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  • Writer's pictureClovis AV

Newsletter 5/22/2024

"He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. And his name will be the hope of all the world.” Matthew 12:20-21

In the church world it is natural and easy to think about the ways in which Christ is working. Easy to keep Him in focus. The Christian crowds sing about Jesus, talk about Jesus, create ministries for Jesus, serve Jesus, and (generally) preach about Jesus. And this is as it should be. There is much discussion about the true character and disposition of Christ, how He lived, if He smiled, what kinds of people He loves and likes, but the consensus is that He is kind, friendly, present, genuine, appealing…and loving of course. Most Christians believe that Jesus will come again to this earth and set up an eternal kingdom where everyone who believes in Him will live in peace and harmony. All good stuff. 

But in the real world and secular spaces it can be a serious challenge to know where Jesus is at work. What makes sense in the church and to the church does not always compute in society. And while a large majority of the earth’s population (and American citizens) consider themselves to be Christian, it can be difficult to cosign on that statistic. Not just because Christians get caught behaving badly so much, but because there seems to be a deep darkness gripping everything. If there were really so many Jesus followers on the planet and if Jesus were really working beyond the walls of the church, wouldn’t there be a corresponding rise in the good in society? Wouldn’t there be less violence, fewer sexual aberrations, less evil, better schools, more intact families, a more just government, more conversions, etc? 

Yet one factor that has been left out of this discussion is that Jesus is not the only power at work. The Bible paints a picture of a scene of warfare that exists in the unseen realm. A raging battle between two ancient enemies who are both wrestling for influence over the multitudes. They are vying for allegiance, jockeying for position. What is termed, “the Great Controversy”, is a consistent theme in scripture. It is a life and death struggle. So much so that the lives of all humanity are at stake. And yet, it was the Son of God who put His life at risk to save and protect the world from the great rebel. The conflict continues even in the 21st century, and the Bible predicts that Jesus will win. That’s good. But right now it is looking pretty bad. The postmodern world is right now caught between two super-enemies. It is an invisible war with visible effects and eternal implications. And the real question is, whose side will you be on and which power has the most influence over your life right now?

This Sabbath we will stick with Matthew 12 and study into The Life and Teachings of Jesus: Spirits. We will compare the work of the Holy Spirit with that of the Unholy Spirit. We will also unpack the unforgivable sin and seek to comprehend the magnitude of the tug-of-war that we are all in the middle of. Pray that Jesus will be uplifted this weekend! 

Pastor Dean 


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