Summary: We must have a Biblical focus, an inward focus, and an outward focus in order to defeat that terrorist, the devil.
INTRO.- ILL.- A man and his preacher were out on the golf course. He said to his preacher, "How do you let off steam with when you miss a shot and your ball goes into a sand trap?"
His preacher replied, "I just the repeat the names of some of my church members with great feeling!"
ILL.- After receiving a nasty letter a preacher sent it back to the church member with this note attached: "The enclosed letter came to me a few days ago. I am sending it to you because I think you should know that some idiot is sending out letters with your signature on them."
Sometimes we fight with the wrong people
ILL.- An eighteen-year-old apparently took a Seattle police car for a joyride. The theft was reported on law-enforcement broadcasts, and a bicycle patrol officer in downtown Seattle spotted it. A police car immediately gave chase but lost sight of the stolen vehicle after pausing to check for oncoming traffic at an intersection. It was then that a second police car pulled up and - thinking the stopped car was the stolen vehicle - rammed it from behind.
Two policemen in the car that had been hit thought they were under attack. So they pulled out their guns and started shooting. A police spokesperson said the officers involved - two in the rammed car and one in the other - exchanged more than twenty rounds before they discovered their mistake1 THEY WERE SHOOTING AT ONE ANOTHER!
Brothers and sisters, this is not much different than some churches. Some church members do more shooting at one another than they do the real enemy.
We Christians are at war, but we are not to be at war with one another! Please, please, let us not fight with one another or fight against one another. Let’s engage the real enemy.
Eph. 6:12 "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."
Most of us realize that our war is against the evil one known as Satan, the devil. But our war doesn’t stop there. Actually, our war is three-fold. It is against the world, the flesh and the devil!
It’s a spiritual war that is taking place within the lives of all Christian people. Are we making any headway? That depends on the effort we put into the fight and direction of our fighting.
ILL.- The Swedish military has cut back from around-the-clock-operations to a 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule, Monday through Friday only. Sound crazy? It’s true.
Doesn’t this sound somewhat familiar? Some people want to be Christians on Sunday (or Sunday morning only) and then just like all other people the rest of the week.
We do our "religious" thing on Sunday morning and then do whatever we want, no matter what we want, the rest of the week.
Brethren, we are at war! And we need to give it our best shot! This is not a some kind of Monopoly game we are playing! IT’S WAR! IT’S HEAVEN AGAINST HELL! IT’S GOD AGAINST SATAN! IT’S THE CHRISTIAN AGAINST THE FORCES OF EVIL!
There is no way we are going to win or be victorious if we don’t go at this thing with our best effort!
ILL.- A man said, "A young friend of mine just got back from boot camp. It was a rude awakening to life in the military. It was 24/7 for him - not 9:00 to 5:00."
Brethren, perhaps we need to rethink our commitment to Jesus Christ! Are you a part-timer or a full-timer? Your commitment and devotion to Christ and His church will determine the outcome of your personal war against Satan. DO YOU WANT TO WIN?
PROP.- Since we are at war we need to think about what it will take to win. The book of Jude gives us several ways to fight the good fight of the faith and win. Much of it depends on our focus. If we don’t have the right focus we won’t win. We must have:
1- A Biblical focus
2- An inward focus
3- An outward focus
I. A BIBLICAL FOCUS
V. 17 "Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold."
II Pet. 1:21 "For prophecy (Scripture) never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
Scripture is from God even though it came through men. Remember the words of the apostles. In other words, Remember the Word of God.
ILL.- Two politicians decided to have a friendly wager on the subject of religion. One of them bet the other that he couldn’t repeat the Lord’s prayer. He said, "I’ll take that bet." The first politician said, "Ok, let me hear you quote it."