Trumpets are mentioned on various occasions in our Bible, usually referring to their military usage. A series of trumpets guided soldiers of the Roman military in their daily duties, and these trumpets can be applied to the lives and service of every believer in the present day. The exhortation for us is: “Thou, therefore, endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2Tim 2:3).
The Trumpet of Awakening
The first trumpet that every soldier heard was the trumpet that called them to awake. It told them that their night of rest was over and that they were now to get ready for a day’s work in service for their Emperor. Any soldier who slept through this trumpet was useless in the job to which he had been called.
The first to hear this trumpet are the unsaved. Paul said, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph 5:14). Those who are dead to the things of God need to be awakened to see the light of God and be saved.
Not only do the unsaved need to awaken – so do many believers. Paul said, “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Rom 13:11). We need to awaken from the sleep of complacency, to hear the alarm of God, calling us to His service. We will never be able to serve God if we remain asleep. So the first trumpet we will hear will awaken us, calling us to the service of God.
The Trumpet of Service
The Roman army was guided by a series of trumpets throughout the day, and if they did not heed the blowing of the trumpet, they would not be in the place where it was determined they would best serve their Emperor.
First, a soldier is to endure hardness. The life of a soldier is not a bed of ease. Armies at war are not expected to live for the benefit of the land on which they are fighting. Ordinary soldiers are not expected to take administrative posts in the leadership of the countries with which they are at war. They are there to fight and win the victory, not to fraternize with the population.
A soldier has a uniform. It is suited for the elements in which he is fighting. Our Bible tell us that we are fitted with armor. It is described in three different places.
Armor of God
Ephesians 6:11-18 brings before us the steadfastness of the believer. Four times in this passage we are exhorted to stand for the things of God. God does not want us to be swept aside with every type of false doctrine that assails us. We are to stand fast against all of the wiles of the devil.
Armor of Righteousness
The armor in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 tells us of our service for God. A soldier is to serve without question. When we are told what to do, we are only to ask when, not why. Any soldier who demands a reason for his orders will be severely reprimanded. There is a poem that tells us that it is not to question why, but it is for us to do or die. Our service is to be all for God so He will accept it at our hand.
Armor of Light
The armor described in Romans 13:12 speaks of our separation. This aspect of our service is what is most important to God. We are told, “Be ye holy for I am holy” (1Peter 1:16). God lists this as one of His attributes. Because God is holy, we ought to live holy lives with God’s help. One of the primary implications of holiness is separation. As God is separate from all of the vileness of this wicked world, so should we be. Separation should mark every aspect of our service for Him. Paul told Timothy, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life” (2Tim 2:4). This aspect of our service is vital if we are going to serve acceptably as soldiers in the army of God.
The Trumpet of Reunion
There was one trumpet that every soldier eagerly anticipated. It indicated that his campaign was over and that his work was done. It said that he was now going home – it was the Last Trump. When it sounded, he knew that all the battles were over and the victory was won. The time of his reward was at hand. He could now go home and enjoy that which he had earned during his battles for the Emperor.
In such a manner, every believer is looking for that Last Trump. Paul tells us that “We shall all be changed, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1Cor 15:51-53).
What a day that will be, when we will be instantly changed. We who have bodies of this earth will be given bodies of the heavenlies. The change that will take place in us is indescribable. Sin and sorrow and all that accompanies it will be gone. There will no longer be any separation, but all things will be made new. We will receive crowns, rewards gained through faithfulness in our service here below. How we ought to look for that trumpet to sound, and for Him to appear in glory and catch us away. We will be with the Lord for all eternity. What a glorious day that will be!
We have looked at our Christian journey through these trumpets. They begin at salvation and continue until our service for Him is completed. We ought to joyfully serve the best of Masters, until that day we meet Him in the air. We have so much to look forward to, and that ought to greatly influence our service for Him.