Day 30 - War of Two Kingdoms
Just as we live in a world that the devil “has come down to in great wrath”, we know with certainty that the church has conquered the devil “by the blood of the Lamb”. Rejoice, because we will no longer be opposed by the Accuser day and night – the victory of Christ has been achieved at the cross, and King Jesus reigns over all!
O Church Arise
(Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2005)
O Church arise and put your armour on
Hear the call of Christ our Captain
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies
An army bold whose battle-cry is Love
Reaching out to those in darkness
Our call to war to love the captive soul
But to rage against the captor
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valour
When faced with trials on every side
We know the outcome is secure
And Christ will have the prize for which He died
An inheritance of nations
Come see the cross where love and mercy meet
As the Son of God is stricken
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet
For the Conqueror has risen
And as the stone is rolled away
And Christ emerges from the grave
This victory march continues till the day
Every eye and heart shall see Him
So Spirit come put strength in every stride
Give grace for every hurdle
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful
As saints of old still line the way
Retelling triumphs of His grace
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When with Christ we stand in glory
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short! (Revelation 12:9-12)
The passage is clear on two things – that there is a spiritual war going on in the world between the family of God, and the enemies of God, and that the family of God has triumphed through Christ. We are told that the church conquers the enemy by the blood of the Lamb -- finished victory of Jesus at the cross. While this is worthy of rejoicing, we can grow complacent – if the outcome is secure, why do I need to do anything? On one hand, not doing anything in itself is doing something. On the other, God specifically tells us that there is no room for laziness – we are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phi 2:12). What then is our role in this spiritual war of two kingdoms?
The hymn, ‘O Church Arise’ offers an excellent response. We are:
- “an army bold whose battle cry is ‘Love!’” -- As we have received this good news of love, so too, should we tell others about God’s love.
- “call[ed] to war to love the captive soul but to rage against the captor.” -- Yes, we fight by loving the souls taken captive by sin, and rage against the devil by sharing the gospel. In the war against the devil and his army, will you fight in faith and valour for the King?
- “know[ing that] the outcome is secure and Christ will have the prize for which He died -- an inheritance of nations.” -- Trials in this life ought not surprise us. Cling confidently to the truth that the battle has been fought and won, and we will soon stand with Christ in glory.
- What evidence is there today that there is a spiritual war of two kingdoms in the world? Give some examples.
- How do we use the teaching above from ‘O Church Arise’ as our strategy for spiritual war?
- How can we encourage one another and keep each other striving side by side for Christ’s kingdom? Think of how to encourage one another.
Our heavenly Father, we know that through the blood of Christ, the devil has been conquered and our salvation is secure. But for this life of spiritual war, give us shield of faith and belt of truth to stand against his lies; make us bold to reach the lost; when we face trial and tribulation, remind that that the outcome is secure. Put strength in our stride, give us grace for every hurdle so that we may run the race to win the prize of a servant good and faithful. We anticipate the Day when we will stand with Christ in all His glory. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
- The church all over the world, that we might cling fast to this promise of victory in the face of setback.
- The gospel to advance all around the world and that God will be glorified.
- Our church leaders, that they will be led by God to make wise and effective decisions.