Summary: Textual sermon on Ephesians 6:13, phrase by phrase (Material adapted from Ray Pritchard at: http://www.keepbelieving.com/sermon/standing-in-the-evil-day/)
"Sunrise was dawning when Los Angeles motorcycle police officer Bob Vernon saw a red pickup truck speed through a stop sign. He turned on his emergency lights and radioed that he was in pursuit. The pickup pulled over, and the officer approached. The officer said, ’Good morning, sir, may I see your--’ "He never finished the sentence. The driver shoved a gun toward the police officer's chest and fired from just inches away. The cop was knocked seven feet away. A few seconds later, the officer stood up, pulled his service revolver, and fired twice. The first bullet went through the open window and smashed the windshield. The second tore through the door and ripped into the driver’s left leg. "’Don’t shoot’ the driver screamed. What saved the police officer's life was dozens of layers of Kevlar, the super strong fabric used for bulletproof vests. Only three-eighths of an inch thick, Kevlar can stop bullets cold." “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Eph. 6:13)
In our series on “Stand Firm,” we find this phrase being used in vs. 14. We find the word stand being used 4 times. 2 of those times in vs. 13.
Ephesians 6:13 is a fighter’s verse. We can hear the sound of combat when we read it. We can sense the desperate battle, of soldiers rushing to the front lines, and at the end of the verse, we can hear the sound of victory. This describes our situation. The “evil day” is here. We have armor of God. We are called to stand our ground and to fight to the end so that we may be still standing when the day is done. Some years ago Mark Bubeck wrote a book called “Overcoming the Adversary,” a call for “warfare prayers (Vs. 18)” to turn back the powers of darkness. In that book he asks why Satan seems to be so active in the world today. 3 answers:
1. Christians have ignored the idea of spiritual warfare. Maybe a reason for this is that some have gone to extremes so many have shied away from the subject altogether. However, we need to realize that there is a war going on. If we ignore this we are unprepared.
2. Satan is active today because we are living in the last days. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” 2 Timothy 3:1, NIV. There is a growing trend to view our days as the last of human history as we know it. If this is true, we need to be aware that Satan has redoubled his efforts, knowing that his time is short. “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.”” Revelation 12:12, NIV.
3. Satan is gaining ground because society is rejecting God and embracing evil. Started with the idea that in public things need to be spiritually neutral to be inclusive, tolerant, and pluralistic. Instead of things staying spiritually neutral, the vacuum is being filled with all kinds of evil.
Thesis: Textual sermon on Ephesians 6:13, phrase by phrase
The Warning (When the day of evil comes)
Notice that Paul does not say, “If the day of evil comes,” but “when the day of evil comes,” meaning that there is always a conflict in the spiritual realm. Important to understand this:
While every day has its share of evil, not every day is the “evil day.” There are certain moments in life when we feel the heat of battle in a big way. In those days temptation flares up, tempers grow short, friends turn against us, discouragement sets in, and we feel like giving up. Satan often punches below the belt. He attacks us in our weakness, he uses circumstances to discourage us, he tempts us to do things we swore we would never do, he hits us when we are alone and vulnerable. “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8, NIV. Paul Nyquist, in his book Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture, notes that we in the West have been largely shielded from the kind of suffering our brothers and sisters in places like Somalia, Sudan, Syria, India and China routinely face, such as public abuse, legal restrictions, and sometimes arrest, imprisonment, and death. Nyquist says that things are bound to get worse for Christians in America as our society becomes more secular.
The evil day always comes sooner or later. It has come again and again in church history. No one gets a free ride on the journey from earth to heaven. We in the West need to get tougher if we are to survive what is coming our way. Might have had a good week, a good month, a good year, be thankful. But take nothing for granted. In the battle for our souls, Satan never takes a vacation. “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11, NIV.