I pastor a church plant near Fort Campbell. I've always desired for our church to be a church for skeptics. When thoughtful soldiers come to the claims of Christ they are going to have questions.
- Aren't there contradictions in the Bible?
- Isn't Christianity just a psychological crutch?
It's important for the church to address the soldier's internal objections to Christianity with the highest degree of merit—instead of building a weak strawman argument.
Some soldier's objections to Christianity are...
- "I've tried it before, and it did not work."
- "I don't see how my life could be the result of the plan of a loving God."
- "Christianity is a straightjacket."
- "It can't be wrong if it feels so right."
- "I could never keep it up."
- "I don't feel worthy; I am too bad."
- "I just can't believe."
I have found that there are four types of soldiers that have a hard time coming to Jesus.
1. The Patriotic Soldier
"I'm a red-blooded, flag-waving American—just like Jesus!"
Actually, Jesus wasn't an American...or a white man with blue eyes and blond hair...nor was he a black man. He was a Jewish man with brown skin and dark eyes. I tell you this because I believe that once you behold the biblical Jesus, you will find Him irresistible.
The Patriotic Soldier loves his country. He would die for his country. Sometimes, he comes from a long line of military men and women.
However, Jesus does not grant the military access to heaven because of their service. They have to bank their eternity in the empty tomb and the occupied throne just like everyone else.
Here's the hard truth to swallow: You could die on the battlefield and still go to hell.
2. The Moral Soldier
"I'm not like the guys in my unit."
"I don't party like them. I don't drink like them. I'm not them; I'm more moral."
The truth is, however, that your morality does nothing to gain the favor of God.
There is no one too bad for Jesus to save, but there are millions who think themselves too good!
God came to seek and to save those who are far away and those who think they are already in—like the moral soldier.
You may have your shirt starched and your dress blues on, but on your best day you are just a dressed-up sinner.
You must repent of your badness and your goodness! One old hymn puts it like this:
Lay your deadly doing down,
Down at Jesus' feet.
Stand in Him and Him alone,
3. The Tough Soldier
"I'm not weak like you. I don't need religion."
Soldiers are programmed for war. You know this. Some of you have to detox when you come back from deployment because you are in strike mode!
You may be like Jack Bauer—you may be one of the most physically and emotionally tough soldiers in your unit—but when you die you will see that there is another type of strength: spiritual strength.
4. The Hero Soldier
"I don't need a hero; I am the hero."
Actually, according the Bible, Jesus is the hero. He came on a search-and-rescue mission for you. He invaded time and space to save you—because you were not hero enough to save yourself.
Maybe you've taken a bullet or some shrapnel, but you've never faced anything like the wrath of God.
The Bible presents you with a problem you can't solve. It's a sin problem. You need the help of another. You need a Truer and a Better Hero. You need Jesus!
All four of these soldiers face obstacles they must overcome in coming to Christ. At Faith Family Church, we've seen God save all four of them. It is now such a joy to serve Christ alongside them.