Series: Jesus Is Better- The Better Messenger [#5]
DOWN FOR THE COUNT
Have you ever watched a wrestling or a boxing match? When I was a kid, I enjoyed trying all of the great moves I saw on my brother. We fought constantly and many times it looked like a wrestling match you would watch on T.V. I have been hit with shovels, chairs, a hammer (once), stilts, and even shot with a BB gun by my brother. I’m telling you, we could fight. Although my brother and I fought often, if someone else started a fight with one of us, watch out! See we had a little rule, and in fact this rule is intact with my children. If we want to beat each other up fine; but no one else better even think about it unless they want both of us on them. We defended one another. If you are a born-again Christian, Jesus Christ is your brother. Although you may fight Him constantly, He protects you and has been fighting for you and will continue to fight for you until the end.
Hebrews 2:11-18 (NIV)
“Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me." Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
If you have seen a boxing match, you know that there must be 2 in order to box. After the match up is determined, and a little promotion goes on for a few weeks, then the matches are on. There are usually several different fights, starting with the lighter and less known boxers to eventually the last fight of the night, the main event. With lights flashing and the crowd screaming the announcer introduces the 2 fighters. After the introductions, the match begins and there are 10 rounds in which 1 of the boxers has to win. If no one is knocked down for at least 10 counts within the 10 rounds, then the judges have to choose a winner. The most definite way to win is to knock your opponent down and out.
From cover to cover in the Bible, we can find a fight that has been going on for thousands of years and I want to replay for you all 10 rounds. Some of these rounds have yet to happen, but the Bible tells us they will.
The 2 in this main attraction is Satan and God.
Round 1: Satan rebels.
Lucifer, 1 of God’s highest angels, decided that he ought to be in charge. So, he rebelled against God and he took with him a 1/3 of the angels. They were all cast from Heaven.
Round 2: Man falls.
Satan came out hitting hard didn’t he? God created man and gave him control over the earth, with only 1 thing not to do- Touch or eat of 1 tree. We all know what happened- Satan tempted Eve who convinced Adam to eat fruit from the forbidden tree.
At this point in the match, Satan seemed to be doing pretty well. For thousands of more years Satan would be doing a good job of gathering followers and stealing more and more of mankind away.
Round 3: Jesus is born.
Although Satan had seemed to be winning at this point, God gave Satan a hit that he would never be able to withstand- The birth of the Savior of the world. God sent His only begotten Son to earth for us. Satan knew this would be devastating to him and he tried to have Jesus killed before He could do much damage; but it didn’t work.
Round 4: Jesus is tempted.
Now Satan is becoming concerned because he is falling behind. To try to turn the tables a little bit, Satan tried to get Jesus to change sides. Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 days. Satan tried to get Jesus to turn a stone into bread; but Jesus would not. Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would just worship him; but Jesus would not. Satan tried to get Jesus to jump from the top of the temple and let the angels catch Him; but He would not. Jesus was tempted by everything possible, just as we are, but He never sinned. What a hard hit to Satan.
For the next few years, Jesus taught the people why He had come to the earth- “To seek and save that which was lost.” He taught that He was the only way to God and would be our brother for all eternity if we would follow Him.
Round 5: Jesus dies.
Things were continuing to worsen for Satan. He had such a good plan he thought; but it wasn’t working. But, we know that Satan doesn’t just quit. Although Jesus had many followers, Satan still had religious and political people on his side. Satan threw his hardest punch yet to be seen. Jesus was beaten, made fun of, spat on, and crucified on a cross between 2 thieves and died.
Can you imagine the roar and laughter from Satan and his angels when God had to turn His head from His own Son as He died? Satan thought he had won.
Round 6: Jesus resurrected.
Satan, the deceiver, only celebrated very shortly because on the 3rd day, Jesus arose from the dead. Jesus had victory over sin, death, and Satan. To continue His work, God sent His Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of all believers. Through Jesus, all who would admit they are a sinner, believe that Jesus died on a cross for their sins and was resurrected from the dead, and would commit their life to Him would be saved.
Although Satan still bombards and works his deceit on the world, the continuing battle is nearing its end.
Round 7: The Church raptured.
In God’s time, the dead in Christ, and the Christians will meet Jesus in the air and will be taken from this world. The lost, the unsaved will be left behind. God’s Holy Spirit will be gone from this earth.
Round 8: The Tribulation.
This will be a time that Satan will really show how bad he is. God will send several judgments and torments upon the earth. People will be fooled by Satan to the point that they will follow him through the Anti-Christ thinking he is the Messiah.
Satan again seems to be gaining a little momentum; but then the next round will begin.
Round 9: The Millennial Kingdom.
Satan will be bound and Jesus will reign with His brothers and sisters for a 1000 years.
Satan is down; but not out. There is 1 round left.
Round 10: Satan is down and out.
Satan is down and out. The fight is over, God wins!
At any boxing match, there are always people in the crowd that choose which side they are going to cheer for. What side are you on? Revelation 20:15 tells us what happens if you are not a child of God. Jesus died and paid the price for our sins so that we would not have to die this 2nd death; but have eternal life. You must choose.