Paul often used the metaphor of a soldier to illustrate spiritual fortitude: “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph 6:11).
He exhorted the Corinthians to be aggressive against evil and false teachings: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Cor 10:3–4). A good soldier is willing to suffer hardships.
The aorist imperative translates as “immediately decide to start taking your share of suffering,” meaning to “suffer hardship, evil or affliction along with someone else.” Paul wrote, “Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Tim 1:8).
The conflict between truth and evil is inevitable as we stand up for Christ: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (3:12–13).
Non-theistic, and monotheistic religious societies are in direct opposition to biblical truths. In China, the gospel can only be preached legally within the commonly called “3-selfs” registered churches (self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating) that existed before the Revolution (1948). Punishments can be imprisonment, torture, or death. Nearly a hundred million underground believers willingly risk death to share the gospel.
Sadly, in the West, many Christians do not want to be soldiers. They do not carry a Bible or gospel tracts. They do not know how to explain the gospel, and they do not want to be considered fanatics.
Can you imagine a soldier refusing to carry a gun or ammunition, much less not knowing how to fire a gun? As proudly as a Green Beret wears his cap and uniform, so believers should unashamedly stand for Christ in their spheres of influence. This is a 24/7 task. What can you do today to be a good soldier of Christ?
“I don’t like the idea of suffering, but the honor of being a soldier of Christ Jesus in an antagonistic world demands my willingness to take the consequences. I’ll take my hits for You today.”