Summary: The ultimate conflict has always been between God and satan.
April 8, 2007
Text: Luke 24:1-8
Subject: The Conflict between Jesus and satan
Title: The Ultimate Fighter: Part 3 in the Conflict Series
I want to begin this morning by talking about a feud that started towards the end of the Civil War in West Virginia and Kentucky. It began in January of 1865 when Harmon McCoy, who had joined the Union army, was found murdered, presumably by a group of men led by William Anderson Hatfield.
This is the beginning of decades of violence and conflict that we have fondly come to know as the Hatfield and McCoy Feud. The violence escalated years later over a sow and her pigs. The McCoys claimed that since the pig was on their property it must be their hog. The Hatfields countered the claim – because they could – and the matter was taken to court. The McCoys lost their claim in court because of the testimony of Bill Staton who was later murdered by two McCoy brothers.
The feud later intensified when Roseanna McCoy began an Affair with Johnse Hatfield. Johnse later abandoned Roseanna and married her cousin. This only stirred the fires of hatred. Two years later Ellison Hatfield was brutally murdered by three of Roseanna’s brothers who in turn were murdered as the vendetta reaches epidemic proportions. Eventually eight men were tried in West Virginia for the murders. Seven were given life sentences and the eighth was hanged in public, even though it was against the law, as a sign to the warring families to stop it. Both sides agreed to end the fighting in 1891.
Why am I telling you the story of the Hatfields and McCoys on Easter Morning? I just wanted to get you primed for battle as I describe to you am even greater conflict that has been taking place for longer than we can imagine. It is the feud between a righteous Savior and a prideful angel – between Jesus and satan.
As I have shared with you in my last two sermons there is conflict going on in us and around us. But the conflict has its basis in the battle between good and evil.
Let’s look at how the fight has escalated.
I. THE BEGINNING OF TROUBLES. Isaiah 14:12-15
12 How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.£
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the grave,
to the depths of the pit.
The greatest conflict of all began with the pride of a created being who wanted to be greater than the One who created him. And Jesus was right there when it happened. Luke 10:17-19, “17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you…” Don’t you think that satan is smart enough to realize that there is nothing more that he can do to God. He gave it his best shot and nothing came of it – except that he lost his place of authority in heaven. So his next option is to oppress the children of God. Job 1:6-12, “6 One day the angels£ came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
9“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. The story from Job sets the pattern of how the enemy operates against all who belong to God. Satan brought sin into the world when Adam sinned in the garden. That sin brought death and destruction, and satan continues to fight against God by attacking His servants.