“You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 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.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4. Most Christians are offended with the idea of Christianity being warfare. However, Christianity according to the Bible is not compared to warfare, but it is WARFARE! We as Christians must be imbued with and abandoned to the war itself and the spirit of war.
Now, for those of you that are still with me, there can be no neutrals in this warfare. When a soldier enlists, he ceases to be his own property, but becomes the property of his country, must go where he is sent, and do what he is commanded to do at all costs. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.” The soldier gives up his ways and comforts as a civilian, and goes forth with his life in his hand, in obedience to his country’s authority. If I understand it, that is exactly what Jesus Christ demands of every one of His soldiers (disciples) and nothing less when He said to “forsake all.”
Now if there are any of you left with me, you may ask, “must we not attend to the vocations of life, and work to support ourselves and our families?” Certainly, but the great end in all we do must be the promotion of the kingdom. A man may work in order to eat, but he must eat to live, not to himself or for the promotions of his own purpose, but for his King, and for the advancements of His interests. Instead of spending his leisure in self- indulgence and ease, he will go to where the people are and impress upon them the Kingdom of God. There will be no running away, no forsaking of the cross, no shrinking from the hard places of the field; but a determination to push forward even in the midst of weariness, opposition and sometimes in the face of what seems like utter defeat.
Was this anything less than the saints of old? Have I depicted an abandonment greater than that which they understood to be their duty and privilege? Why did they persevere through long years of conflict and persecution, ending in stripes, imprisonment, and death? It is evident that they understood loyalty to Christ to involve the most perfect self-abandonment, both in life and in death.