Devotions

Category Archives: Fallen

Fallen – His End #6

Devils and Demons | Lake of Fire
Noble Baird | Community Center Director

On December 17, 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was released in theaters all over the nation. Now, although it was almost three and a half hours long, it is in the top twenty all time grossing movies bringing in over 1.1 billion dollars. The story that J.R.R. Tolkien writes and Peter Jackson then took us on cinematically is, in my opinion, one of the greatest trilogies of all time. For those of you unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it is a tale of a young hobbit and his friends who are taken on a journey to return a ring to the place it was created to be destroyed. The reason being is because this ring was made to rule the world, which then begins the battle between man and the one who created this ring, Sauron. Now, Sauron has one mission, to rule all of Middle Earth. His way of going about this was through the One Ring, which would be used to control the leaders across Middle Earth who wore the Rings of Power.

Over the last five weeks, we have talked about Satan, beginning with his fall and mission, all the way to now with his end. In Revelation 20:7-10, John writes, “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” In this passage, John writes us the vision which he is given by God of Satan’s end. Although his mission was to deceive the world and conquer over Christ, he loses. He is defeated and will ultimately be thrown into the lake of fire, where he will be in torment and suffer forever.

Sauron wages a great war on man. He deceives many, gains thousands to his cause. There is a great final battle which ensues at Minas Tirith and the Black Gate in Mordor. As the battle rages in Minas Tirith and the battle is about to begin at the Black Gate, Frodo destroys the One Ring. As the One Ring was destroyed, Sauron is crushed and defeated. In an instant, all of Sauron’s followers and his army are defeated. They are swallowed up by the earth and fall just as he does. I love this imagery because it reminds me of what I imagine of Satan’s defeat. In an instant, fire will rain down on Satan’s followers and his “great” army, and they will be consumed. Then, Satan himself will be cast into the lake of fire; eternally separated from God and us, only to endure pain and suffering forever.

So as we wrap up this series on Satan, have hope. Remember that we have already won the great and final battle. When Jesus died, that veil was torn, and we are no longer separated from our Father. Yes, it is going to be tough, there will be trials, we will suffer, some have even given their lives fighting Satan’s mission; however, have hope just as John tells us, we win!

Fallen – His End #5

Devils and Demons | Not Today Satan
Shawna Johnson

If you have been around me for any length of time, I would almost guarantee you have heard me sing the old hymn “Victory in Jesus.”

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

It is my favorite! For almost everything in life I refer to the victory, we have in Him. It is just so exciting to me! There is one thing, however, of which we have to be aware. Though we have victory, we also have an enemy that continually tries to defeat us. I hate that part. I do not even want to give Satan the time of day. But he does exist, and he wants to steal, kill, and destroy the things of God (John 10:10).

I want to get one thing straight, just because I work at a Church does not mean I have it together all the time. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work in full-time ministry, but it does not make me a better believer or follower of Jesus than anyone else. That being said, the struggle has been real lately. God’s Word does not tell us that when we accept Christ everything will be easy and we will never have struggles. It does, however, say we can stand firm when we face difficulty, and our main opponent, the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Did you hear that? We can stand against the schemes of the devil!

In the end, Satan will no longer be able to deceive and destroy God’s people. Until then we stand firm in Christ, put on the whole armor of God, and let Him fight for us.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

Not today Satan, not tomorrow, not ever.

Fallen – His End #4

Devils and Demons | Ding Dong The Witch is Dead and Rosebud Was His Sled
Ken Perry | Assistant to the Reach Pastor

Spoiler alert! I cannot stand those words. They mean that some long-awaited outcome is about to be revealed and if you do not want to know how it turned out, you had better walk away, close your ears, or turn the channel. It happens all the time with movies. If you do not catch the opening night, you run the risk of knowing how the movie ends just by walking down the street. It happens all the time with sports. I know of many guys who record an event only to be “alerted” by the text of a well-meaning friend or they receive an update because they forgot to turn off the notifications tab on the news feed. I have told myself never to be that guy. Never be the guy that spoils the outcome for someone else. With that said, I still feel compelled to tell you the ending to the best-selling book in history…The Bible says that Satan gets defeated in the end!

To make a great book, you need a protagonist (the main character) and an antagonist (the main character’s chief adversary or opponent). Satan has been God’s antagonist from the very beginning. The Bible is not just history, it is His Story, and in Genesis 3 we see his start. Genesis 3:1 records the fall of man and guess who is there? You got it, Satan himself in the guise of a serpent, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.”

We know he was created, and we also know his purpose. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” His only purpose is to either keep you from accepting the Lord as your Savior or to draw you away from the relationship you already enjoy with Christ Jesus. What we sometimes gloss over, or forget in the midst of trials, is that Satan loses in the end. Do not be deceived or dismayed brothers and sisters, he gets what is coming to him. I am a guy that likes to see justice meted out immediately. When the person speeds by at 90 mph, I want to see the red lights of Michigan’s finest close behind. When someone breaks the law, I want to see them in handcuffs soon after. I think we all want to see the bad guy get his due. Thankfully, the God of all justice, the judge over all, the great I AM will bring the final judgment to Satan. Revelation 20:10 says, “And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulpher were the beast and the great prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Is that not great news? The Bible tells us that Satan is the god (little g) of this world but according to John 16:33 we are to take heart because Jesus overcame the world. We get to go into our battles, our struggles, our chaos at work, our minefield of the family. We get to go into everything fighting FROM victory not FOR victory. Those two words, from and for, make all the difference in the world do they not?  Jesus already won the battle; it was finished in the completed work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. Please remember that the next time you are faced with something that seems too tough to handle. Remember we have a God in Heaven that has gone through everything with which we are tempted and struggle. Remember Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

God is victorious, Satan is defeated, and those who call on the name of Jesus get to walk in newness of life knowing the outcome of the greatest story ever told. There is great confidence in that knowledge my friends. Have an amazing day!

Fallen – His End #3

Devils and Demons | The End
Pastor Ryan Story | Student Pastor

Hiroo Onoda was a Japanese soldier who continued fighting World War II a full 29 years after the Japanese surrendered because he did not know the war was over. In 1944, Onoda was sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines. His orders were simple: “You are absolutely forbidden to die by your own hand. It may take three years, it may take five, but whatever happens, we’ll come back for you. Until then, so long as you have one soldier, you are to continue to lead him. You may have to live on coconuts. If that is the case, live on coconuts! Under no circumstances are you to give up your life voluntarily.” On March 10th, 1975, Onoda was found and surrendered his sword to the Pilipino government. Despite fighting and killing people after World War II ended, Onoda was still hailed as a hero in his return to Japan.

The scariest adversary is one that does not know they are defeated. Onoda was willing to stay loyal to the cause and never give up, despite the fact the war had already been won. I often encounter students who ask me, “Why is life so hard despite the fact that they live for Jesus?” One of the only answers I can ever think of is the fact that Satan knows he is defeated, he knows he lost, he knows his final resting place. I do not imagine “the roaring lion” taking this loss well.  The Devil is a frantic sore loser who wants to take everyone down in his path. Since Jesus has set us all free from the Devil’s grasps, we should expect adversity, trials, and tribulation.
I am a huge strategy game fan. Any game where you have to get into someone’s head to win is an instant favorite in my book. The Bible is clear in several areas about what Satan does. There is never a moment where the Bible is not clear about how he is here to attempt to bring us down. Now I know that when the Devil swings and it connects it hurts. I have seen great Christians brought down and broken because of sin and temptations. 2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” Let us all understand that he is out to get us, let us not be ignorant of that. Be on guard, but if we know there is an enemy that is never going to give up trying to destroy us, who will be relentless, who will attack us in the most horrific ways at times, let us remind the Devil that because of Jesus and what He did on the cross we shall never be outwitted or ignorant of his designs. I love the NIV translation on this verse because instead of designs it says schemes. The Devil is a roaring, sore loser who wants to ruin anyone’s life that he can before his end is met.

An adversary who does not know he lost can only win, if we let him. Too often in life, we focus more on the schemes and less on the gift of salvation and the victory that brings us. We all wake-up and fail in our walk with God.  We all stumble, but losing a battle is one thing, but do not give up on fighting the war because of one bad day. That is exactly what a losing enemy wants out of you. An enemy that does not know he has lost is scary, but a victor who refuses to give up is stronger.   

Fallen – His End #2

Devils and Demons | The Bubble
Philip Piasecki | Worship Leader

The invention of the DVR has revolutionized how live sporting events are watched. Someone can miss looking at a game live, DVR it, and watch it later as if they did not miss anything. The trick to doing this is staying in what is called “The Bubble.” Staying in The Bubble means not finding out any details about a sporting event so that everything that happens in the game is a surprise. I will never forget the day when my dad mentioned the final score of a Michigan vs. Michigan State football game to a random guy standing next to us. The guy was in “The Bubble” and was furious when my dad told him the outcome of the game. If you have ever watched a recorded sporting event with already knowing your team wins, you know how different the experience is. When your team is losing for parts of it, there is no anxiety; you already know the outcome. In comparison, we are not in “the bubble” in our Christian life. We have the book of Revelation, and we know how the battle of Good vs. Evil ends. Look what Revelation 20 says about it:

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).

“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10).

These verses paint an incredible picture of what the final battle between God and Satan is going to look like. This fight ends with Satan being thrown into Hell (actually The Lake of Fire) to suffer for eternity, along with beasts and false prophets. The Christian life can be difficult, and the world can seem hopeless at times, but we can take solace in the fact that we know who ultimately wins. 

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

One day, literally every living thing is going to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. Christ will be seating on His throne and will rule forever. We have an incredible eternity in the presence of Jesus Christ to look forward to as believers. An eternity of being able to worship God through our every action, being sinless, and having every inch of us reflect the glory of God. If you find yourself discouraged, let this incredible reality be an encouragement. There will be a day when there is no more pain, sickness, or death. Christ will have perfected everything as He originally intended it to be in the Garden. Satan will try to defeat Christ, he will fail, and God will forever be glorified.



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