Summary: A Communion meditation: In the "War of the Worlds" resurrection is a weapon.
WAR OF THE WORLDS
Revelation 15:1 – 16:20
Big Idea: A Communion meditation on the cosmic battle between God and evil which was won with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
>>Pastor Ken reads Rev. 15-16<<
Hmmmm. Let me look this over again. I thought … I thought … well … where is the big battle?! I have always been told there is a big battle! All the people have certainly gathered at Megiddo … but no battle is recorded. Well, at least not any battle like the End Times writers who want to scare you and get your money talk about.
We are often left with the impression that there is going to be this final battle called “Armageddon” with the kings of the world on one side of the valley with all their tanks and Jesus and his followers on the other side of the valley with all their tanks. They turn the book of the Revelation into a thriller / suspense novel and tell you things like “John did not have the language needed so the locusts are symbolic of helicopters …” They write their stuff as if Satan (or Obama, or the Pope, or Russia, or China or …) and his generals have developed a war plan (Jesus is on the other side doing his best John Wayne impersonation for his followers) and are gonna go to war against God.
The problem with the novel is that it is pure fiction. I dare you to find that battle in the Bible. Anywhere! Even Revelation 19:11-21 teach that no battle transpires.
The War of the Worlds
But let’s be clear. I do think there’s a battle. But it is MUCH bigger that the plains of Megiddo could handle and there is much more at stake than simply who will run the world. The stage for this battle was set in Revelation 12. You cannot understand any of the imagery in the book if you stray from the history and the ongoing battle described in chapter 12.
You see, this battle is not conventional and is not fought with conventional weapons. This battle is on a much larger scale … this battle is cosmic in nature. It is spiritual in nature. It is even more real and the stakes are even higher than any battle fought in any valley on earth.
Ephesians 6:10-13 helps us understand what is going on here:
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Let’s be clear … it’s about a war. The Revelation has ALWAYS been about a war. So let me go ahead and let the cat out of the bag. God has only one weapon to combat Satan’s many. In Revelation God’s weapon is clear … Resurrection.* Yes, in the War of the Worlds – resurrection is a weapon.
It is not a vindication for a life wrongly terminated.
It is re-instigation for a battle rightly fought.
Resurrection is not simply the climax of God’s death on the cross. It is the shot fired around the world that lets the Enemy know there will be a battle between the two forces claiming Lordship.
It is not simply about a man. It is about a war. Again, resurrection is a weapon. In fact, it is a battle between a sovereign loving God who knows no equal and an evil fiend determined to claim humankind. The enemy uses a variety of weapons but they all end with humanity under the grip of sin and condemnation to a hellish end. Resurrection is THE weapon to combat the enemy.
The stakes could not be greater. It is a battle over life or loss of life. To win, God had to detonate a force as ferocious for life as his enemy is vicious for death. God’s weapon for the battle is the weapon of life, not weapons of death. The devil is destroyed by new life in Christ. It is hope, faith, and love that conquer evil.
Have you ever noticed that The Revelation never uses the words “cross” or “crucifixion”? Yes, I know Christ’s death is referred to and even essential in the book, but the fact that the cross and crucifixion are not mentioned or central is significant. John was looking past the cross to the resurrection. The cross is null and void if there is no resurrection. The cross paid the penalty for sin – but only the resurrection could break the power of sin!