What if America had no veterans? What if we didn’t have people who would serve our nation to the extent of giving their lives if necessary? What would life be today in America? What would life be to today in the world? I also want to bring this to a spiritual note of “What If.” “What If” Jesus had not died? “What If” all the soldiers in the army of the Lord had not served? “What If . . .”
What If...? Veteran's Day - sermon notes
Scriptures: Matthew 16:18, Daniel 2:34, Daniel 2:35, Daniel 2:44-45, Revelation 19:11, 19
Life Gate Church Reaching Up and Reaching Out
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What If...? Veteran's Day - sermon notes
Tomorrow is Veterans’ Day. We want to take time today to honor our veterans. So, if you are a veteran, will you please stand and allow us to recognize you? Thank you. Veterans guarantee that we get to do what we do today.
November 11 is the day designated to honor all the military veterans who served to give you and me and our children freedom. November 11 was selected as the day because the ending of World War I fighting was at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). Tomorrow at 11 o’clock a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery in the city of Washington at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, America’s veterans will be reverenced. At 11 o’clock a.m. a combined color guard representing all military services will “Present Arms” at the tomb. The bugler will play “taps.” Our nation will pay tribute to its war dead and all those who have served in the military will be thanked and honored.
Today we will take time as a church body and thank them as well. One reason we do this is because America was founded on the principles of Christ. Many veterans who died were Christians. Many Veterans that came home were and are Christians. Please stand as the colors are presented, we sing the National Anthem, we say the Pledge to American flag, and “taps” played. After taps, be seated for a video presentation.
Presentation of colors, etc.
Lesson: My lesson title today is “What If . . .” What if America had no veterans? What if we didn’t have people who would serve our nation to the extent of giving their lives if necessary? What would life be today in America? What would life be to today in the world? I also want to bring this to a spiritual note of “What If.” “What If” Jesus had not died? “What If” all the soldiers in the army of the Lord had not served? “What If . . .”
There is a direct link between war and church. In the very foundation of church is war. Jesus said,
Matthew 16:18 . . . and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Paul spoke about the armor of God, fighting the good fight, and weapons of our warfare. There is a war that the church is in and if we will look, we will see a connection of the natural with the spiritual.
I want to make us aware of the wars that America has experienced. There have been many wars in which America has participated. The American Revolution (1775-1782) – 4,435 American lives
The War of 1812 – 6,765 American lives
Mexican-American War (1846-1848) – 13,283 American lives
The Civil War (1861-1865) – 600,000 American lives
The Spanish-American War (1899 and 1902) – 2,446 American lives
World War I (1914-1918) – 116,708 American lives
World War II (1939-1945) – 407,316 American lives
Korean War 1950-1953 – 33,651 American lives
Vietnam War 1959-1975 (16 years) – 58,168 American lives
Persian Gulf War (1991) – 268 American lives
Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-?)
America has been in a lot of wars. No nation becomes great without experiencing many wars. No church becomes great without many wars and battles. We cannot allow ourselves to think we will be part of a great church unless we realize we will be involved in great battles.
That may not sound encouraging. The encouraging part is that we win. It would be discouraging is we were in a lot of wars and lost. If we desire a great church, we will be involved in great wars.
But “What if” Americans had not fought and some died for the cause of America? Can we imagine? Let’s attempt to envisage how life would be today.
The American Revolution (1775-1782) – 4,435 Americans died for the cause of America.
What if we had not fought the American Revolution? From 1775-1782 the Americans faced off against the most powerful empire in the world. It was and is referred to as The United Kingdom. There was no way Americans could win that war, but they did win. They won because people were not only willing to fight. They were willing to give their lives. They were completely sold out and dedicated to the purpose of America.
When we think about it, the war we are in seems impossible to win. How can Jesus Christ through his Spirit lead an army like us to defeat the power of darkness? One man began a revolution. One became twelve. Twelve became one hundred and twenty. The one hundred and twenty became thousands, then millions, then billions, until the book of Revelation says it is a number that no man can number (Rev 7:9). We are winning. We are filling the earth with his kingdom.
The American Revolution changed history for the world. But “What If” there had been no American Revolution?
Jesus began a revolution. Jesus through his church is changing the world. The fighting we do in the kingdom of God is changing the world. We may not realize that, but our children, grandchildren, and generations to come will benefit. But what if there had been no kingdom revolution?
Let’s look at another American war.
The Civil War(1861-1865)
Historians do not know exactly how many soldiers of the Union and Confederate armies died by the end of the Civil War in 1865, but the total exceeded 600,000. Amazingly that total is nearly the total of all the other United States wars combined. It was America’s bloodiest war as brother fought against brother.
The wars in churches that give the most casualties are not wars with the devil or darkness. They are wars among us – battles with brothers and sisters in Christ. We battle with people in our own church family. The church has more casualties fighting each another than we will ever have fighting the devil. There are too many civil wars in church and it’s not friendly fire.
“What If” we could have a church that avoided civil wars? Can that be? It should be.
“What If” the south had won the Civil War? I know that we live in the South and many of us are partial to the south, but “What If” this great nation had divided? “What If” we now lived in a nation called the Confederation? “What If” we were the Divided States instead of the United States? “What If” we were two nations under God? Can you imagine? Some wars should be lost.
Let’s talk about one more American war.
World War II (1939-1945)
407,316 Americans died for the cause of America. At the peak of World War II, the U.S. had more than 8.2 million soldiers in the war. Many of our parents and relatives served in that war.
America avoided WWII as long as it could. Then the enemy hit Pearl Harbor in 1941 killing thousands of Americans and destroying ships, airplanes, and billions of dollars in resources.
A lot of believers attempt to avoid fighting the enemy. They don’t work on attitudes, don’t pray, or worship, or praise, or read, or serve, or give. Then one Sunday morning they look around and they are being bombed. Their children are being destroyed. Their money and resources are devastated. Marriage is in trouble. The truth is that we can’t avoid war with the devil.
But “What If” America had not fought in WWII? “What If” Americans had refused to fight? “What If” Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan had won the war and ruled the world? How would life be today? Can you imagine a German dictatorship or a Japan dictatorship ruling America? It’s not that way because Americans were willing to die for America if necessary.
There is a doctrine that an antichrist will dictate the world. That’s not going to happen. Do you know why? Because there is a kingdom – a nation called a Holy nation made up of peculiar people who will not allow that to happen. Let me show us in scriptures.
In the book of Daniel chapter 2, the king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. It was a huge statue. The head was pure gold, the chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs bronze, its legs were iron, and its feet were iron mixed with clay (Dan 2:32-33). Nebuchadnezzar did not know what the dream meant and would not describe the dream to anyone. You know the story. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar what the dream was and then he interpreted the dream.
The head was the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian world empire (605-538 B.C.). The chest and arms of silver was the next world empire, the Medo-Persian world empire (539-331 B.C.). The belly and thighs of bronze was the Grecian world empire (331-146 B.C.). The legs of iron and feet mixed with iron and clay was the Roman empire (146 B.C. – 476 A.D.). Nebuchadnezzar watched as a stone smash the image. Let’s read.
Daniel 2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Daniel 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Daniel 2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Daniel said that after the fourth kingdom there would never be a kingdom to rule the earth again. The kingdom from the one cut out of the mountain would fill the earth. In the days of the Roman empire, the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed and not be left to other people – no antichrist! Since the days of Rome the Roman empire, there has not been one empire to rule the world. Many have tried – Napoleon tried, Hitler tried, Japan tried, others wanted to try – but none will ever rule. A kingdom began that will never be destroyed. It broke and will break in pieces all kingdoms. That kingdom will stand for ever.
Here is the great news! We have been brought into this kingdom that will destroy every other kingdom. We win!
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
We are part of the kingdom that is filling the whole earth.
I want to read these scriptures from the book of Revelation and then close.
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Revelation 19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
The purpose of the King of kings and Lord of Lords is to make war. Please notice that Jesus does “judge and make war.” He is the aggressor. His army is attacking the gates of hell. He doesn’t defense against war. He makes war. He starts wars. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but he is not the Prince of Peace at any cost. He is the Prince of Peace through war. He makes peace.
Here is our thought for today. America is great because of wars and the veterans who fought in those wars and protected this great country. Our veterans were not only willing to fight, but if necessary die. It requires that commitment to be great.
What is our commitment for the kingdom of God? Is Life Gate a part of the revolution that Jesus began? I don’t want to be a part of a Benedict Arnold church. Can Life Gate avoid Civil wars and fighting against one another? I don’t want to be like the U.S. waiting for Japan to bomb us. I want to be a part of a church that rides through our region with Jesus making war against the devil and his angels.
“WHAT IF” there was a church like that? “What If” there was a church that revolutionized its region with the gospel of the kingdom, avoided civil wars, and didn’t wait to be attacked, but rather attacked the gates of hell? We are told about one in the book of Acts. It was a church full of veterans with a very high commitment level. They were willing not only to fight, but to die. I want to be a veteran like that.
“What If” American war veterans had not fought and some died? What would it be like around here today?
“What If” Jesus had not fought and died? What would it be like around here today?
“What If” the apostles and veterans of the first century had not fought and some died for the cause?
I have one more “What If.” “What If” you never received Jesus. “What If” no one ever went to war for your soul and prayed and fought to bring you into the kingdom? I thought about that this week. “What If” I was still in the kingdom of darkness? There would be no Life Gate. Some of you would not know Jesus. Perhaps some of the truths we know today we would not know. My family may not be serving Jesus. My point is that veterans make a difference. They made a difference for America. They make a difference for the kingdom of heaven. You make a difference. You are making a difference.
Earlier we said the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Do we know the Pledge of Allegiance to the Christian flag? Probably not. Should we?
I have asked one of our Christian American army veterans to present the Christian flag. What I would like for us to do is stand and together say the Pledge. It will be on the screen for us.
“I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.”
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