God's truth for today's world

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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Today, the next message in our Spiritual Warfare message series is entitled “Overcoming Our Accuser.” As we’ll see today, our accuser is Satan and his demons. Satan accuses us before God and he accuses us directly, in our own minds and hearts. He seeks to discourage believers, by magnifying their faults and minimizing God’s grace working in their lives.

Today, we’re going to learn how to overcome Satan, our accuser and live our lives in the victory won by Jesus Christ on the cross. In the Old Testament, there’s not much said about Satan and his demons. They were present, but hidden, as it were in the shadows. But when Jesus came to this earth and began His ministry, everything changed. Jesus began to confront both Satan and his demons. We see the stories of those battles which Jesus always won in the pages of the Gospels.

1 John 3:8b (NIV)  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

Jesus came to this earth to destroy the devil’s work in the lives of people and set them free. We see Jesus destroying the devil’s work in healing the sick, casting out demons and spreading the truth of God’s kingdom. Jesus definitively defeated Satan by his death and resurrection.

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We are currently in a message series on Spiritual Warfare. Jesus’ ministry on this earth was all about spiritual warfare. When you read the Gospel accounts, you find Jesus confronting demons and evil spirits on every other page.

Acts 10:38 (NIV2011)  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

In this verse, Jesus’ ministry is summarized as “healing all who were under the power of the devil.” In Jesus’ ministry healing of the sick and casting out of demons were often intertwined. When Jesus set someone free from the power of Satan, they were healed. Jesus’ ministry of spiritual warfare was continued by the early church as recorded in the book of Acts. Yet, today, churches seldom speak of demons and setting people free from the power of the devil. In fact, most people today do not believe that Satan and his demons are real.

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We are currently in a message series on Spiritual Warfare. When we talk about spiritual warfare, we may think about our decadent society. Or we may think about people whose lifestyles are sinful and rebellious toward God. We learned last Sunday that are struggle is not against people, but against evil spiritual forces.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV2011)  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

So, it is these evil spiritual forces that are leading our nation and its people astray from God. We battle theses forces with prayer and the truth of God’s Word. Yet, oftentimes we see the battle of spiritual warfare as external, when in reality, each of us fights battles within ourselves. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

My message is entitled “The War Within.” Each of us engages in spiritual warfare within our own minds and hearts.

James 1:14-15 (NIV2011)  but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

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