Summary: The resurrection makes life worth living -- and leaving!
DELIVER US FROM EVIL: THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION
Sermon Objective: The Resurrection makes life worth living … and leaving.
Easter Sunday, as exhilarating as it is, has, shall I say a “negative side-effect” that we must address. If we are not careful we begin to live and think as if Easter happens once a year and then we move on to something else. But Easter is NOT one day … Easter Sunday is intended to be everyday of our lives. From the resurrection onward we are expected to live our lives, as the disciples did , it light of its reality and power.
The Resurrection is the church’s Motivation and Message.
Nothing is ever the same after the resurrection becomes a reality in you.
Not only that, but the whole book of The Revelation (the entire New Testament actually) is anchored to the reality of the resurrected Jesus and the hope of the resurrection of the saints. It changes everything!
Would you to say that with me? “THE RESURRECTION CHANGES EVERYTHING!”
John writes: Rev. 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
For the last few months I have been preaching through chapters 12 and 13 of The Revelation. As you have undoubtedly noticed I have focused much of this time on the nature, intention, and destiny of evil. It is not because I am on a “devil under every rock” kick but because that is the turn the text has taken. It is an important truth the be grappled with if we are to be followers of Christ and / or understand The Revelation.
The existence and nature of evil is one of the underground streams that run through this book. In fact, it is one of the underground streams that run through the entire narrative of the Bible. From the Fall (Genesis 2-3) to the restoration of humankind and earth (Rev. 21-22) evil is being confronted and solved. What we discover in the Revelation mirrors what we discover in the remainder of the Bible; that evil is:
(1) Corporate – that is indeed can infest institutions and even governments.
(2) Systemic – that evil is learned and can be passed down from generation to generation unless it is checked by good.
(3) Personal – the reason evil can exist in other dimensions or expressions is because, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said, “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being” (The Gulag Archipelago, 1973).
The Revelation stresses the danger of over-estimating or under-estimating evil.
Danger of over-estimating
TO OVER-ESTIMATE EVIL MAKES IT SOVEREIGN … dare I say even divine. It creates a dualism that asserts evil to be equal with God and suggests there is a war between the two to determine who will win. It attributes divine characteristics to evil – characteristics like
• Unlimited power
• The ability to create or control creation
• The power to resurrect the dead
The Bible never gives such attributes to anyone but the Creator Himself. Anything akin to it (either in this book or the entire Bible) is actually seen as counterfeit or deceptive trickery.