God's truth for today's world

Today, we continue our message series called “Basic Training.” Our manual for this Basic Training series is the Bible. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself and how He has created us to live. God created mankind and He graciously gave us a manual on how to have a relationship with Him and live the life He intended us to live.

So today, the next discipline we’re going to learn about is “Hearing God’s Word.” Many people think that the Bible is just another book, like all the other millions of books that exist in our world today. Unfortunately, most of people who think that the Bible is just another book, have not read it. For when you begin to read the Bible with a heart to understand, you will soon see that it is a unique book, one of a kind. Although the Bible was written down by men, the words they wrote were not their own, they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:21 (NIV)  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

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Today, we continue our new message series called “Basic Training.” The Bible speaks of every believer being a soldier of Jesus Christ. Each one of us is involved in spiritual warfare, whether we realize it or not. So, we all need to learn spiritual basic training, so we can fight effectively ourselves and so that God can use us to train others.

As a soldier in His army, God calls us to be victorious, to win, not to lose. How can you be a winner in God’s army? Simply by achieving God’s objectives or purposes for your life. To summarize, being a winner is influencing others to become believers in Jesus Christ. There are many ways to let your light shine in our dark world and influence others. That’s where Basic Training can help us be more effective. Jesus said in …

Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

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Today, we begin a new message series called “Basic Training.” Basic training in the US Army is a 10 week journey from being a civilian to a soldier. In Basic Training you learn basic tactical and survival skills. You learn the basics of the army life and 7 core army values. The 7 core army values are: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Pretty good list, isn’t it. All are basic biblical values as well.

So, why name this message series “Basic Training?” Just a basic training equips a civilian for service as a soldier in the US Army, so spiritual basic training equips a believer to be an effective soldier in Jesus’ army. In the last message series, we spoke of the spiritual warfare that every believer is involved in. What happens to untrained civilians in the middle of a war? They are soon wounded or killed. Same thing happens in spiritual warfare. Many believers are casualties in spiritual warfare because they have not received basic training or have not put it into practice.

2 Timothy 2:3-4 (NIV)  Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer.

God wants you to be a good soldier of Christ Jesus. You learn to endure hardship. You seek only to please your commanding officer, Jesus Christ, so you don’t get involved in civilian affairs. You lay down your rights for the advance of the kingdom of God.

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Today, we conclude our message series on Spiritual Warfare. Next week, we begin a new message series called “Basic Training.” If you and I are to engage in spiritual warfare, we need Basic Training as soldiers in the Lord’s army. Invite a friend to our new Basic Training series beginning next week.

Our message today is entitled “Standing Firm.” The Bible teaches that spiritual warfare will intensify as the return of Jesus Christ draws nearer. Although, there have certainly been instances of difficult spiritual warfare down through the centuries, I believe that it is safe to say that world-wide, we are currently in the most intense spiritual warfare in the history of the world.

Today, as never before, the world is connected into a common culture via the communication channels of the internet. The spread of both good and evil through the networks of the world occurs at light speed. The opportunity to influence myriads of people now is available to anyone with a message to send, whether for God or for Satan. So, what can we expect regarding Spiritual Warfare in the last days? I just want to remind you that the Bible teaches that the last days are the time from Jesus’ resurrection until His return, so we are now currently living in the last days.

2 Timothy 3:1 (NIV)  But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.

Terrible times means troublesome, hard and violent times. So, no the last days will not bring in a state of paradise and peace on earth, until Jesus Himself returns. These terrible times will mean times of increasing spiritual warfare for those who are alert and following their commander in chief, Jesus Christ.

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We’re talking about Spiritual Warfare in our current message series. Spiritual warfare is warfare between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. As every person on this earth is either a citizen of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Satan, we are all involved in this warfare.

Every believer is part of the kingdom of God. However, did you know that you can actually aid the enemy by the things you do or the things that you say? When we aid the enemy’s cause, its treason. Everything that you do or say either aids God’s kingdom or Satan’s kingdom. As a believer everything that you do or say should be for the glory of God and His kingdom.

Today, my message is entitled “Surviving Satan’s Attacks.” War is brutal and when you’re engaged in spiritual warfare, you will be the target of Satan’s attacks. In fact, the more that God is using you, the more that Satan will attack you.

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV2011)  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

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