There is a War going on

God's Message on the Web - My earliest podcasts.

In my opinion, Christians are constantly amazed at the escalating attack on Christian values and Christian views in this country. Many things that were appreciated and revered by those who did not even pretend to be Christians in the middle 20th century are under deliberate attack in the early 21st century. That which was regarded to be a part of this nation’s strength is now often considered a part of this nation’s weakness.

This process gives no evidence of coming to an end. By the year, the attacks are becoming bolder and more open.

As I begin, I want to be as clear as possible. I do not wish to make a political statement in this lesson. The concern expressed transcends politics. This is a statement that concerns the values that compose the moral fabric of a people.

I do not wish to suggest that all concerns that declare themselves Christian are in fact Christian. There are many issues that masquerade as a Christian concern that are fundamentally, in basic nature, economic or personal perspectives or group agendas.

Nor do I wish to suggest that all Christians act or express themselves wisely in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Too often those who so despise being victims of control wish to victimize others through their control. It is too rarely a concern for forgiveness and too often a desire for revenge.

If (1) our model is Jesus Christ and (2) he sought no revenge for horrible injustice, (3) how do we conclude we further his objectives through vengeance and forcible control?

The things I share with you today are a personal view. I do not ask you to adopt my view. I merely seek to stimulate you to think. My hope is that by your thinking you will reflect seriously on the basic nature of Christianity. What you consider to be an appropriate expression of Christianity will affect in a basic way what you consider to be Christian values.

All I ask you to do today is think rather than react.

  1. There is a continuous war going on that is a very old war, that has gone on for centuries.
    1. Basically that war has been and is the conflict between the source of good and the source of evil.
      1. The Christian understands this to be a war between God and Satan.
      2. The war is over in regard to which will be the victorious “side” (that was determined in Jesus’ death and resurrection), but it is not over in the sense that it has ended.
      3. Could God end it? Yes!
        1. The question is not could God end the war.
        2. The issue is this: is God willing to endure the cost of ending the war now?
        3. Thus far the answer has been, “No!”
        4. God is fighting the war because He wishes to rescue and regain people.
    2. Consider:
      But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
      (2 Peter 3:8-10)

      1. Peter affirms these facts:
        1. The Lord is not concerned with time as He wages this war.
        2. Repentance of people is more important to the Lord than time.
        3. It is not the Lord’s desire for any to perish, therefore the patient Lord is providing people maximum opportunity.
        4. However, “the day of the Lord” will happen!
      2. Judgment (sentencing, not trial) will happen.
        1. However, the patient Lord will maximize opportunity for human repentance prior to ending the war.
        2. The Lord does not wish to destroy people!
        3. The Lord wants people to escape the consequences of evil by repenting.
        4. The primary reason for this war as far as humans are concerned is repentance.
        5. Had He wanted to, God could have “cut His losses” when the first human rebellion occurred in Genesis 3.
    3. The primary theme of the Bible is about divine recovery from human rebellion, not divine punishment of human rebellion.
      1. Surely those who willingly yield themselves to evil will endure the consequences of their choices.
      2. However, that is not what God wishes!
      3. He does not wish for human rebellion against Him to be subjected to punishment.
    4. Consider a statement Paul made about Jesus Christ and God in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.
      But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

      1. For humans, there was a time when God the Father was “the all in all.”
        1. For us that would have been the period following creation when all things were in subjection to God.
        2. God reigned over this creation, including people.
        3. For a period nothing opposed His rule.
      2. Jesus potentially rectified all that humans perverted and made rebellious when they through rebellion perverted creation in Genesis 3.
        1. Jesus was the first to be permanently resurrected in the conquest of death.
        2. Our hope of resurrection is vested in what God did in raising Jesus from the dead.
        3. All who find life in Jesus will be resurrected to life just as Jesus was.
      3. Jesus Christ reigns right now, and will continue to reign until he returns.
        1. The objective of his reign is to defeat all the forces that oppose God.
        2. Through the current reign of Jesus Christ everything that opposes God being (again) the “all in all” will be defeated.
        3. That which Jesus seeks to defeat includes rules (reigns), authority, power, and death.
          1. None of these rebellious forces advance the original objectives of God.
          2. They result from influences of evil and its deception, not from God’s intent.
          3. God’s desire was not for humans to be rebellious.
          4. The choice of our ancient ancestors made rebellion a part of human nature.
      4. When Jesus defeats the last of the forces that oppose God being the “all in all” [the last force being death itself], he will submit everything [including himself] to God so He will be restored to the position of the “all in all.”
  2. Please consider two things regarding this war that opposes surrender to God.
    1. First, I ask you to consider this graphic.God, our "all in all"
      1. When we were created, God was the “all in all.”
      2. Rebellion, produced by evil’s deception, perverted creation, and it began with the beings God made in His own image and likeness.
      3. With rebellion against God came a desent into complete evil in humans–a total rebellion against God.
      4. In only the first 6 chapters of Genesis people go from God’s pronouncement of “very good” (Genesis 1:31) to His disgust of rejection (Genesis 6:5-7).
      5. Yet, God whose character includes patience and grace, refused to give up on humans even when He was sorry He made people (Genesis 6:8).
      6. God’s journey to (a) the recovery of His status of the “all in all” and (b) the salvation of people involved a lot of patience and a lot of time.
        1. First, He found a man who would trust Him enough to allow God to work through this man–that was Abraham.
        2. Second, He worked through Abraham to produce a nation of people who were supposed to be God’s people in this evil, rebellious world (consider Deuteronomy 7:6-11; 9:4,5).
        3. Through that nation God brought the Christ.
          1. The nation of Israel was merely God’s vehicle, not God’s destination (consider Isaiah 42:6; 56:6, 7 as an expression of God’s interest in all people).
          2. The Bible is not a record of all God’s acts, but a record of how God brought the Christ [His solution to human rebellion] through His work through Israel.
        4. Jesus was sent by God (Philippians 2:5-8) to serve as the world’s guide back to God (John 3:16-21; 8:19, 28, 29; 14:6, 10; 10:14-18; etc.,)
        5. With the judgment, God will again be acknowledged by everyone as the “all in all.”
    2. Second, I ask you to focus on Paul’s admonition to the Ephesian Christians in Ephesians 6:10-13.
      Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

      1. We on our own are no match for Satan and the deceptions of evil.
        1. We must draw strength from God.
        2. We must wear God’s protection.
      2. Opposition to God then took and now takes many forms.
        1. Rulers
        2. Powers
        3. World forces of darkness
        4. Spiritual forces of wickedness
      3. We are not to be deceived into believing that spirituality in Christ only involves opposition physically to evil things in this world.
      4. There is much more involved in conquering evil than our salvation and our desires.
        1. It is terribly easy for us to make this struggle a very selfish consideration.
        2. It is terribly easy for us to focus this struggle only on us and our blessings.
        3. Our salvation does parallel the restoration of God to His rightful position.
          1. However, the primary consideration is the restoration of God’s rule as the “all in all.”
          2. The wonderful blessings of our salvation are only in a support role in the marvelous restoration of God’s rule over everything.

The question is more than: “Do you see your need as one who has been deceived by evil?” That is important, but it is only the beginning. The essential question is this: “Have you spiritually matured enough to see the right and the glory of properly restoring God to position of the ‘all in all’?”

David Chadwell

Author: Greg

Welcome to Gods Message on the web. My name is Greg and I want to welcome you. I started doing these Podcasts, MP3, and Audio Books back in 2007. Stay awhile and make yourself at home. The Christian Podcasts here are free and for everyone to enjoy. I’m doing a complete series on David Chadwell who is a retired minister from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I’ve also done an Audio Book for Wayne Jacobsen’s the Naked Church. Plus a series of MP3s for Pastor Billy Crone and his The Final Countdown series.

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