Posts Tagged ‘spiritual warfare’

Spiritual Battle

January 29, 2015

Once upon a time, I served our country in the Marine Corps.  When I made the decision to not reenlist and to return to Bible college instead,  I told people that I was transferring to the 1st civ div.  I was in the Lord’s service and was being transferred.  My time in the military had been TAD (temporary assigned duty) but that it was time to get back to the calling God had on my life.

Ephesians 6:10-20

 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

I.  Be Strong in the Lord

Physical strength was very helpful in the Marine Corps.  In serving God a different type of strength is needed.  Spiritual strength comes from spending time in the Word and time in prayer.  It comes from God.

We are involved in a conflict.  This conflict is not fought with guns, planes, and tanks.  This conflict is fought with faith, prayer and the Word of God.  The conflict is spiritual.  We are not fighting for a country, or oil, or even physical freedom or prosperity.  We are fighting for the eternal destiny of souls.  All people will one day stand before the Lord.  Those who have rejected the salvation offered in Jesus Christ will go to hell for all eternity.  Our goal in this conflict is to bring all that we can into the kingdom of God.

It is a war worth fighting.  It is worth the cost.

II.  The Armor of God

I have known many people who believe that this armor is spiritual.  They get up in the morning and say a prayer, spiritually putting on the armor of God.  I do not have any problem with this practice.  It reminds people of the spiritual nature of our warfare.  However, I also believe that it will do little good to say this prayer if you are not actually practicing the articles of faithful living.

We should be people who speak truth.  Our culture is filled with lies.  The “little white lie” is considered harmless, or even helpful. As Christians, we must resist this influence and speak the truth.

We should have a good knowledge of the gospel so that we may be able to share it with those who are searching for hope in a world that desperately needs a solid foundation.

We should live lives of righteousness.  We are called to be holy.  I understand that we will not obtain perfection, but that is not an excuse to remain in our sins.  We are to be growing in godliness.

Our faith in God extends beyond simple salvation.  We trust God to guide, provide and protect.  When things are bad we remember that “all things work together for good, for those who love God”.  (Romans 8:28)

Our salvation is rooted in our relationship with God through our faith in Jesus Christ.  We must keep God first in our lives.  Do not allow yourself to drift away from your first love.

Jesus himself rebuked the devil with the Word of God.  We should be people of the Word.  We should read it, study it, memorize it, meditate upon it and make it a central part of our lives.  “It is written …” is much better than “I think…” when dealing with spiritual matters.

III.  Prayer

I suspect that many people underestimate the power of prayer.  Prayer has an impact beyond what we see.  It can also be an effective evangelistic tool.  People often like to share about their problems.  We can offer to pray for their needs.  Even unbelievers will gratefully accept prayer when the need is great.  It can reach into their lives and touch their hearts helping to make them more receptive to the gospel.

It has been many years since I served in the Marine Corps, but I have been on the front lines of spiritual battle for decades.  I encourage you to join me in this spiritual battle.

Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might!

These are the sermon notes from 1/4/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

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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.