Jesus, the Warrior King

Warrior King

For the last several weeks Jesus’ birth has been the topic of conversation. Rightly so, since contrary to popular culture that’s what Christmas is about. That’s why the church studies it, sings about it, and puts on musicals and plays depicting it. That’s why you read about Jesus’ birth with your family and place mangers around your house and in your yard. Christmas is about Jesus. His birth is the reason for the season.

Jesus’ birth is important because it marks the in-breaking of God into history. His birth begins God’s rescue mission to save His people from sin, Satan, and death. So its only right we would remember and reflect on it every year.

There is a Still A Longing in Our Hearts

But as one author says,

“Christmas is … a promise. Yes, the Savior has come and with Him peace on earth, but the story is not finished. Yes, there is peace in our hearts, but we long for peace in our world. Every Christmas is a “turning of the page” until Jesus returns. Every December 25th marks another year that draws us closer to the fulfillment of the ages, that draws us closer to … home.”

The author is right. We have peace in our hearts because the long awaited Savior has come and has died on the cross. That’s not, however, where the story ends.

The Final Chapter

The story doesn’t end with Jesus lying in a manger or hanging on a cross. Nor does the story end with the resurrected Savior ascending into heaven. There is still one more chapter to come. A chapter where Jesus isn’t painted as a humble babe in a manger or a bloodied corpse hanging on a cross. No, the final chapter paints Jesus as  a warrior King poised to conquer His enemies.

The Rider on the White Horse

Read the Words of Revelation 19

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called isThe Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (Revelation 19:11-21, ESV)

The Warrior King

John’s picture of Jesus in Revelation is a far different picture than most have of Him. Even so, this is the Jesus we all long to meet. The Jesus who will defeat our enemies once and for all. The Jesus who will fulfill the longing in our hearts. The One we should all turn and follow.

While it was necessary for Jesus to come as a man and die as a man, the story doesn’t end there. The story ends with Jesus conquering our enemies and reigning over His people as a Warrior King. Since that is true, our call should be: Come, Lord Jesus come!

Questions for Reflection

  1. When you picture Jesus, who do you picture Him as?
  2. Do you realize Jesus will come as a Warrior King one day to destroy His enemies?

Resources

Quote: Joni Eareckson Tada, A Christmas Longing, 137 in Come Thou Long Expected Savior edited by Nancy Guthrie.

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What the Statistics Reveal About Evangelicals

White Church

I recently read a Pew Research study reporting on the beliefs and practices of the religious. The results were shocking.

Pew Research Study

Narrowing the results to Evangelical Christians – Not liberals or Catholics or anyone else. Here is what they report:

  • 90% of Evangelicals say they believe God exists.
  • 79% of Evangelicals say religion in one’s life is very important.
  • 78% of Evangelicals say they pray daily.
  • 58% of Evangelicals say they attend services once a week.
  • But only 36% of Evangelicals believe their religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life.

What Does This Mean?

It means we believe there is a God. We believe religion, prayer, and church matters, but we don’t know why Jesus matters. That’s a problem! If we don’t know why Jesus matters, we don’t really have True Faith. We aren’t really Christians.

What Does Salvation Require?

Salvation requires we recognize Jesus as the only Savior. Faith defined as complete trust and confidence in Jesus as our Savior based on certain fundamental truths found in God’s Word, means we can’t believe there are other ways to God. We either have complete confidence and trust Jesus is the Savior of the world, or we don’t. We can’t have it both ways.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do you believe there are multiple ways to God?
  2. Do you believe Jesus is the only Savior of the world?

Resources

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Post adapted from my sermon What is True Faith?

Pew Research Study

Why Do We Need A Savior?

Savior

If you have been in church for any amount of time, or been around Christians, you’ve probably heard Jesus referred to as the Savior. But why do we even need a Savior? Aren’t we good enough already? 

Why Do We Need A Savior?

The reason we need a Savior is because we are sinners. Sinners are those who rebel against God. They don’t desire God. They don’t want to please or obey Him. They want nothing more than to get rid of God.

Since we are sinners, we don’t have a relationship with God. We are actually enemies of God. The Bible tells us God will punish His enemies. 

Jesus is our Savior. He saves us from the punishment we deserve. The way He saves us is by taking our punishment for us.

A Helpful Example

A professor of mine in seminary sets Friday nights aside for Friday Family Fun Night. One Friday Family Fun Night, they had gone out to dinner and were going to rent a movie. On the way to video store his son started misbehaving in car. He was picking on his sister.

His parents told him if he didn’t quit, he wasn’t going to be able to watch the movie with the family. Instead he would have to sit in his room by himself. Like any little boy, he listened to his parents for awhile, but when they got to the movie store, he started acting out again.

When they got in the car, his dad told him he wasn’t going to be able to watch the movie with them and would have to spend the rest of the night in his room. He couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t going to be able to watch the movie. The movie he picked. The one he had waited weeks to see.

On the way home, he apologized, not just to his parents, but to his sister as well. It was obvious he was remorseful for what he did. He wasn’t just saying he was sorry so he could watch the movie.

His dad saw an opportunity to teach his son about what Jesus did. He told his son, “You misbehaved earlier. Someone has to be punished for that. But instead of you sitting in your room, I am going to take your punishment for you. I will sit in your room, so you can watch the movie with the family.” So the father willingly took his sons punishment that night so he could enjoy the movie.

That’s what Jesus does. He willingly took our punishment, so that we might enjoy eternal life. 

Conclusion

The answer to our question – Why do we need a Savior? – should be clear. We need a Savior because we deserve punishment. As God’s enemies, we want nothing more than to get rid of Him. Destroy Him. Reign in His place.

God, however, is the rightful ruler of this universe, not us. God punishes His enemies. Jesus, however, takes our punishment for us. He saves us from God’s wrath by dying the death we deserve on the cross. 

Question for Reflection

  1. Is Jesus your Savior?