Sermons

Summary: So many of the Christmas stories happen at night. The shepherds are surprised at night by an angel. Jesus is born at night in a filthy manger. The Magi see a star that leads them to Jesus.

The Last Word – Revelation 12

The Violent Battle of Christmas

October 11, 2020

So many of the Christmas stories happen at night. The shepherds are surprised at night by an angel. Jesus is born at night in a filthy manger. The Magi see a star that leads them to Jesus.

Revelation 12:1-6 NIV

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.

Matthew 2:13- 16 NIV

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

Jesus came into a violent world.

When we live in a world of violence long enough, it’s easy to adopt violent means ourselves especially if our cause is just and those opposing us are evil.

Violence doesn’t solve our problems.

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spiritual battles are real.

1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

God’s plans for us will always be opposed.

Revelation 12:17 NIV

“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.”

God has sent a Lamb to rescue us.

Killing the opposition is the beasts’ way of solving a problem.

Revelation 17:14 NIV

They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings — and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."

Babies and lambs do not belong on the battlefield, right?

1 John 4:4 NIV

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

God often uses the improbable to do the impossible.

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