First off let me say that what I have written is spoken in a loving tone and from a heart of compassion, I say that because in this electric medium of communication often times the tone and inclination doesn’t come through…, what is written is viewed in black and white and the intention and interpretation is left up to the reader, and often times they are mistaken or it's taken the wrong way.
May I reiterate that my purpose is to expose incorrect doctrine and I do so because it is a subject that causes me great consternation and heartache, I talk to people daily that put the trust of their eternal souls in simple little stories like this and not Biblical truth, when I come here to relax and try to escape from the reality of the world around me and read the same thing, …I kinda snapped.
Herb I commend you for the love in your heart that caused you give, to serve and to participate in what your church is doing to brighten the lives of soldiers, it is better to give than receive.
Now you have asked a legitimate question so can we discuss this together in the love of Christ without any contention so that anyone that is following this thread and might have questions or doubts might learn (if the mods permit)?
First off we all must agree we are prideful, I’ve done things in my pride that I’m ashamed off, and if we are honest with ourselves we will all agree we have done things we are ashamed of, …it’s the pride that we are all born with that causes that and it’s this same pride that separated Lucifer and the demons from God, that separated Adam from God and separates us from God. That was one of my points; this man was prideful and standing before God, God is Just and in His Justice God could not allow him to enter Heaven, if He did, that would set a precedent and satan and all of the demons could use it to enter Heaven too, they could say, you let him in, be just and let us in too, so you see God must be just even if it breaks His heart to send the soldier to Hell.
As for being a soldier and having to follow orders, orders that might go against our conscience or moral beliefs, Paul in the book of Romans teaches that we Christians are to obey the authorities that rule over us (even if they are corrupt) and we are to obey the laws of the country we are living in, so God respects every man and women that has been put in this position for obeying His Word. As for any person, myself included, who might be troubled in their conscience by the acts or deeds they have done, let me say with full assurance there is cleansing at the Cross by the blood of Jesus, once these acts or deeds have been confessed God says (1) He wraps them in a box and throws them into the deepest part of the ocean, (2) He throws them into a sea of forgiveness never to be remembered by Him again, (3) He separates us from them as far as the East is from the West (we can go East all day and never arrive at West), so for these incredible promises given to us by God (and it’s impossible for Him to lie) there would be no reason for this soldier to feel unworthy if he was saved (or any other dear brother or sister that is still suffering from what we were ordered to do).
We must realize and believe that God doesn’t judge us here on earth by or for what we have done or are doing, David was a violent man, he was going to kill Nabal, but God sent Abigail to correct him and he repented of his intentions, after he took Bathsheba, when Nathan confronted him by recounting a story, in his anger David ordered the man killed, then Nathan said you’re the man David and he repented of his actions and asked for forgiveness, there would be the same grace and forgiveness for the violence of this soldier in his lifetime if he had chose it.
David was man of war, he committed adultery and then had the husband killed, and when he wanted to build a temple for God, God said his hands were too bloody to build it, and then He commend David for being a man after His own heart and promised him the Messiah would be his grandchild. Again, God is just so if He cleansed and accepted the soldier David into Heaven He could have cleansed and accept this soldier into Heaven if he had followed David’s example and finished his business with God before he died.
David had a personal relationship with God and was absolutely certain of his place in Heaven, and since this soldier was uncertain and without assurance this shows he didn’t have a personal relationship with God, when David died he went to the good side of Hell called Abraham’s Bosom-Paradise, since the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians that every saved person that dies is met by and is with the Lord Jesus Christ, their Savior-Redeemer-Lord, …not in front of God that will at that moment decide their eternal destiny, …what would have actually happened when this soldier died (since the poem doesn’t speak of the joyous reunion of the soldier meeting or being with Jesus) is he would never have seen or been in the presence of God, but rather, as taught by Jesus in Luke 16, the Angels would have carried his soul to Hell to await the final judgment .
I’m convinced, and hope all can see, we can use the lives of the characters of the Old Testament in conjunction with the application and appropriation of the doctrine of the New Testament, with certainty, to evaluate the condition of this soldier’s soul and all those that think like him, and unfortunately …he waited too long.
The good that I pray for, that will come from this poem, is the people that think this way will repent and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior now and not wait until it's too late.