Scripture text1 Peter 3:13-17 – “13And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: AND BE NOT AFRAID OF THEIR TERROR, NEITHER BE TROUBLED; 15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

            As most of you probably know, I am in the Army. But before I joined the army, I was going to join the Marines. I was in the Delayed Entry Program for about a year. Before I was going to go to Boot Camp in San Diego, I had the opportunity to get 2 promotions. All I had to do was recruit 3 people to join the Marines with me, and I would have been promoted from E-1, which was a private, to E-2, which is a Private First Class in the Marines. If I recruited 10 people, I would have been promoted to E-3, which is Lance Corporal. If I got there, I would also have received an official USMC sword. But I decided to not go to Boot Camp at the last minute and not join the Marines officially, and I eventually decided to join the Army about six months later, which is where I am at now.

            Now I think that if someone had a choice between the Marines or Army and God’s Army in the Church, that they would choose the benefits of Heaven over the benefits of the military, I hope. So I think that it would be easier to recruit someone to join the Church than it would be to recruit someone to join the Military. There is this thing that we build when we join the military, and that is pride. Not only pride in ourselves and our abilities, but also pride in our country. That is also something we should have when we join the church. We should be proud that we have the Holy Ghost and have pride in our God. Just like the military uses its pride to help fight against terrorism, so should the church use its pride to help fight temptation and the devil. Just like it says in 1 Peter 3:15 – “15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

            If someone asks you why you believe the way you do and why you live like you do, you should be proud to tell them about the Holy Ghost you have inside of you and that you love your God more than anything and you want to do everything in your power to please Jesus Christ.

            Just like the people of our country died and shed their blood for America’s freedom, Jesus Christ our God died on the cross and shed his blood for the world’s freedom from sins. Just like every day in the Military you have to run 3 miles, do 100 push-ups, and do 100 sit-ups to be ready for victory in the war; in the Church you have to pray everyday, read the Bible everyday, and fast when you need spiritual strength to be ready for the victory which is heaven. To win the war in the military, you have to have physical strength and endurance. To get into heaven, you have to have spiritual strength and endurance. To run the required time of 15:45 or less on a 2 mile run to pass a PT test, you have to have endurance. To make the rapture at the time Jesus Christ comes back to take His church home, you have to have spiritual endurance. If you stop in the middle of your run to tie your shoes, get a drink of water, or just sit down and catch your breath, you probably won’t make the 2 miles in 15:45. If you stop praying to God, stop reading your Bible, or just stop going to church, you probably won’t make the rapture.

            One advantage of serving God and pleasing Him is found in Proverbs 16:7 – “7When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

            When you get the Holy Ghost, you have power to turn even your enemies into your friends. Because when before you had the Holy Ghost, you might have been hateful toward them and could not say a good thing about them or to them; as of now, since you received the Holy Ghost, you can tell them that Jesus loves them, and that He died for them so that they could also receive the Holy Ghost and go to heaven.

            Now I believe that God had done a lot for many of us. I also believe that this is not a free ride. We were put on this earth for a reason. I think one reason was to get ready to leave. I believe the Bible is our key to help us get ready to leave. I think the Bible is an acronym that stands for Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. Psalm 119:11 – “11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

            I believe the most basic instructions in the word of God is found in Acts 2:38-39 – “38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

            And after you get this promise, which is the Holy Ghost, you can testify about it with pride. Just like in Psalm 119:46 – “46I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

            So if you don’t have the Holy Ghost and you want it, you can have it because God promised it to you. All you have to do is follow the 3 steps shown in Acts 2:38 and you’ll get it. And if you already have it, you should show the pride you have in Jesus and tell the world about Him.