April 12, 2020

The Apocalypse Is Cancelled

Expanded notes from my Easter sermon.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57

My title is a reference to a line in a movie, but I think that it is appropriate for the occasion. Let me tell you why.

The devil (a.k.a. Satan or Lucifer) is a very evil being. And not the smartest one, thinking that he could be like God and even after he was cast out of Heaven, he is still fighting against God. He is still fighting in this modern age and still going to lose. But, he's persistent and devious and willing to callously use people. He uses them by either influence or possession and I think that a source of many of the world's conspiracy theories arise from their behavior. Their behavior is bizarre to us, but then we are not possessed of influenced by evil spirits.

The devil and his demons have been trying to destroy mankind since Genesis chapter 3 when he put doubt in Eve's mind by questioning the Word of God. His plans haven't changed, but he continues to take advantage of every modern piece of technology and means of communication.

I have no idea whether the current pandemic is man-made or natural and there are even doubts about whether it's actually a pandemic. But I do know that God is in charge and continues to rule the universe while people run around panicking. I have no idea how many conspiracy theories are true, but I do know that our adversary is attacking us at every available opportunity.

I also know that nothing catches God by surprise. God has already done everything that will cause the devil to lose. The devil's just fighting it every step of the way. Everything is on track for the perfect will of God to be done. Satan's plans are being thwarted and all of his attempts at bringing apocalypse to mankind have been cancelled.

The scriptures let us know that it's not going to be pretty for the bad guys.

15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

Isaiah 66:15-16

8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

Zephaniah 3:8

The crucifixion is the major milestone in the Lord's plans for the redemption of mankind. The pivot point if you will. And in that respect I am reminded a a quote by Sir Winston Churchill:

"Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat."

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

I know that the Lord has never had a defeat. I reference this as an example of the dramatic significance of the crucifixion.

It is safe to say that the crucifixion cancelled the apocalypse.

14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Hebrews 2:14

Jesus laid down his life so that he could pay our sin debts and take the keys of Hell and the grave.

18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Revelation 1:18

We now have victory over death.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57

The apocalypse is cancelled!

Tags: Church