“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them… and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a NIV)
Don’t recall who said it, but I do remember when I read it. It was right after the “9-11 Attack.” I’m not even sure of the exact quote—yet I subscribe to the author’s point: Hatred for Christians and Jews throughout the world (and in particular the Middle East) is a direct consequence of Christian unwillingness to go and make disciples of all nations.
When the Risen Christ spoke his words in Matthew (above), he was instructing his followers as a commander would his most trusted officers. Our Savior and King commissioned those he ransomed with his blood: From that time forward, they were to continually mount the offensive, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20b). Therefore, any disciple naming Jesus as their Lord, was to be a fearless soldier (2 Timothy 2:3).
For some time there have been unconfirmed accounts of trained Muslim terrorists moving into Europe posing as Syrian refugees. Add this to the Jihadists who are already in Munich, Paris and London. What of the terrorists that have been entering the U.S.? In general, radical Islamists have their commission: Spread out, have children to non-Muslim women and form sleeper cells.
When a foxnews.com report “The Biggest Sham” broke this week, it featured a since-deleted photo of a long line of men dressed in orange prison jump-suits. They were walking (presumably from prison) on a street of an unidentified American city. It was pictorial evidence of a federal release of six thousand plus drug-dealers and drug-traffickers. Over thirty thousand, many with long criminal histories, may soon be freed. The reason: These inmates qualify under the changes in federal drug-law sentencing guidelines. Since the changes are retroactive, those who served a certain minimum number of years are turned loose.
I know better than to portray all felons in a negative light, but the picture was menacing. It had the look of uniformed soldiers, refreshed, strengthened and eager to return to the battle. From this “Biggest Sham” story I visualized thousands of drug kingpins, dealers and traffickers roaming the country bent on revenge, acquiring territory/power and ill-gotten gain as well.
New recruits ready to cover the globe should be emerging from our churches. Refreshed troops should be continually added to the soldiers evangelizing the lost, but where in America is this happening? There are wonderful Christian inmates who served their time, and now serve Christ. Sadly, the majority of the reinforcements are going to the other side. Those bent on destruction are joining the terrorists. They are filling the positions of the martyrs within the devil’s ranks. What about the ransomed? What strategic positions are we occupying?
Our commitment to Jesus as obedient and fearless soldiers is now more vital than ever. We know who wins the final victory. So let us “soldier-up”!