Summary: A sermon about how we can overcome Satan using the full armor of God
Lets Get Ready to Rumble
Text: Ephesians 6:10-18
By: Ken McKinley
How many of your remember what happened on September 11th 2001? Let me re-phrase that. How many of you remember how you felt when you witnessed the events of September 11th 2001? If you’re anything like me then you probably felt shock, anger, confusion, and you were barraged with a whole slew of other emotions. I’ve thought about this for some time now, it’s now 2008. Seven years have nearly passed us by since that day, and I’ve done a lot of thinking, wondering why I felt the emotions I felt, and I think the reason for the emotions I felt that day were not due to surprise that the United States was attacked. They were not due to the methods used to carry out the attack. No, I was shocked, stunned, because in my 35 years on this earth I have never seen evil so boldly show itself. I have never seen evil so brazenly declare that it is still here and that it’s still operating on this earth. I am too young to have seen the Holocaust of WWII, and I barely remember Vietnam. I’ve seen my share of evil deeds done and their consequinces, but I’ve never seen it on such a scale as I saw it on September 11th 2001. And I remember the President making his declaration of war against terror, and at that time he didn’t mince words. He called it an evil act perpetrated by evil men. Of course soon after-words the rhetoric changed. It wasn’t evil men who did it, it was misguided fanatics, or hijackers of the so called “religion of peace.” And this came about because of our relativistic culture where tolerance is the supreme virtue. We are supposed to be tolerant of every thought, belief, and behavior out there. We now live in a culture that has dismissed the idea of Satan and sin and have adopted a view which sees humanity in purely materialistic terms, and because of these changes that have taken place in our culture over the past few decades our text this morning might seem irrelevant to many.
Today, there are more and more people who do not see humanity as in a spiritual battle between sin and righteousness, between Satan and Christ. Instead they see us as basically good people who just need direction. And so reform is sought through legislation and education.
Laws seek to control the external behaviors, to stop evil with the threat of punishment, but laws cannot change the human heart. Education targets the mind, where laws and legislation cannot touch, but since our mind is twisted by sin, education seems to only create a more clever form of wickedness. Now I happen to believe that we are in a time when people are starting to realize that laws and education and no amount of money will get rid of the evil that is in this world. But the problem is that a lot of churches and a lot of the people in churches bought into the idea, and today, since we’ve exchanged the notion of sin for science, we’ve lost the ability to deal with evil. The evil in this world that has been here since Adam’s fall is still here, but we got rid of the idea of sin and ourselves as sinners. And so when evil and sin show themselves we seem to have no way of dealing with it.
How many of you have seen the movie The Silence of the Lambs? If you think it’s a sin to watch that kind of thing you don’t have to raise your hand, but I will confess that I have seen it. There is a part in that movie where the psychopath Hannibal Lector (Played by Anthony Hopkins) is speaking with Clarisse Starling (Played by Jodie Foster) who is an FBI agent, trying to get Lector to help her solve a case. She listens to his horror stories about his life and then asks him, “What made you like this? What happened to you?” That is a modern question that assumes we are the sole products of our environment and upbringing. She’s asking, “What sociological, biological events made you like this?” He looks at her and says, “Nothing has happened to me, Clarisse. I happened. Nothing has happened to me, you can’t reduce me to a set of influences. You have given up good and evil for behaviorism, officer Starling. You’ve got everybody in moral dignity pants. Nothing is never anybody’s fault. Look at me, officer Starling, can you stand to say I’m evil?” And to many people, that was why the movie was so frightening. They could not answer the monsters question, they were unable to cope with evil because it was an outdated, unfathomable notion to them.