Revelation 12:17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
There’s a 2000 year old war going on this planet which most people do not know about. It started when Christ came into the world to shake things up and give humanity one last opportunity to get right with God. When is happened historically, it appeared to be a minor event, but universally, it is a cataclysmic point where Heaven confronts Humanity in order to establish God’s Kingdom and let everyone know of His uncompromising sovereignty.
The war exists between good and evil, faith and fantasy, orthodoxy and heresy. The Truth of God in the person of Christ is embattled with the temptation of sin, manifested by Satan. This constant struggle over the souls of men, women, and children has continued for almost 2000 years. In this war, we must take sides. Humanity has been given a crucial choice; if we fail to choose Christ, then we lose everything.
The conflict is not dualism where both sides are equal in power, influence, and strength. The devil is fighting a losing battle - all that he wants to do is to take down as many confused, bitter, and unbelieving souls as he can in order to spoil God’s plan of salvation. The purpose of the Church is to be a shield against Satan’s displeasure. However, as we enter into what chess players call the ‘End Game,’ the devil’s works within the Church become more outrageous, more unorthodox, and more unrepentant. Sadly, good people are losing their hold on Christ’s testimony; church people are wavering in the apparent victory of wickedness over the world.
The Book of Revelation was given to the Church in order to help Christians recoil from their folly and recover their faith. The trouble is this: so many people never read it, or instead reject it, or casually treat it as biblical science fiction which will never come to pass. That’s exactly what the devil wants; that’s exactly his intention. The more that people are actually ignorant of the Word of God and the testimony of Christ, which is plainly revealed in Revelation, the more lost souls the devil can take to be doomed along with him. In warfare, this is called a scorched earth campaign; biblically speaking, this is an Armageddon of the damned.
I make no apology for the severity of today’s message. I’ve tried to be conciliatory, positive, and nice for years, but it’s made no difference. People do what they want to do, and believe what they want to believe. Ultimately, all of our choices will have eternal consequences. Heaven is not meant for those who refuse to repent; or as CS Lewis once wrote, “There is no one in Hell who did not choose to be there.”
If we let go of the testimony of Jesus, then know this: we let go of everything that is eternal.
Question for personal reflection
Have I honestly read the Book of Revelation? Do I understand the consequences of its message for me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, faith is a serious commitment because it constantly challenges who we are and what we do. The world is caught up in its own wickedness and the Church is constantly being challenged from within and without, about what is true, faithful, and Christian. Keep us from letting go of Your testimony, and help us to endure the turbulence that is coming. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please contact him by email at Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest religious drawings called “Passion Flower.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: Passion Flower.