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VIOLENCE IN THE HEAVENS
SPIRITUAL CONFLICT THAT IS MORE VIOLENT
Christians today are hearing about a spiritual conflict that is more violent and more significant than anything we have seen on TV or read in the newspapers. Steven Spielberg would be hard-pressed to produce the visual and audio effects of the unseen war being fought in the heavens today. And this celestial war is more relevant and closer to home than we think. We are involved in it and we are affected by it.
Many best-selling books being released by Christian publishers today are about the subject of spiritual warfare. Christian magazines are deluged with unsolicited articles regarding it: You may be hearing the words "spiritual warfare" more often in your church these days. You may be singing battle songs that teach you to appreciate God as the Mighty Warrior.
There is a reason for it. Hundreds of Christian leaders around the world believe Christ is preparing His people for emergency living and battle conditions in this final decade of the twentieth century.
WHY THE YEAR 2000?
It is true that the Scriptures say nothing about the year 2000, and I don't mean to attach any special prophetic significance to it. But several Biblical concepts point out that this may be the most important decade since the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ.
An important factor that sets this decade apart is that the Church is focusing on the year 2000 for world evangelization-not only involvement in the task of missions, but finishing the task, fulfilling the words Jesus in Matthew 24:14: "And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
Although Jesus did not tell us the day or the hour of His return, He did state clearly that He would return and what must be done before His return- the preaching of the Gospel to all nations (not political nations, which may crumble, but people groups that have lasting ties).
Because He has given the church the responsibility of reaching the nations, the exact time of His coming may be more dependent upon the Church than upon Himself. Prophecy is not only God's prediction of what will happen, it is His declaration of what HE intends to do.
His people may not always agree on the interpretation of biblical prophecy, but one thing is certain: His people must equip themselves for the tremendous responsibility and privilege of reaching the nations, building the kingdom, and bringing back the King.
THE CHURCH IS CATCHING THE VISION
Nearly 2000 strategy plans for the year 2000 were published by mission organizations around the world. One coalition of Asian churches has a goal of planting one million churches in this decade.
The U.S. Center for World Missions was working to plant a church in every unreached people group on the face of the earth in the next ten years.
Christian groups around the world were reminded that Scripture declared that worshippers will gather around the throne of heaven from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue, saying, "Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto Him who sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever."
These groups were gearing up to do their part to reach every people group by the year 2000.
Because the Church is becoming more aggressive about evangelizing the world, you can be sure that the Devil is becoming doubly aggressive about preventing it. The result will be the violent conflict mentioned earlier in this article.
It is time for the fulfillment of the Scripture that says, "The Kingdom will suffer violence and the violent will take it by force." (Matt 11:12) When Jesus spoke those words He was referring to the ministry of John the Baptist, but HE also said, "He who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
We have greater privileges and greater resources at our disposal than John the Baptist had, but we often lack his courage and determination for the task at hand,
WE MUST NOT FAIL CHRIST AT THIS CRUCIAL HOUR
God knows what's in store for us and he desires to equip us for whatever enemies or trials we may face or endure. He desires that we live in the victory and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How will we live the rest of our lives? Will we allow Christ to test us, without murmuring? Will we be faithful today in the tasks that He gives us that will form our character for tomorrow? Will we make whatever sacrifice necessary to be one hundred percent honest, faithful, and loyal? Are we learning to pray in faith? Are we in training for violent opposition? Are we putting on the whole armor of God, and learning how to use His weapons?
In soccer, as in other sports, the best defense is a strong offense. In spiritual warfare we have the advantage; let's not lose by default. For every demon that Satan has at his disposal, God has two angels to guarantee heaven's triumph. The victory is ours! We must shake off our fear and love of comfort. We must press on to win the spiritual battle in prayer, and by taking the gospel to every nation on the face of the earth. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
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THE AGE OF THE CHRISTIAN ROMAN EMPIRE - The Lessons for the Modern Age | LIVING WORTHY OF THE GOOD NEWS - Philippians 1:27 | JESUS - THE SERVANT KING | BELIEVE AND FEAR NOT - Isaiah 40 | VIOLENCE IN THE HEAVENS |PONTIUS PILATE AND HIS DILEMMA
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