserve our gratitude, and prayers for their surviving spouses, children, parents and siblings.
War is a terrible but sometimes necessary thing. God even commanded wars to be fought, and gave His people victory. In fact, in Numbers 32:23, it was a sin to not go and fight. The Bible tells us to make war only with good advice and wise counsel (Prv 20:18, 24:6). We are not to be “itching for a fight”, but at necessary times, when there is no other option, we need to plan wisely (Lk 14:31). There is a time and season for every purpose under heaven; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace (Ecc 3:1, 3, 8).
Though not all wars are just and noble causes, there are wars that are. When it is a season of war, we need to thank God for our brave people in uniform who are willing to answer the call. Less than one percent of Americans serve in the military, and they are there by choice. These are someone’s child; spouse; parent; brother. They don’t want to give their life; but they will if need be. No greater love does a man have than this – that he lay down his life for his friends (Jn 15:13).
God calls some to be warriors. King David, a man after God’s own heart (1Sam 13:14), was a mighty warrior-king. God taught his hands to war and his fingers to fight, that a bow of steel may be broken in his arms (Ps 18:34, 144:1). We are all as Christians called to be good soldiers of Christ, putting on the full armor of God, and fighting the good fight of faith (2Tim 2:3, Eph 6:11-18, 1Tim 6:12). However, this spiritual truth transfers to the natural, when our wives, sons and daughters and homes are threatened by evil men (Neh 4:14). Any man who tries to hide behind Scripture to justify not defending his family and home is not worthy to be called a man. A man is to provide for his family, and this includes their safety (1Tim 5:8).
The Lord Jesus Himself is a man of war (Ex 15:3). In Joshua 5:14-15, He is the “Captain of the Host” (General of the Armies). In Rev. 19, Jesus comes back to earth; not as a Lamb to the slaughter, but as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He comes as a mighty Warrior-King, leading the armies of heaven. A sharp sword proceeds from His mouth (The Word of God), and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God; and smites the nations and rules them with a rod of iron. This is the Jesus a lot of Christians don’t want to talk about – and unbelievers don’t want to meet. However, He is as much this Warrior as He is the Gentle Savior. You don’t want to be found on the wrong side when He returns.
You are either light, righteousness, in Christ, a believer and the temple of God; or you are darkness, unrighteousness, a child of the devil, an unbeliever and the temple of Satan (2Cor 6:14-16). There is no in between; no gray area; no middle ground. You are with Christ or against Him (Mt 12:30). If you have not repented and surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, I pray you will do so now. We must be ready for His return at any moment. Selah.