The Christmas Conspiracy Sermon Notes–This Means War

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

What is your view of angels? Most artistic interpretations portray them as fairly effeminate but a closer look at the Christmas story paints a very different portrait.

 Let’s look at Luke 2:8-21,

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

 Note 2:13, the Greek word translated as “host” is the word stratia, which almost always means an army.   For example, the same word is used to describe Pharaoh’s army in Exodus 14:4, 9 and 17 and David’s army (2 Sam. 3:23), etc.  So, angels are God’s army.  They are not sweet, effeminate messengers but warriors and the song they sing celebrates the birth of their commander-in-chief and the beginning of the final war they had long waited to fight.

 Christmas is not a “silent night” but the beginning of a war.  1 John 3:8 makes it clear that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.  He came to fight for His fallen creation.

 That means that our warrior king’s churches are not supposed to be places to run and hide from the fight but were envisioned to be outposts on the frontlines of a great cosmic battle.  Church is not supposed to be a place where people gather over coffee & donuts or pop & pizza and discuss each other’s opinion about the battle, it is to a training ground to equip us to fight.

 Today there are two models of church…the cruise ship and the battleship.  On a cruise ship, the staff do all the work and their job is to make sure everyone is happy–so they make sure there is plenty of food, everything is clean, the programs are cute & entertaining and the music is to everyone’s liking.  Sound familiar? 

A battleship on the other hand demands that everyone pitch in and do their job or else.  A battleship doesn’t sit in a warm spot but speeds to any place in the world it is needed without question even if the destination is in the midst of what appears to be a hopeless fight.

Which ship are you on?

Recently, I was blessed to hear Maj. Jeff Streuker speak.  If you have read the book of seen the movie Black Hawk Down then the name may sound familiar because he led an RV into Mogadishu to rescue his fellow soldiers who were surrounded by the army of a Somali warlord.  There were so many enemy combatants that Army Rangers were calling for volunteers to go with them to fight–they asked cooks, janitors, chaplains…anyone who could carry a gun to fight to save lives.

What if you had been there? What if someone said that they weren’t going into “that kind of place” but would sit in air-conditioned building discussing the battle and how important it is? Would think that person a coward?

 When the great cosmic war that Jesus came to win is over and soldiers are gathered around King Jesus’ table, what battle stories will you to tell?  As you listen to missionaries discuss planting underground churches in Iran or guys like Revolution’s own who are moving into the east end to reach out to meth dealers and addicts, what will you have to say? That you volunteered every 3 months for 90-minutes in the nursery? Helped serve food at the church’s “Holy Ghost Wiener Roast”?”  Is that how you want to spend eternity?

Well, you may object that you have families to feed and risking your life is foolish. 

I can say without a moment’s hesitation that I would rather die young and wake up a hero in heaven then die an old man safe in a comfortable bed while a war is raging around me.

 How about you?

Christmas was the beginning of a war.  Our King calls soldiers ready to storm the gates of hell and, thanks to his courageous sacrifice, we can do so without the fear of losing anything.

So, I ask again…are you on a cruise ship or a battleship?

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