Archive for January 28th, 2013

Our Warfare

January 28, 2013

These are the sermon notes from 1/27/13.

I.  War in the Heavens:  Revelation 12:7-12

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for themin heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

A.  Heavenly Conflict

There is a battle in the heavens that continues to this day.  “We do not war against flesh and blood…”  The battle in which we are engaged does not involve rifles, tanks, or fighter jets.  Our battle is waged over the allegiance of souls.  Whether people are a part of the kingdom of God or whether they have rejected God’s offer of salvation in Jesus.  It is our desire to bring as many people into the kingdom of God as possible and keep them there.

B.  Overcomers

We overcome by the blood of the Lamb.  It is only through Jesus that we are victorious in this spiritual battle.  The word of our testimony is a powerful weapon.  We share what we believe, and what God has done in our lives, and God uses it for His kingdom’s work.  We should remember to keep our first allegiance to the work of God and not to seeking our own desires in this world.  Even to the point of sacrificing our lives for God if necessary.

II.  Choosing Sides:  Revelation 14:9-13

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

A.  Judgement

We must recognize that although God loves us and has provided salvation for us in Jesus, that not everyone will be saved.  Those who have rejected God’s offer of salvation in Jesus will be subject to eternal judgement.  That is why it is so important that we bring as many people into the kingdom of God as possible.  It is a battle that rages, not over some piece of land or political system, but over the eternal destination of human souls.

B.  Rest

For those who are serving God, life can be wearisome.  We are encouraged to “endure hardship, like good soldiers of Christ”.   We are encouraged to ” not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”.    God sees our faithful service and our goal should be to one day hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant”.

III.  Final Reward:  Revelation 21:1-8

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving,  abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

A.  All Things New

There will come a day when all things will be made new.  For those who have received Christ as their savior we will be able to be a part of the new world, a world in which righteousness dwells.

B.  2nd Death

Not everyone will be allowed entrance to this new world.  Again, that is why the spiritual battle is so important.  God does not want any to perish, but those who have rejected salvation in Christ, or those who only give lip-service to Christ will not enter the kingdom of God.

Our warfare does not kill anyone.  Our warfare is about bringing life to those who are spiritually dead.