Can the Devil Win - "NO!" and here is why

Can the Devil Win - "NO!" and here is why

(Sermon reflection from Advent Midweek Dec. 14)                      The question we are addressing tonight is “Can the Devil Win?” I was asked this question by someone who had a real concern, if there is evil in the world, and evil (as we know looks pretty bad) the question was could this evil every be victorious, could the devil somehow over throw or worse – throw down the great and powerful God. The answer is NO! The devil cannot win, the devil cannot be victorious over God. I hope that you had anticipated that answer.

But I want to tell you why the devil cannot win, and the reason for that is what we have been talking about these last couple of weeks as we gather for our midweek services. The answer is a simple one. You will remember that I told you that God is the great and powerful Lord of all. God is the Creator, it is through God that all things came into being. Before there were any things before there was any creation there was God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And there was nothing else – only God.

But as you will remember God made all that is and nothing that exist would be had not God made it. That means you and I, earth and all the stars, everything in heaven and earth, and under the earth, and even the angels in heaven. The angels are created, the heavenly hosts are creatures – made by God just as you and I are. And the thing is what little we hear about the devil, Lucifer, the great Satan, the dragon – what little we hear of him and where he came from – we hear that this Devil is one who was a member of the heavenly hosts but fell away. Satan was the one who turned from God, and apparently many followed.

But the important thing for us to remember is that even the big boogie man himself, the Devil, Satan, the Lord of Lies and the master of Hell – he is a creature too. Now the devil doesn’t want you to think that. The devil wants you to think that he is some type of primordial eternal force. But that is simply not true. The devil is part of those that fell, those that were created and made by God – but turned and rebelled and went off into the darkness. Because of their anger, rejection, and their desire not to be alone in their torment – they tempt and provoke us. But no matter what – Satan is always a creature, a creation. And guess what – the created – will never and can never overcome or defeat the creator. God in his goodness and his mercy and light is what is and what will be.

Lucifer wants you to think that he has a chance and that he will rise up and therefore being mean and nasty and evil is the way to go – hey it is the way of the world right. But the truth is that the world is passing away. And all that will be left in the end will be God and those he has in his mercy and justice claimed and kept. So no – the devil can’t win.

If you want proof read the Bible. See what happens when an entire Legion, an army of devils, possesses the man at Genneserat. This legion of demons begs Jesus Christ not to throw them into the darkness. They are begging because Jesus who is the incarnation of the Creator of Heaven and Earth could just as easily have unmade those rebellious spirits and they simply would not exist. The demons flee before the power and the name of Jesus Christ – because despite how much the world and the evils that run through it and through us try to testify to their power there is only one true power in heaven and earth and that is God.

That leads us to another topic I want to reflect on tonight – what is sin. If God made heaven and earth and created us in it, what is sin and why is it in this world. God made the world right, why isn’t their just perfection.

Well the answer is quite simple. God doesn’t force you to do anything. God wants you to come to him and to love him. To be able to do that, you have to have the ability and the freedom to chose God, and to chose to follow God. That is for two reasons. One, if you make or force someone to love you, it isn’t love - it is slavery. God doesn’t want slaves or puppets, God wants children. God wants you to be in relationship with him and so God offers his life to you freely, and pours out his eternal yes and welcome of love to you. But God doesn’t make you love him.

You see the thing is, we humans were made to be in perfect and full communion with God. That is how you were made, that is how you were created. That is the reality which is reflected in the Garden of Eden Story when our first parents walked with God in the cool of the evening, talked with God and lived completely and totally WITH our Heavenly Father.

But what happened? We turned away. Temptation in the form of the serpent said, don’t listen to what God said – meaning don’t follow the way God leads you - don’t put your trust in him – you and I know better than God – eat that forbidden fruit. And that is where sin came in. The sin wasn’t that the people ate the apple, but that they thought they knew better than God, they turned away from the way that God was guiding and leading them – and followed their own hearts and desires.

What sin is then is BROKENESS. God wants us to follow him and live in perfect communion and harmony with him – but we BROKE that relationship. We turned away from God. Now instead of thinking rightly that God is the creator, the source of all life, and all that will be AS SUCH WE SHOULD FOLLOW HIM.

We think that we are the masters of our own world and our own universe. We put ourselves into the center of all things and we humans let our desires and our passions lead and guide us through this life. That is the path to destruction. Because we were not made for that. We have broken the relationship with God and we have fallen away from what we are supposed to be.

Sin is not just “Doing what you aren’t supposed to do” – but sin is a destruction of the relationship between us and God that we were created for. If we live apart from God, if we persist in our sin and don’t repent, we are simply rotting away – because God is the only one that can offer us true life. Without him all things end.

The devil would have you think – no do what you want – you have to be you, live out your passions and desires. You have to go with what you feel and look out for number one. And he is right if you want to spend eternity in the grave. He is right if you live for today because tomorrow you die.

But that is not who you are. Because despite this brokenness of sin, despite this severing of the relationship, despite the rebellion of humanity from God. God never gave up on us. God continued to reach out to us, God continued to call us back to himself, God didn’t abandon us even when all hope seemed to be lost – God was there rebuilding, restoring, and offering hope and life. And thousands of years of prophets calling for repentance, and trying to get us to turn from Sin and to turn from ourselves.

God came himself. God came to us as Jesus Christ. The God in the flesh, who lived for us, taught us, walked with us, and died for us. And the very blood of the Son of God – covers us. The sacrifice of God that says I want you back washed away the sin and rot of all of history. We see in God in Christ Jesus the One who did not give up on us – and though we were wrapped in the bonds of sin and death came and died for us – so that we might be restored to God.

Christ died for our sins, and in that that brokenness has no hold on us. We now know, no matter what the devils might say – that God has claimed us and made us his own. All we need to do is to turn to him and he pardons and forgives. God has done all of that so that you might live an eternal life with him.

Love the Lord you God with all you Heart Soul and Mind and Love your neighbor as yourself. That is what Jesus taught – because that is the way eternal life. Because God is eternal life. And he has claimed you so put your faith and hope in him – and know that all other pretenders are passing away with this world

Amen

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