By John Ensor
The answer to that question, I think, comes to us in the book of Revelation chapter 12. It is a cosmic picture of all of human history from before the creation of the world up until now, and for all people of every generation throughout the world. What we see in chapter 12 is how this applies to all of us. In that picture we see a conflict between Satan and God, the one who comes to give death and the other who comes to give life. It also involves a woman and her unborn child. That is going to tie our two questions together. Starting in verse one we read:
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains, and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and 10 horns and on its head seven diadems… And the great dragon was thrown down, the ancient serpent who was called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world… And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that when she bore her child, he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God into his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared for her by God. (v. 1-6, 9).
This is the story of the Holy War that we have all felt and been a part of from the beginning. God comes to give life. Satan comes to destroy life. In this particular picture, we see the woman about to give birth to the child who is the Christ who will rule with the rod of iron over all these crowns and authorities. He is the King of kings and we see Satan here out to destroy him, at the moment he is born, like a snake devouring a mouse which is a very graphic and horrifying picture.
Now the question that we are asking is: Why is Satan now destroying this child? Why is he out to continue to destroy us even today? The answer comes to us in verse 12 of Revelation 12, “Rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” In other words from Satan’s perspective, the birth of this child represents a direct threat to him. And
indeed all of those who follow in Christ’s footsteps, who believe the commandments of God, who put their hope in God, also become a direct threat to Satan. That is why our chapter ends with him turning his focus or his crosshairs of death from Christ to all the children who follow along in Christ’s footsteps.
We continue in verse 17 of Revelation 12, “Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” There it is. Satan is out to destroy Jesus. He was out to destroy Moses before that, and he is continuing to attempt our destruction. Why? Because he knows his time is short. The best time to attack Jesus was as a child. So what did he do? He whispered into Herod’s ear, “Use the disguise of mass child killing to make sure you kill the One. Kill all the baby boys in the village of Bethlehem and all the surrounding areas. Do not only kill the babies, but destroy any children up to two years old because it is important that we stop the One. We stop the One, we will kill the many.”
Satan used this strategy in the day of Moses. Moses represented a threat to Satan. So he whispered into Pharaoh’s ear who then ordered the midwives to kill all the baby boys. Hoping that he would stop the one who would be the deliverer of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. It was in a similar manner that Christ would later on deliver us out of the bondage of sin. That war is ongoing. I believe that abortion is Satan’s weapon of mass destruction to stop the progress of the gospel worldwide and stall the advance of the kingdom, the fullness of the age, from coming.
How is it that Satan can stop God’s timing? God is sovereign. This is true. But even God Himself tells us that by the way we live, we can advance the timing of the fullness of Christ and His return. We read this in 2 Peter 3:12. “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming.” That is what I love. All of us get to advance the day of God’s return through Christ by the way we live, by the testimony of our lives, by winning other people to the Gospel, and by conforming to that glory. Part of the way we are doing that today is by rescuing the innocent in places like China and Columbia.
I can tell you that it is this story, seeing things from this cosmic picture and the connection between saving the innocent in order to complete the great work of the gospel, that motivates much of the training that is going on there for pastors and leaders to train up their churches in the respect of human life in the womb. This empowers them to rescue moms, to reject abortion, and to bring the gospel of God’s mercy to all who have suffered the sin of abortion in their life.
Here above you can see some of the pictures we have taken of the mass training happening in China today. My point in showing you this is for us to recognize that Satan is out to destroy us because you and I are advancing the kingdom. This is what he is out to stop as an act of self-preservation. It is a futile effort, but he is going to do his best. We can advance the day of his judgment by advancing our own desire for God, our desire for holiness, godliness, and a willingness to do the good works that God has called us to do.
Thank you very much.
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