Who Won?

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

  • Revelation 20:1-10

The NFL regular season ended yesterday.  Some teams won.  Some teams lost.  All that we know is that there are fourteen teams in the playoffs, but do all fourteen teams have a legitimate chance?

Note: When I wrote this about a week and a half ago, I had no thought that the Pittsburgh team had any chance of making it to the playoffs, but will they last?

In the NCAA football bowl schedule, there is only one game left, when this post first appears, the championship game between Georgia and Alabama.  A repeat of the SEC Championship game a month ago, but will there be a similar result?  Sorry, Julie, you will have to endure another gut-wrenching game, and I hope your team becomes victorious.

The NHL is about halfway through their season, and other than die-hard hockey fans, who among us can state, without looking it up, who is ahead in each division?

Sorry, when we lost the cable channel that had cricket and rugby, I find it hard to keep up with the scores or even who is playing.  Australia was defeating England in the Ashes last I heard.

I really do not follow basketball, so…

No, the question that is the title is about who has won the battle of good versus evil?  Christians say that the battle was won 2,000 years ago on a cross when Jesus died for our sins.

Yes, I agree, hallelujah!

But Satan is still the prince of this world.  Is it not obvious with all the upside-down logic regarding the political fads of the day?  Abortion – in, for the moment.  Marriage – often ignored, but not totally out (that is, forbidden) yet.  Things that are clearly called sin in the Bible – in, except just don’t kill anyone, and if you cheat or steal from the rich, you will pay, for the rest, we mostly deny the Bible really meant that.  Loving one another – totally out, unless shouting obscenities in anger is a means of loving.  Road rage – in, so IN that it seems like the latest sport competition. (I apologize for not listing it earlier, but how do you keep score?!)

Yes, and when we feel marginalized by all the anger, we turn to the government to fix it.

Do we turn to the One who won the war 2,000 years ago?  A few Christians do, but sadly only a few.

And if we won the war 2,000 years ago, do we live a victorious life?  Do we even act like we are victors?

Okay, since we act like we are defeated, why do we do so?

For one thing, we get a lot of things wrong.  God defeated Satan when Jesus died on the cross, but Satan does not get thrown into the Abyss until the beginning of the millennium reign and then he is not totally out of the picture until he forms an uprising after the thousand years, and then, he is finally defeated.  I find it mind-boggling that Jesus reigns for a thousand years and then Satan immediately gets back into people’s heads when they have been around Jesus all that time, but Adam and Eve were around God in the Garden of Eden.

We also get the idea that because we are Christians, we have the power to resist temptation.  But we still sin.  Why?  We have no power to do good on our own, but only through Christ who strengthens us.  When we rely on our power, we will fail.  I hear far too many people at church say that God gives them the power. We will live a defeated life by relying on our power, although the source for victory is within us.  We do not become victorious by “tapping into the power source.”  We become victorious by surrendering our will to Jesus, and He wins the battle. And for some of us dunderheads, like me, it takes far too long to realize that.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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