Summary: We are all in a great fight, are you prepared
BOUT OF YOUR LIFETIME
(All my sermons use illustration found on www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted.)
Oh, the hype of a good fight! We see the advertising on television, trying hard to sell PPV tickets to the bout of the century. The WWF is always advertising how great their fights are going to be, and the truth is people are interested in a good fight. BUT, the truth is that you don’t have to pay to see a good fight, you are already in one!
Each of us in a part of a struggle between evil and righteousness, each of us needs to be a well conditioned, practiced and technical fighter with a strong heart and a big faith if we are to prevail.
It will take a strong endurance, and good offense and defense, as well as heart and faith to win this fight. Jesus warned that it would be tough. What if a time comes when the world is the enemy and they are jabbing and punching and pushing, what will we do?
If you have your Bible with you this morning please turn with me to the 24th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew as we read verses 9-12
Matt 24:9-13 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
A time will come when men will no longer put up with the truth, but surround themselves with people who will tell them what they want to hear. We are in for a fight. AMEN? Already I have heard people tell me that the Bible is just an old book, that the truth written in it was for back then, that things have changed and God is doing something NEW today that He didn’t bother telling us about.
I have heard people tell me that the Bible is the truth for all people, BUT it means different things for different people and some that say some of the Bible is true, BUT not all of it. We are in for a good fight, AMEN?
Paul fought the good fight, he finished the race, he did what needed to be done and he was certain that he was awarded the crown. You see the heavyweight belt is not at stake here, but a crown of righteousness.
2 Tim 4:6-8 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
This morning let’s look at some things you and I can do to insure that we fight the good fight and are awarded that same crown.
There are some tools that every good fighter must have, us included:
I. A STRONG PUNCH (offense and defense)
1 Tim 1:18-19 Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.
You can almost picture Paul in the corner of the ring, giving Timothy last minute instruction, “Tim, you need to keep the truth in front of you at all times, don’t let them catch you with your guard down. The best defense is a good offense, and knowing and speaking the truth is the best offense we have. And Tim, whatever you do, don’t quit, keep fighting, I know you know this is what needs to be done, you have the heart, and the faith, so fight the good fight son.” And the bell rings, and Timothy is out there doing his best. And why not, there have been people since the times of Christ who have tried to topple the truth.
2 Tim 2:17-18 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
Paul says, here is the enemy, right in front of you, they are trying to bring down the truth and their lies are spreading like wildfire, (gangrene). This enemy has only one thing in mind, to DESTROY the faith of anyone they can. To take down Christians, to get others to wander away from Christ, to get the knock out punch.