Summary: Through Jesus Christ we have victory over sin and evil; this sermon describes the nature and sources of that victory.
DRAGON-SLAYER! (PART 3)
Rev. 12: 10-11, 17
Sermon Objective: Through Jesus Christ we have victory over sin and evil; this sermon describes the nature and sources of that victory.
10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
On the one year anniversary of 9/11 (September 11, 2002) TIME Magazine had a touching article about 31-year old Genelle Guzman. Genelle was the last of just four people caught in the debris of the Twin Towers to be found alive.
After the planes hit the World Trade Center, Genelle was descending a stair case from the 64th floor of the North Tower. Steel beams weakened to their breaking point. Solid concrete was pulverized. But somehow her body found an air pocket.
Her right leg was pinned under heavy concrete pillars. Her head was caught between stacks of wreckage. She was buried beneath tons and tons of rubble but somehow she was still alive.
For over twenty-seven hours Guzman lay trapped and seriously injured.
In recent months before the attacks Genelle had started attending the Brooklyn Tabernacle church where Jim Cymbala is pastor. She had found faith in Christ so while she was stuck in the rubble, she started to pray. She’d trail off into sleep – wake up and pray some more.
Shortly after noon on Wednesday the 12th, she heard voices. So she screamed as loud as she could, “I’m here! HEY, I’M RIGHT HERE!” A rescue worker responded, "Do you see the light?" She did not. She took a piece of concrete and banged it against a broken stairway overhead—probably the same structure that had saved her life. The searchers find the noise.
Genelle wedged her hand through a crack in the wall, and felt someone grab it. She heard a voice say, "I’ve got you," and Genelle Guzman said, "OH GOD, THANK YOU.”
It took 20 long minutes, and then she was saved. (SOURCE: TIME Magazine, 9/11/02, p. 38.)
Genelle’s rescue illustrates the rescue that God has undertaken for all people.
I tell you the story of Genelle as we begin looking at the last principle for being an overcomer because her story illustrates the power of the Gospel.
• We are trapped; truly trapped in the grip of death by a sinister being which wants nothing less that our total destruction.
• We are hopeless to free ourselves.
• If we wish to be free we have no choice but to cry out to a loving God and rely on Him to rescue us.
• God is faithful and will come to our rescue. In doing so, Satan’s grip is defeated and we are free to be made fully human and restored to the image of Jesus.
I am so glad that -that God has reached down into the rubble and saved us by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
We have now looked at two of the three descriptive phrases that John uses to describe one who has overcome the dragon.
The first principle is relying on the Powerful Blood of Jesus. It is so powerful that it alone catches Satan flat-footed. He has no weapon against it. So, as our passage makes clear, he places his cross-hairs on YOU. Verse 17 read: Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
The second principle is to Maintain our Testimony. Defeating the enemy is not only about your personal victory – Satan is conquered each time a friend of yours comes to faith in Jesus. His grip on human destiny is weakened as they are rescued. Maintaining you testimony is about living a life of faith, love and holiness. It is about those around you being able to see Jesus expressed through your life. Your witness is a proclamation of Christ’s Lordship and challenges the assumptions of humankind.
1. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb.
1. We overcome by the word of our testimony.
3. WE OVERCOME WHEN WE DO “NOT LOVE OUR LIVES SO MUCH AS TO SHRINK FROM DEATH”