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The Christians Of Caesar's Legions
When most people think of the Roman military at the time of the first coming of Jesus Christ, they think of the brutal thugs that sadistically tortured and crucified Him:
"27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor [see The Praetorium] took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a Scarlet robe. 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of Thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 27:30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 27:31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him [see also Crossing The T]." (Matthew 27:27-31 KJV)
"Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof"
Not all of the Roman troops were evil however. Some became Christians, while in the military i.e. they served honorably, instead of as torturers and war criminals. An example, a centurion (a Roman officer in command of a hundred men) based near Capernaum, who the Messiah described as a man of great faith.
"7:1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 7:2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 7:3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. 7:4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: 7:5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 7:6 Then Jesus went with them.
Other Roman troops, some of whom were the men who actually tortured and killed the Christ, became believers at the moment of His death.
"27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost [see Giving Up The Ghost].
It was to another Roman centurion that Peter's famous "clean and unclean" teaching was directed - that salvation is open to anyone who accepts and obeys Christ (see the notes for Acts 10 and Acts 11).
"10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." (Acts 10:1-2 KJV)
Fact Finder: What is going to happen to all of the military forces, of all of the nations of the world, that do not immediately surrender to Jesus Christ on the day of His return?