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Cosmic Christmas: Battle Ready

Revelation 12:1-12

 

Introduction:

Sometime before his death in 1778 Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire

announced that the Bible was an obsolete book and would soon be discarded on

the scrap heap of time.

 

In 1852 The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzshe declared, " God is dead !

"

 

As 1900 approached H.G. Wells proclaimed that the coming 20th century would

mark the close of the religious phase of history.

 

In 1957 Juilian Huxley, First Director- General of UNESC published, "

Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the fast fading

smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat. "

 

These men are all dead and they would be surprised to find out that God has

made a remarkable comeback. Ironically, Voltaire's own house was used as a

Bible warehouse by the French Bible Society after his death.

 

Because famous and well educated men and women deny God's existence and

reject His Gift does not change their responsibility or ours to Him. They

have already had to deal with the living God on this issue of The Gift,

Jesus Christ. and we who are alive will also. " As it is appointed for men

to die once, but after this the judgement, so Christ was offered once to

bear the sins of many. " Hebrews 9:27

 

Because learned and popular people reject the idea of a spiritual dimension

does not change it's reality. This is the message of God to His world: I AM.

 

God promises that those who accept His Gift will live forever in another

dimension that He has prepared for those who love Him. It will be a place of

limitless joy because here the afflictions of earth's dimension does not

reach heaven's plain. John 3:16; John 14:1ff; Revelation 21:1-22:5

 

God did not give The Gift to condemn mankind but that the world might be

saved. John 3:17

 

" Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are

as scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they are red like crimson,

they will be like wool. " Isaiah 1:18

 

I. Past Preview - 2 Kings 6:11-23

 

A lesson that we can learn from this passage is that there are parallel

worlds in what we view as our plain of existence - Flesh & Spirit

 

Spiritual perception is needed to understand this as Elisha pointed out.

 

We have another dimension standing alongside of the one in which we live.

Hebrews 1:14 is portrayed in a different light when viewed with this in

mind.

Matthew 18:10 becomes something more than a picture of two little kids and a

hole in a bridge when we understand that the angels are ministering spirits

sent to those who will inherit salvation.

 

II. Present Realities - Revelation 12:1-17

 

Revelation does not mention shepherds, magi or wicked kings destroying

infants. It pictures a very pregnant woman clothed with the Sun of

Righteousness ( Malachi 4:2) standing on the foundation of Israel ( Genesis

37:9 ) wearing a crown of twelve stars crying out in the pain of childbirth.

Suddenly an enormous red dragon enters the picture sweeping away 1/3 of the

stars and slinging them to the earth. This hideous dragon is leading a

ferocious battle for heaven seeking to destroy this emergent Child. He

crouches hungrily before the woman, eager to devour her child the moment He

is born. At the last second, in the niche of time, the infant is snatched

away to safety and the woman flees to the wilderness for refuge and an all

out cosmic war begins.

 

In daily life, two parallel histories are happening simultaneously, one in

heaven, the other on earth. Revelation gives us a glimpse behind the scenes

of ordinary earth time to show us the cosmic impact in heaven as the result

of earthly events.

 

On earth, a baby is born. Herod hears about it and a plot is initiated. In

heaven, God launches the great invasion of evils stronghold. The Father

watched Their plan unfold as He observed the World's Hope, His Son emerging

smeared with blood to face a cold, cruel, harsh dying world.

The Strategy - 12:1-6; The Sortie - 12:7-9; The Song - 12:10-12; Satan's

Search & Destroy.

 

III. The Preeminent Christ

 

1. He Is The Head Over All Other Powers - Ephesians 1:18-23; Colossians 1:

15-23

Christians who make Christ the Head of His Body the Church have His power to

resist and overcome the powers of evil because we are His body.

 

2. He Has Handed Over Power To Believers - Ephesians 3:8-21; Colossians

2:8-15

Christians are given an inner power, the Holy Spirit, which battles for us

and with us in the day to day spiritual battle that rages all around us.

 

Colossians 2:15 - The enemy knows that he has been disarmed but he hopes

that we never find out so that we live in defeat rather than in the victory

of Christ's resurrection. He has been yes, he has been disarmed. Defeat only

reigns in those who don't claim the victory that's theirs in Christ Jesus.

 

IV. The Present Challenge - Ephesians 6:10-20

 

1. God wants us to have His strength - 6:10

He has armed us with His Spirit.

 

2. The devil wants us to succumb to his strategies - 6:11

He uses deception because he has been disarmed by Christ's resurrection.

 

3. The battle is a spiritual struggle - 6:12

Satan uses people but people are not the enemy.

 

4. The armor of God is our safeguard. - 6:13-17

Girdle of Truth

Breastplate of Righteousness

Shoes of Outreach

Shield of Faith

Helmet of Salvation

Sword of the Spirit

 

5. Prayer is the believer's strategy - 6:18-20

Comprehensive - all kinds

Constant - at all times

Consecrative - in the Spirit

Consistent - all perseverance

Corporate - for all the saints

Concise - ask for specifics

 

Conclusion:

 

2,000 years ago Jesus, the Messiah came. His message was and still is one of

love, kindness, sensitivity, gentleness and humbleness of spirit..

 

For twenty centuries this gospel of peace has grown and flourished. True, It

has not ended cruelty, hatred, greed, bigotry, poverty or the horrors of war

but when mankind is faced with these afflictions Christ's message contains

the power to overcome them.

 

Our Lord, Jesus the Christ, carries the keys of death and Hades. The

antidote for fear is hope. Hope comes with a personal relationship with

Jesus, who took away once and for all the sting of death. It's power was

eradicated with His resurrection from the dead. " Our Saviour Jesus Christ

abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the

Gospel. " 2 Timothy 1:10

 

Those who by faith place their hand in the nail scarred hand of Jesus and

place their lives at His disposal by trust in Him as Lord and Saviour will

have a hope and faith that will lead them into this coming new millennium

unafraid of what it will bring. The hopes and fears of all the years are met

in thee, tonight.

Y2K readiness kit - Matthew 6:33

 

" That which has been is that which shall be, and that which has been done

is that which will be done.So there is nothing new under the sun. " Solomon