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Conflict of Kingdoms

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"CONFLICT OF KINGDOMS"

(A Topical Series in Acts)

Westgate Chapel 9/23/90p.m.                                                      

PROPOSITION:  We are soldiers of Light at war with the kingdom of darkness that seeks to destroy all mankind and deter the kingdom of God.

i. introduction

-     THERE is a war raging right now in the heavenlies, graphically depicted by the novels of Frank Perretti, as a violent clash between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God.

-     WHETHER or not we recognize the war or are willing to enlist in active duty, we are in the middle of it every day.

-     IN the September issue of Focus on the Family magazine, Dr. Dobson has an article about a controversial "mercy killing" in Michigan last June.

*     An unemployed Doctor Kevorkian, had been on the Phil Donahue show, advocating euthenasia for those people who no longer want to live.

*     A Portland school teacher, Janet Adkins, recently diagnosed with Alzheimers disease saw the show and contacted Dr. Kevorkian.

*     In June Janet and her husband travelled to Michigan and, after a romantic evening together, said goodbye, got into Dr. Kevorkian's Volkswagen van, drove out into the countryside and under the doctor's supervision hooked herself up to an IV with a lethal dose of potassium chloride......

*     Dr. Kevorkian said, "Have a nice trip," and within five minutes the electrocardiogram monitor showed a flat line.

-     DR. KEVORKIAN feels that "the Christian value system" is impeding the progress of the euthenasia movement where mental patients, incurable drug addicts, and terminally ill people could be relieved of life and their organs used to help others.

-     HE said, "Those theologians, operating out of things 2,000 years old. They should be operating out of medical books, not the Bible. Who really knows the reason for life? They say that life is sacred, but when you cut me I bleed. When I die, I'm an animal carcass."

-     THIS is exactly what Dr. Francis Schaeffer said would happen in America.....15 years ago in his series, "Whatever Happened to the Human Race?"

-     LET me just go on a little, to show you the depth of the battle we are in, taken from Dobson's "Citizen" magazine.

*     Robert Englund, the actor who plays mass murderer Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street says that he draws his inspiration from Ted Bundy's life story. In the movie Freddy mutilates teenagers while they sleep. K Mart sells the tapes to our kids.

*     Madonna recently completed a US tour that grossed millions where she simulates sex acts on stage.

*     2 Live Crew recently released a rap tape that contained 87 references to oral sex, 226 uses of the "F" word, and 117 descriptions of male and female genetalia. It sold 1.7 million copies.

-     THERE is a violent clash of kingdoms going on right now, but that is nothing new.

-     MILITANT gay activists are going on the offensive against the church and believes....like the Go '90 Rally distrupted when  Tom Egum was scheduled to preach.

-     WHENEVER Christians are depicted on TV or in the movies we are made to look like mindless fanatics or big time geeks.

-     ALL through the book of Acts you see it in equally graphic fashion.....the only difference is that the believers seemed to take it more seriously....and took advantage of their weapons.

ii. the fight

-     FROM Acts 1 to 28 there is a violent clash of kingdoms, going on in the unseen realm and visible in the life of the followers of Jesus Christ.

-     FROM the religious establishment, shrouded in dead works and hypocrisy, there was violent opposition.

*     In Acts 4:2-18 the religious leaders were "greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming Jesus." They seized Peter and John and put them in jail. They commanded the people not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.

*     Between Acts 5:17 and 8:1 the Sanhedrin was "filled with jealousy" and arrested and jailed the apostles and stoned Stephen to death. The first life was taken in the clash of the kingdoms. It was just the beginning.

-     FROM the lives of demon-possessed individuals, there was direct confrontation, in the clash of the kingdoms.

*     In Judas' life, Acts 1:16, to betray the Son of God to His murderers.

*     In Elymas the Sorcerer, Acts 13:8, trying to turn the pro-consul of Cyprus from the faith.

*     In Acts 16:17 in the life of the fortune-telling slave girl.......crying "These men are the servants of the Most High God!"

-     IN individuals, the clash came in many forms.

*     Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:1-3, it was spurred by greed.

*     Simon the Sorcerer, in Acts 8:18-21, it was spurred by greed.

-     IN some cases, the clash of kingdoms happened, sadly, from within the church.

*     In Acts 11:1-2, the purists wanted to know what Peter was doing letting Gentiles into the church without fulfilling their laws.

*     In Acts 15, in the council of Jerusalem, the dispute was over the same thing.....at the heart of it, the kingdom of darkness was taking its best shot against the kingdom of God....trying to divide the church over how much of the law was required to be "saved."

-     IN Acts 12:1-2 it was the political establishment that was taking its best shot at the kingdom of God. King Herod discovered that it was politically astutue to kill Christians, after the popularity he got for executing James.

-     IN Acts 17:6, in Corinth, and Acts 19:24, in Ephesus, the clash came when revival hit the pocket book of the silver merchants making idols for the shrine of Artemis. The Hedonists don't like the kingdom of God shining on their business.

-     IN Acts 23:12 the public gets into the act, with 40 men taking an oath not to eat until Paul is dead.

-     IN Acts 27, the kingdom of darkness even uses nature to try and stop Paul from making it to Rome, when a storm hits the ship he is on.

iii. conclusion

-     THE fight is on.....between the kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness.

-     THE clash of the kingdoms!

-     THERE is no need to fear.....we know Who has won and who wins.

-     WE know what our weapons are, and that they are mighty and effective to the tearing down of strongholds.

-     THE biggest danger comes from hiding your head in the sand and pretending that there is no war.

-     WHY don't you enlist tonight?

-     LET'S get our weapons sharpened tonight.

 

WE HAVE OVERCOME

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