Sunday December 18, 2011 Dec 15, 2011 10:41 AM
Title: Christmas in the cross hairs of Satan
Intro: We are not ignorant of his devices: 2 Cor. 2:11
That might be part of what’s behind the reaction of CS Lewis, when in the Weight of Glory he writes,
“Like a good chess player he is always trying to maneuver into a position where you can save your castle, only by losing your bishop.”
Christmas 2011 is a reminder than our faith in the mangered Savior lies squarely in the cross-hairs of a Global/eternal struggle to destroy or disavow the power of the gospel in our lives…. If that understanding has dimmed, you need only check out Rev. 20:7
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN?
What transpired in the heavenlies in the far reaches of eternity past was something unthinkable, certainly to most of us who look at life temporally. When out the participation of endless glory toward God, came a rogue– a reaction– and a riot on the part of the most cherished of angelic beings.
While we know so little of eternity past, we can piece together a reasonable scenario where the events described in Is. 14 unfolded, as a challenge eternally more significant in our eyes than anything going on in the world today.
AN ETERNAL CONFLICT: Is. 14
The seven ” I wills”
We recognize Satan’s activity by the interactions between him and God in Job 1-2
A DEADLY FIRST STRIKE: Genesis 3
Satan’s per-emotive attack against Eve and her husband was:
Calculating, cunning, and intended to first cause her to doubt the loving care of her heavenly father, question His motives for living, and ultimately step out from under His authority and the authority of her husband, finally polluting the race and making the great experiment with mankind a failure.
This was to be followed by an enduring series of engagements:
At Babel: Would sovereignty be challenged by a skyscraper
In Egypt: Would the godhead bow to a despot named Pharaoh
In Jerusalem: Would the kingdom die on the back of a frail king
IN THE CROSS HAIRS
In the meantime, lots of “saviors”: Acts; likewise, many like Simeon and Anna, who had been waiting for the consolation of Israel. • Identify the hope: Matt.2
• Silence the redeemer
• Destroy the man: temptation
• Burden the bearer: Garden
• Kill the Savior
• Humanize the world: remove the knowledge of God from his mind while removing the constraints from his life and diluting his understanding of Satan from real to imaginary:
Lewis: “The fact that devils are predominately comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that, he therefore cannot believe in you.” (pg. 40: Screwtape letters.)
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Critical truth: Matt 1:20
A conception born of God
A birth given to man
A glory that is God’s alone
And what about you? You who are less able than Satan to combat the will of God, acting far more blatant in your resistance of Him in your life.
• You who do not yet know him by faith acting as if you are in control of your life, it’s eternity, and it’s timing for the end.
• You, who are walking and behaving disobediently, holding yourself up as greater, denying the truth of your Lord’s judgement on your life.
• And you who have separated yourself from commitment and mission, thinking somehow that God merely smiles on your faithlessness, and throws up His hands in dismay, unable to control one of His poor arrogant children..
I give you Jesus, who when introduced by angels brings more fear than fight, more questions than defiance, and when viewed, more adoration than undulation. Their was no indecision, in the shepherds, only worship, no pride from the wisemen, only a priority of gifts and praise.
This is Jesus, I have it on authority, that he will save His people from their sins, and without Him, your life is dubious at best, with him, you can have the abundant life sought after by everyone human being who has ever walked the planet.
Mark J. Congrove
Pastor: Bethel Baptist church, South Haven, Mi.
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