Summary: A reminder to the church, we are at war.
October 7, 2012
It happens to all of us. It happens at different times, in different places and in different ways. Sometimes it happens when you start paying bills for the first time. Sometimes it happens when you experience depression for the first time, not knowing why. Sometimes it on the job. Sometimes it happens at home. At some point, we wake up to the realization that life is a battle, and we’re in a war.
Do you ever feel like that? You should, because it is. We all have to fight our own battles on a daily basis.
There are no conscientious objectors to this war. There are no deferments from this battlefield. Fame and fortune will not keep you out of the fight. John Daly, the PGA golfer, battles alcohol. Phil Mickelson battles arthritis. Mike Tyson battles anger. Drew Carey, the host of "The Price Is Right," battled depression so badly that twice, before he was 20-years-old, he attempted to take his own life. The truth is, we all fight our own wars, and we all face battles. Some will be physical, some emotional and some spiritual.
Everywhere you look, wars are being fought. There are wars between nations, wars between governments, wars between families, wars between spouses. Wars seem to be a constant, and people are always willing to fight.
So, how did these wars get started? How can we win? and How will it end? That’s what I want to focus on over the next few weeks.
Beginning with Genesis 3, the Bible tells a story about a warrior, who is also known as the Prince of Peace. He’s the only warrior capable of winning this war. He alone will have the victory, and He alone will bring us everlasting peace.
The story begins in the Garden of Eden. It was a place of perfect peace. There were only two people in the garden: Adam and Eve. They were at perfect peace with God, perfect peace with each other, and perfect peace with themselves. Then, something happened. It’s the most tragic event in human history. This event plunged our world into a war we continue to fight.
God’s solution to this problem is wrapped up in a single verse in Genesis 3. It’s a passage which provides hope in the midst of the new war. God said, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
Amazingly, peace is wrapped up in a promise and a prophecy. This verse promises that a warrior will come to rescue us from conflict; it prophesies that this warrior is none other than Jesus Christ.
What we lose track of, and what we need to hold onto is this fact — the story of the Warrior is the story of the Bible. Not only that, but this should also become the story of your life. We need a warrior who can fight and win the war, for us.
Law school professor, Edwin Keedy, from Penn University used to begin his first class every year by writing two numbers on the blackboard: 4 and 2, side-by-side.
He would ask, “What’s the solution?” Students would call out, "6." Others would cry out “2.” Then several would shout out, “8.” Keedy would shake his head no to each response. Finally, he would explain they all made one fatal error. “There’s one reason why you cannot find the solution, and that’s because you failed to ask the key question, ‘What’s the problem?’ Unless you know what the problem is, you will never find the solution.
Folks, we’re living in a world that’s trying to find a solution to a problem that it hasn’t properly identified. Nobody can deny our world is in a mess. It’s in a mess morally. People debate the definition and meaning of marriage. We face terrorism all around us. Nations are threatening nuclear weapons. We have an important election, with candidates who will put each other down at every opportunity. Things we were once told were wrong are now right, and what’s right is wrong.
This world is in a mess politically. There’s political unrest on almost every continent.
This world is in a mess economically. We’re currently experiencing the worst global crisis since the Great Depression. Cities and countries are declaring bankruptcy.
But all of these problems are a symptom of a greater problem: this world is in a mess spiritually. We have never seen more interest in spiritual things in our lifetime, yet there has never been more cultural and societal chaos than now.
The problem, in one sense, goes all the way back to a snake in the grass. If you aren’t familiar with the story, in short . . . God created Adam and Eve. He put them in a perfect environment — the Garden of Eden. There was absolutely nothing that could make them do wrong. There was absolutely no sin. There was no need for greed, because they had everything they could possibly want. God said they could eat from any tree in the garden, except for one tree. It was off limits.