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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

WAKE UP -- March 20, 2011


The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Wake up!

March 20, 2011


Christians, wake up, that is the warning of Paul in Romans thirteen. ďIt is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is salvation nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent and the day is at hand. Let us cast off the works of darkness; let us put on the armor of light.Ē
Salvation is nearer. Just how near is salvation or damnation? It is closer than you think. When you drive down the highway at high speed and meet another car coming in the opposite direction, if three feet is all that separates you from a head on collision, then you are three feet from being able to hear the angels sing, or three feet from hearing the shrieks and cries of the damned, three feet from where the cry is heard, dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame. Wake up; we are closer to eternity than when we first believed.
Wake up, because there is an analogy in physical sleep and spiritual asleep. A person who is physically asleep has no idea what is going on. Spiritually this is true. A battle of the fiercest kind is raging all around us and most Christians have no idea of what is going on. Wake up!
Another analogy is when a person is asleep physically and he is subject to all kinds of fantasies in his dreams. The person who is spiritually asleep also has fantasies. Some have a fantasy that there is no devil, no hell, no judgment, no sin, Wake up! When they awaken their fantasy may become an everlasting nightmare from which there will be no awakening.
Paulís exhortation to put on the gospel armor signifies spiritual conflict. Armor of light. People donít usually associate being a Christian with warfare, but every human is involved in warfare between two great spiritual Kingdoms. In Colossians Paul mentions our entry into the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ when he says that He created all things in heaven and in earth, things visible and invisible whether, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers. He further states that we have been translated from darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of His love. We have insight to our involvement in that invisible Kingdom when we read in Hebrews concerning angels, are they not ministering spirits sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation.
Then in Ephesians, Paul mentions another Kingdom in much the same terminology, when he refers to our warfare when he says, ďStand fast in the Lord and in the power of His might that we may stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against a spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places.Ē We are in a war with an enemy we cannot see. If we could open our eyes and see the activity going on at this moment in the Kingdom of darkness: we would see the dragon who is the old serpent and Satan, the leering eyes of fiends and the forked tongues of demons. The night is far spent and the day that is at hand. Wake up!


 Years ago a man was driving on a Georgia highway one night and turned the radio on. He heard a voice say, ďShake hands with the Devil.Ē This event set things in motion for him to become a Christian and later on an elder in the Church. It is good to become acquainted with how the Devil works against us so we give you the same invitation. Shake hands with the Devil. Letís get to know him better.
Logic is no part of the Devilís warfare. He tell some people the Bible is not the word of God and then turns around and tells others that the Bible is the word of God and then says, but so is every other book that claims to be Godís word. Wake up and shake hands with the Devil.
Sometimes he tells the non-Christian they are good enough to go to Heaven without Jesus and then turns around and tells others they are so wicked that even Jesus canít save them. Wake up and shake hands with the Devil.
The Devil recognizes the effectiveness of unity in his Kingdom. The Lord Jesus said, "If Satan is divided against himself, how then shall his Kingdom stand?" The devil is not stupid. There is no division in the principalities, and powers, and world rulers of this darkness, and the spiritual host of wickedness in high places in the Kingdom of Darkness. Every demon or fallen angel is united in the one great program of Satan to damn your immortal, eternal, ever living, never dying soul. Unity is the only way he can succeed. Pharisees and Sadducees were enemies, but they united to crucify Jesus. They united again to try Paul at Jerusalem. Pilate and Herod were enemies, but they became friends because of their enmity of Jesus. The demons and evil men may hate each other, but they unite for the single purpose of taking you to hell with them. So wake up and shake hands with the devil.
The devil sometimes insinuates. As the accuser of the brethren he says to the Christian, ďDo you really think a person who lives like you can go to heaven?Ē Just remember when he throws that fiery dart at you that we have been invited to come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy and grace in time of need.
The devil likes to laugh at the Christian. He tells us donít you think people will laugh and think you are a fanatic if you act too religious. The witness of many has been nullified by satanic laughter. Some Christians would rather take a beating than be accused of being a Jesus freak. Donít let the devil laugh you out of salvation. Wake up and shake hands with the devil.
Sometimes he convinces some Christians that they are living such good lives that there is a distinct possibility that they can go for several seconds, then minutes; then maybe even hours without committing any sin at all. Who ever told them that they could live one second without sin? Was it God? If so, where did He say it? Some who have had this temptation have remembered the words of Paul when he said, ďI know nothing against myself, yet am I hereby justified, He that judgeth me is the Lord.Ē Wake up and shake hands with the devil.
Sometimes the devil gets the Christian to blame God for various mishaps in life. A loved one dies, another gets cancer; someone loses their job. The temptation comes to blame God. What kind of a God would allow this to happen to me. Other people who have no regard for the Lord and His church are healthy and getting along fine and I have a hard time. If that is the kind of God He is, I quit the Church.
Why does God allow these troubles to abound in the Christians life? It does not make any difference what the answer is. We are in no position to take on God. Go ahead quit, get out, you are in a worse state than you thought you were. None of us are so high and mighty that we can defeat God. Go ahead and butt your head against the rock of Gibraltar and see how much of a dent you make. Wake up and shake hands with the devil.
The devil likes to encourage some churches and tells them how they have it made. You have a large building in a nice area, hundreds of worshippers, a dancing praise team, a worship leader, thou hast a name that thou livest. You are rich and have need of nothing. However Jesus may say, thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Some Churches are more like a Tower of Babel than a Church. Wake up and shake hands with the devil.
The devil tells some to jump through the five hoops of the plan of salvation, and continue to live just like they always did. Keep one foot in the church and the other foot in the world. Make no life changes at all. Wake up and shake hands with the devil.
And of course the most cleaver ruse the devil has ever used is when he convinced many that he does not even exist. Shake hands with the devil.
Folk donít believe in the Devil now as their fathers use to do.
They have forced the door of every creed to let his majesty through.
There isnít a print of his cloven hoof or fiery dart from his bow,
To be seen on earth, or sky or sea for the people have voted it so.
But who is mixing the fatal draft that palsyís the heart and brain?
And who is filling the earth each year with a hundred million slain?
And who is blighting the bloom of earth with the poisonous breath of hell?
If the Devil is not and never was, wonít somebody rise and tell.
Who digs the footsteps of the saints, who digs the pits for his feet?
Who plants the tares in the field of time where God once planted the wheat?
The Devil has been voted out and of course the thing is true.
But who is doing the kind of work the Devil alone can do?
The Devil doesnít go about as a roaring lion now.
So whom shall we hold responsible for the everlasting row?
To be heard in church in school and state to the earthís remotest bound.
If the Devil by unanimous vote is nowhere to be found.
Wonít someone step to the front forthwith and make his bow and show,
Where the troubles and trials of a single day spring up, weíd like to know.
The Devil has been voted out and of course the Devil has gone.
But simple folk would like to know whoís carrying the business on?
So wake up, get up, speak up, and shake hands with the devil.


The Kingdom of darkness and now the Kingdom of light. Be strong in the Lord. Wake up! You donít have a chance if you are not in the Lord. But remember the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. In another place he expands on that thought by listing six parts of the gospel armor.
Put on the girdle of truth. If you donít have truth you donít have anything. Jesus said the truth shall make you free. This is a popular verse. There is a catch to it. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." If you donít know the truth you are not free.
Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Personal righteousness is mandated. Walk as in the day. Not in reveling and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in jealousy and strife. That is Paulís warning to us. Donít get drunk, donít fornicate, and donít start a fight. That seems unneeded advice, but remember he was talking to a Church of Christ when he said that. It must have been needed and it still is. I know of preachers who have been arrested for drunk driving and fired because of it. I know of preachers who have been caught fornicating in the Church office, I know of others who were dismissed on the spot who were caught looking at porn on the internet in the Church office. I know of other preachers in my general area who have split Churches over heresy, and one wonders what Church they have in their sights next. These examples are spectacular, but really a reflection of what a great many of the Church members do all the time anyway, and get no publicity for doing it.
How about the gospel shoes? Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Put on the gospel shoes. Whenever I put on my shoes, that means I am going somewhere. Many individuals and Churches leave of the shoes as evidenced in the fact that they are going nowhere. The shoes of the Roman soldier were sandals strapped on tightly with studs like hobnails on the bottom for traction in slippery places. Many Christians are going barefooted and slip and slide all over the place.
I looked into a snake pit one time and thought if I fell in this hole I would do some tall stomping, but I would not want to do it barefooted. I would want to have on some hob nailed boots. This world is a snake pit. Put on the gospel shoes with the hob nail boots of the cross.
Take up the shield of faith-quench the fiery darts of the evil one. Sometimes Christians look for more benefits than what it was designed for. The shield of faith did not protect Paul from a thorn in the flesh, and it did not protect Peter from crucifixion. It may not protect you from losing your job, or getting a terminal disease, or the loss of a loved one, or many other misfortunes of life, but it will protect you from losing your faith, bitterness, and giving up your salvation.
How about that helmet of salvation. Paul calls it in another place the hope of salvation. I donít have much hope of going to Heaven. I only have one hope. The blessed hope of the appearing of the great God our Savior Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and present unto Himself a people for His own possession zealous of good works. And that is the only hope I have. There is no back up plan. Confucius, canít save you, Buddha canít save you, Mohammed canít save you. It is either Jesus or damnation. Peter said there is therefore none other name given among men whereby we must be saved.
Then take the sword of the Spirit is Godís super weapon. The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, both joints and marrow quick to discern the thoughts and the intents of the heart. This statement reminds us of the method of the examination of the sacrificial lamb. The throat was cut and the lamb was split open and spread out so that the high priest could carefully examine the inside. He looked at the heart, the lungs, and every organ on the inside for a blemish. It must pass his inspection before it could be used.
In a similar way the sword of the Spirit divides us soul and spirit, joints and marrow; He misses nothing and this is what He sees. Paul tells us in Romans. ďThere is none righteous, no not one; There is none that seeketh after God; they have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no not so much as one; Their throat is an open sepulcher; With their tongue they have used deceit; The poison of the asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; Their feet re swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the ways of peace they have not known; There is no fear of God before their eyes.Ē And that is the way the word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit reveals the character of the human rascal. Take up the sword of the Spirit. That sounds like the Lord has declared war on the devil to me. Wherefore put on the whole armor of God that ye may stand in the evil day.
Those evil days will come when the devil will get you in a corner and on that day if you donít have on the armor of light you wonít have a chance. You will be like David fighting Goliath without a sling in his hand, and no rocks in his pocket. You are like a person fighting a duel with an opponent that has a double-barreled sawed off shotgun at six paces and all you have is a water pistol. You are like a soldier in a war where the enemy has the atomic bomb and all you have is a firecracker. You are trying to put out the fires if hell with a medicine dropper when you ought to be opening the floodgates of Godís great river of grace. Without the armor of God the devil can sock every jock, he can sack every Jack, he can chill every Jill, he can zap ever sap, he can cope with every dope. And he can stick it to every hick.
Paul tells us fight the good fight of the faith lay hold on the life eternal. Our area of activity is not the playground, but the battleground. When a soldier takes the oath of allegiance to his country, he does not go home and forget it. There is basic training to do; there is a battle to fight. Sometimes the people in service put on their dress uniform and have a parade. The band is playing, Stars and Stripes Forever, flags are flying in the breeze, they march in perfect precision, past the reviewing stand, all eyes turn to look upon the dignitaries, then the order to fall out. What then? Do they all go home until the next parade? That is the way it is in the Lordís Army. We put on full dress on the Lordís Day, pass by the reviewing stand at the Lordís Supper, enjoy some foot stomping music, and some complimentary remarks from the reviewing stand and then go home and wait until the next parade.
Paul said, "Fight the good fight of the faith." The Devil snickers at the toys that the Church uses to fight what some Christian soldier call are fighting the good fight of the faith. Fighting the Devil is more than using the toys of going to gospel sings and listening to thigh slapping music. Wake up! The Christian life is a fight. In the average congregation the most pressing problem they have is whether to have ham or roast chicken at the next Church supper. This is not what Paul had in mind when he said, "Fight the good fight of the faith." Lay hold on the life eternal.
Jesus has not called us to a parade; He has called us to a pilgrimage. He has not called us to a frolic. He has called us to a fight. He has not called us to a circus. He has called us to a crusade. That grand old war song of faith could be changed somewhat to fit the modern day Churches idea of spiritual warfare.
Backward Christian soldiers marching as in fear,
With the cross of Jesus going to the rear.
Christ the royal Master leads against the foe.
But we are going backwards, our banners do not flow.
Like a bunch of weaklings moves the church of God,
Brothers we are treading where no saints have trod.
We are all divided, not one spirit we,
United in dissensions and one in apathy.