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SermonSpiritually Stand Against Evil
An all-creatures Bible Message

Spiritually Stand Against Evil
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
3 December 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Mark 13:1-23
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Spiritually stand against evil is something that every born again child of God who lives in His heavenly will should be doing.
 
The world, as a whole, generally follows the corrupt and evil ways of the devil which is evident in the commercialism of the season, and the pain and suffering evident in what most people eat and wear.
 
In order to spiritually stand against evil means that we need to spiritually and physically take a stand against every form of human caused pain, suffering, and death, for these things are of the devil and not from God.
 
And since this is the first Advent Sunday leading up to Christmas, we also need to repent of the worldly things we have done, ask the Lordís forgiveness, and resolve in our heart and soul to follow the teachings of Jesus and Godís heavenly will.
 
If we can do this, it will truly be a Merry Christmas.
 
Letís begin our Advent journey studying what we are told in Mark 13:1-23Ö

1. And as He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!"

This is seeing the world with physical eyes and not spiritual eyes, but Jesus wants us to see with spiritual eyes, for it is the only way any of us are going to be able to spiritually stand against evil.

2. And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another which will not be torn down." 

Jesus is showing His disciples how to see with spiritual eyes, for with a spiritual vision we can see the evil in the world, and the people who live in and follow these worldly ways, and realize that they will have to answer to God for their actions.
 
Jesus is telling the people that if they see with spiritual eyes, they will see that the people, including the religious leaders, have made a mockery of the temple and what it was meant to represent.

3. And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately,
 
4. "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?"

When we think and see things in spiritual terms, we can better discern the signs of the time we live in, just as these disciples should have.
 
We should see that we are moving ever closer to the time of Jesusí second coming, which is really what this Advent season is pointing to, for it canít really be pointing to Jesusí birth, for that happened 2,000 years ago; we remember that past, but we look forward to the future coming.
 
The more we spiritually stand against evil, the more we look forward to the second coming of Jesus.
 
Now, letís see how Jesus responds to these disciplesÖ

5. And Jesus began to say to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.

Think about it; if we spiritually stand against evil, arenít we going to better discern the ungodly acts of others, like the kinds of people that Jesus is warning us about?
 
Of course we are, which is part of the reason that Jesus is telling us about His return.

6. "Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He!' and will mislead many.

But not us, if we are ready for such people.

7. "And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.
 
8. "For nation will arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

And we have seen these things, and still Jesus has not returned, because it has not yet been the time of His return, but even so, we all need to remain on the alert, for His return could come at any time.

9. "But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.

These kinds of things may not happen in our time, but we still could be persecuted because of our belief.
 
We need to spiritually stand against evil.

10. "And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.

This has most likely already occurred.

11. "And when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.

This is something that we all need to remember, for if we spiritually stand against evil, we are also listening to the Holy Spirit; it comes as a gift package from God.

12. "And brother will deliver brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.

This has already happened in some places in the world, and according to what Jesus is saying, it appears that such things will continue to happen.

13. "And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.

This is all part of what can happen when we spiritually stand against evil, but it is the only way we are going to be saved.
 
We cannot serve the devil and God, for that is the way of the world that leads people to destruction, which is what Jesus talks about next.

14. "But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

This is the antichrist; so if we spiritually stand against evil, we should be able to recognize, and heed the warning that Jesus tells us about, but we need to update the event to our present time and adjust for the living conditions that we have.

15. "And let him who is on the housetop not go down, or enter in, to get anything out of his house;
 
16. and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak.
 
17. "But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days!

Unfortunately, there will always be some people in this kind of situation, just as there has always been.

18. "But pray that it may not happen in the winter.

Since the seasons are reversed in the southern and northern hemispheres, we have best pray that it is either spring or fall for these times are the only times to avoid winter somewhere in the world; but no matter when the Lord returns, the time before will be very severe.

19. "For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created, until now, and never shall.
 
20. "And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect whom He chose, He shortened the days.

Recognize that these things will happen because of the evil that is plaguing this world, but since we may be living in the world at this time, we need to hold fast to God and His heavenly will, and not fight against what the Lord will be doing.
 
In fact, we should be praising Him.

21. "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him;
 
22. for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray.

As we said before, if we are spiritually standing against evil, we should recognize these ploys as coming from the devil and reject them.

23. "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. 
NASB

We hope we have all heard the Lordís warning and fully understand that each and every one of us needs to spiritually stand against evil, or we could fall into the devilís traps.
 
And before we leave our discussion, letís think about what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and think about how it relates to what we just talked about.

16. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
 
17. so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
NIV

God-breathed means that it comes from the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit, which to us means that we also need to read our Bibles in the context of the heavenly will of God as guided by His Holy Spirit, so that we read it in the proper context.
 
In other words, we need to be spiritually connected to God to fully understand its multi-faceted meaning.
 
Why would we use our Mark 13 passage which points to the second coming of Jesus Christ to begin our Advent Season, which begins our Christmas season, which speaks to the first coming, or the birth of Jesus?
 
We do this because Jesusí birth was some 2,000 years ago, and we cannot see it again, but Jesusí first coming points to His second coming, as Jesus tells us in Mark 13:1-23.
 
So why did we even expand this message further to include our individual spiritually stand against evil?
 
We did this because our spiritual connecting with God encourages us to emphasize the evil things that Jesus warns us about, which is all part of our training in righteousness, as Paul wrote to Timothy.
 
So in this light, we should all spiritually stand against evil, so that we wonít fail to see that all forms of evil are against the heavenly will of God, and to avoid and even rebuke this evil, and be seen as true children of God in this corrupt world.
 
We are to be Godís light to the world, guiding people to the Lord our God, similar to the way the Star of Bethlehem guided people to Jesus some 2,000 years ago.
 
Amen.

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