"For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Romans 13:4).
Ever since the great Flood, God has assigned temporal human government to man himself, whether that government has been in the form of a monarchy, democracy, or whatever. This responsibility has even included the authority of capital punishment for certain offenses. Sometimes God even uses one nation to bear the sword against another nation that has incurred His wrath.
It is noteworthy that Paul himself, who wrote the words of our text, was eventually executed by the Roman government headed by a wicked emperor, yet he never resisted. He knew that God would eventually deal with all rulers who misused their authority.
The Lord Jesus Himself was put to death by a human government, but neither did He resist (He had established governments in the first place). In time, the Jewish government would be overthrown by the Roman armies, and eventually the Roman empire would be defeated by the armies of those they considered barbarians, and so on.
The individual soldiers in these armies, as well as those who executed Paul and crucified Christ were actually "bearing the sword" of their governments. One soldier at the cross even came to recognize that "this man was the Son of God" (Mark 15:39).
All such soldiers deserve respect, as instruments of God, especially those who personally know the Lord and are "with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men" (Ephesians 6:7). These are the true servicemen whom we seek to remember and honor on Veterans' Day. HMM