Summary: We who are believers, have a great promise in this passage that God will give us the victory over evil and over the schemes of the Devil.
INTRODUCTION… It’s Not the End of the World (p)
I’d like you to imagine that this has been your morning:
You awake to discover your alarm failed to go off and so you wake up late to get ready for work. In your rush out of bed, you immediately stub your toe. Then you get into the shower only to realize your spouse and kids have used up all the hot water and it is a cold shower for you. When you go to get your breakfast in the kitchen, someone put the milk carton and the orange juice cartons back into the refrigerator empty which is par for the course because you discovered all the cereal boxes are empty anyway… and there’s are no clean coffee mugs. You grab your phone before you head out the door and realize you didn’t plug it in all the way the night before so it’s dead as a doornail. You walk outside to go to work to find a tree limb sticking out of the front windshield of one of your cars which blew down the night before in the storm. You can’t call the insurance because your phone is dead. Not only that, you accidentally left the driver’s side window down in your other car and the driver’s seat is soaking wet from the storm. You back out of the driveway and hit your mailbox.
What are you feeling and thinking?
What level is your stress and frustration?
What do you expect to happen the rest of the day?
Now I realize this is an imaginary morning, but sometimes we can have days like that can’t we? Sometimes we can have weeks that drain us and we feel like the whole world is pressing down on us and laughing. We go though seasons when whatever can go wrong does go wrong. Sometimes our best efforts and all our good intentions come to nothing. Circumstances can create a perception about our lives that the whole world is coming to an end. Bad things happen and sometimes we have a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend that might say to us, “It’s not the end of the world.” We know that! This small statement is meant to put things into perspective and help us see our lives clearly and in a better light.
REVIEW OF MESSAGES
We have been studying the Book of Revelation and we have been reminded of some powerful passages and heard some powerful challenges for our faith:
We have been challenged to make Jesus Christ the absolute directing head of our lives.
We have been reminded that God always forgives and allows us to come back to Him.
We were challenged to live up to the name Christian that we claim and honor it.
We were reminded that our spiritual health is of utmost importance.
We discovered that Jesus Christ is our ultimate hero in this life and the next.
We applied the truth that if Jesus is our hero, then we can persevere in suffering.
We were challenged last week to open up our lives and our mouths and share the Gospel.
Today we are going to talk about “seeing clearly” when it feels like our world is absolutely coming to an end. To get that perspective, we are going to look at some great and wondrous verses in Revelation 12:1-17 which has three main people/characters for us to look at and one main point. It is a little bit longer passage than we normally read, but it is action packed so stay with me.
READ REVELATION 12:1-17
“A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. 7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then 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. 11 They 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. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." 13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 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.”