Summary: Witnessing is almost a lost art among Christians, but Biblically, it's vital to our faith and obedience. One benefit to those who testify is victory over the world and the devil.
“AND BY THE WORD OF
A. HUMOR: SLEEPING PREFERENCES
1. Three college students -- one from India, one a Jew from Israel and the third a Yankee from New York University -- were having trouble finding a room for the night. After much searching, they finally found an Inn with only two beds left. The innkeeper said the third one of them had to sleep in the barn.
2. They drew straws for the two beds, and the Indian was sent off to the barn for the night. But within five minutes of the Jew and the Yankee turning off the lights and going to bed, there was a KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the door. They opened the door and there was the Indian.
3. "I can’t sleep in the barn," said the Indian, "I’m Hindu and there’s a cow in the barn. Cows are sacred to us so I can’t sleep under the same roof as one." The Jew volunteered to go to sleep in the barn.
4. But within five minutes of the Yankee and the Indian turning off the lights and going to bed, there was a KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the door. They opened the door and there was the Jew.
5. "I can't sleep in the barn either," said the Jew, "there's a pig in the barn, and if I sleep in hay that a pig has touched, I may get some in my mouth and that wouldn't be kosher."
So the Yankee ventured out to go to sleep in the barn.
6. But within five minutes of the Indian and the Jew turning off the lights and going to bed, there was a KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the door. They opened the door and there is the cow and the pig. (Obviously they couldn’t bear to sleep with the Yankee!)
B. WASTING YOUR LIFE
1. “I will tell you what a tragedy is: how to waste your life. Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.”
2. At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells.
3. Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life.” [John Piper]
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” NKJV, Rev. 12:7-11.
1. This morning we’re hearing about how our testimony, spoken to lost people, is the vehicle for how we overcome the devil!
2. Most Christians see little personal benefit to witnessing, but this verse says otherwise.
3. We’re going to look at who these overcomers are, how they conquered, why your testimony is so important, and tips for how to witness.
4. The title of this message is “And by the Word of their Testimony.”
I. THE OVERCOMERS OF REV. 12
A. WHO OVERCAME HIM?
1. Not only does Satan suffer defeat at the hands of the arch-angel Michael, but he’s conquered by faithful believers as well.
2. THEY ALL FOUGHT! If we’re not fighting him, we’re really NOT part of the church of Jesus!
3. THERE SHOULDN’T BE INNER WARFARE! “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
4. Slaves of sin are not children of God. IF SATAN HAS DOMINION OVER YOU, you’re not in Christ Jesus! Where the Ark is, Dagon must fall on his face and be broken!