Op-Ed: There Are 2 Things Christians Need to Remember on This Memorial Day


World War II was one of the most significant conflicts in the history of humanity. Things would look very different than the world we have now if America had not entered that conflict.

War is never desirable, but sometimes you have to fight. And it was right for the United States to stand up, especially when Hitler’s goal was to eradicate the Jewish population of Europe.

The Bible compares the Christian life to a conflict on a battlefield on more than one occasion. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3 ESV). Later in the same letter, he wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (4:7 ESV).

In 1 Timothy 6, Paul said, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (6:12 ESV). Notice that Paul said it’s a good fight.

We have to stand up and fight. The good news is that we win in the end. Guaranteed. The gospel is going to win, and the kingdom of God is going to win.

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But those who fought for freedom in the military did not have guaranteed victory here on earth. Still, they persevered, giving the ultimate sacrifice for you and me.

So what should Christians remember on this Memorial Day?

For many, Memorial Day is a nice day off to spend with family and friends. Or it’s a kick-off to the summer holidays and an opportunity to barbecue.

But for others, it’s a time of deep sadness — for they remember the sacrifice their loved ones made defending our freedoms.

Although we observe Memorial Day under unprecedented circumstances today, there are a couple of things we should all remember.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Let’s remember those who gave their lives defending our county. These courageous soldiers gave their lives for what I believe is still the greatest country on the face of the earth: the United States of America!

It’s sad that flying the stars and stripes seems to have gone out of fashion for many. It’s the least we can do to honor the fallen who have fought the good fight for freedom at home and abroad. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV).

Remember to Pray

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Secondly, as Americans — and as Christians — let’s remember to pray for our country.

America has always needed God. But at this time, it’s more apparent than ever. The pandemic served as a wake-up call from God Almighty if I have ever seen one.

God promises us, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:13–14 ESV).

God says we need to humble ourselves, pray, turn to him and seek his presence. If we do that, the Lord promises to hear our prayers, forgive our sins and restore our land to health.

Let’s pray that God would heal our land. Let’s pray he would send a great revival to America. Let’s honor those who have fought the good fight by doing the same in the ways we can.

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Greg Laurie is the pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California and Hawaii and of Harvest Crusades. He is an evangelist, best-selling author and movie producer. His newest book, "Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus," releases May 17, 2022.