Summary: A message about the spiritual battle that we all face.
THE FIGHT OF YOUR LIFE
TEXT: 2 Corinthians 1:8-10; 10:3-5
2 Corinthians 1:8 10 8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
l. INTRODUCTION THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS
-Of late, I have found myself drawn back to a little book that I read several years ago. I have been re-reading portions of Pilgrim’s Progress written by John Bunyan. It was written in the 1600’s by this preacher who was locked in prison because of his preaching during his day.
-There is one particular scene in the book where that Christian begins to descend into the Valley of Humiliation. He will have to travel this particular path alone. In this region of travel, he actually will begin to travel through a series of valleys.
A. Apollyon, The Enemy
-In this valley, he will battle Apollyon. The name Apollyon is from the Hebrew equivalent Abaddon and both in this context are known as Adestroyer.
-He is a hideous monster. He was covered with scales like a fish (of this he was very proud). He has wings like a dragon and feet like a bear. From his belly belched fire and smoke.
-His whole intent is to destroy Christian in the path of his journey.
B. A Dialogue with the Devil
-The fight is fraught with danger, subterfuge, malice, and hatred directed toward Christian. The early stages of the fight starts with a dialogue with the devil. He inquires of some things from Christian:
• Where did you come from and where are you going?
• Why have you fled from your earthly and fleshly king?
-As the conversation starts, Apollyon attempts to market a deal. He wants to barter with Christian’s soul.
Everything that you have left to start toward the Celestial City, I will give it back to you. All of the material things in the City of Destruction will be yours. Trade what you can see for something that you cannot see. I will give you the services and the wages from the City of Destruction in exchange for your soul.
-This is the constant work of the enemy. He wants men to trade things in:
• Trade your birthright.
• Trade your convictions.
• Trade your purity.
• Trade your devotion.
• Trade your doctrine.
• Trade your prayer.
• Trade your hunger for revival.
• Trade your desire for heaven.
• Trade your faith.
• Trade your soul.
-The confrontation continues with a war of words. Whether Apollyon’s subjects are aware of it or not they are nothing more than slaves to sin. They have no rights or liberty. . . but this never becomes evident until they attempt to leave.
• A masterful liar.
• He employs deception.
• He manipulates every morsel of truth.
• He blinds the minds of men.
• He owns a deadly web of deceit.
• He works with seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
-William Shakespeare wrote into King Lear a line that goes like this: "The prince of darkness is a gentleman."
C. The Accuser of the Brethren
-When the seemingly diplomatic dialogue does not work with collapsing Christian=s morals, then Apollyon starts to accuse Christian. This should not be strange to us for Scripture very clearly designates the enemy of the soul as an accuser of the brethren.
-He accuses him:
• You almost fainted in the Slough of Despond.
• You tried to get rid of the burden of sin the wrong way.
• You slept and lost valuable treasures along the path.
• You almost turned back from the teeth of the lion.
• You talk of the past journey and boastfully describe what you have accomplished.
-He capitalizes on accusations and cataloges all of the past sins. Then Apollyon realizes that this is not working. . . . . So he launches into a fierce rage against the Lord.
-Christian responds back to him and informs him to be careful in his extreme rage against the Lord. He also tells Apollyon that he is traveling in the King=s Highway which is the way of holiness.