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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Kerry Shook » Kerry Shook - Angels In The Fight

Kerry Shook - Angels In The Fight

Kerry Shook - Angels In The Fight
TOPICS: Angels

John G. Patton, the pioneer missionary to the New Hebrides islands, often told this story of divine intervention and protection from angels. He said, one night this warring tribe came and surrounded the mission headquarters with the intent of burning down the mission and killing his family. And so they prayed all through that terrible night and they looked out the next morning to see the attackers were gone. And they were so grateful and of course they thank God for the deliverance, but a year later, the leader of the tribe converted to Christianity and John G. Patton asked him, "How come you didn't kill us when you had the chance that night"? And he said, "Well, it was the hundreds of men that you had surrounding the mission in shining garments and swords drawn, that was why". Then the missionary said, "It was just me and my family".

Could it have been angels? Could it have been a host of angels that God sent to protect the missionary and his family or in this series that I'm calling "Fight to the finish" because we're looking at the spiritual fight that's going on all around us. The Bible tells us, there is this whole world of supernatural out there that we can't see or touch. Can't see with our physical eyes, but it's very real. There is this cosmic clash of the forces of good versus evil, God versus Satan, angels versus demons, that is going on all around us every moment, and usually we're just totally oblivious to it. But this weekend, we're looking at how God's angels join us in the fight. They join us in fighting the battles and struggles that we face in life.

I know there have been several times in my life, where I felt God may have sent an angel to protect me or my family, or to direct me. Chris and I have had several of what we call defining moments in our lives, where we felt God could have sent an angel to open a door that no one else could open. God could have sent an angel to smash down a door that no human being could take down. And then there are times we feel like God may have sent an angel to shut a door, that I was getting ready to walk through. But as we look back on it, we see it was just God's protection. And so I believe with all my heart, that angels are real, but I want us to see what God's Word has to say about angels. And God's Word has to say a lot about angels. In fact, there are over 300 references to angels in scripture. The Bible tells us that heaven is real and angels are real.

Now, if you're a Christ follower, you're gonna go to heaven one day, but you're not going to be an angel. Some people think when they get to heaven, they're gonna have wings and be an angel and, no, God already has enough angels, you're not gonna be an angel, you'll be the same person, people will be able to recognize you in heaven, you'll just have a new and perfect body. So you probably won't be able to recognize me because I'll have a full head of hair. So is like, "Is that pastor Kerry or not"? I don't think anyone's gonna recognize me but they'll be able to recognize you and so we won't be angels, but I want us to look at what God says about angels and I think you're gonna be so encouraged today.

So open your Bibles to Revelation chapter 5, and we're gonna see that there are millions of angels in heaven right now, doing exactly what we're doing, worshiping Jesus. So let's stand in honor of God's Word and just follow along with me. "Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor, and glory and praise.'" You can be seated. Angels are real, but I want us to see what the Bible says about what they are, what they do, and how we can cooperate with them and respond to them, as they work in our lives. Well first, what are angels anyway? Well, they're God's messengers.

In fact, the word angel in the Greek is Angelos and it literally means messenger. And so the word angel means messenger. Angels are God's messengers and there's so many times throughout scripture where God sends an angel to give the message that he wants someone to get. The angel Gabriel came to Mary and shared with her the message she would be the mother of the Christ child. There are many examples all throughout scripture of angels bringing God's message to people. So angels are God's messengers and I would say that there's so many times where angels bring us signs and they send us little messages here and there. Little signs, these little mini miracles that wouldn't mean anything else to anyone else, but they mean so much to us, because you know that it's from God.

And so I believe that God sends angels many times, to give us these little signs to encourage us, especially when you're going through difficulties and you're fighting battles and you're trying to make it through and you don't know what God is up to many times, God won't open a door, but he'll use an angel to open up a window and let you see a little sign. That's meaningless to everyone else, but it's so powerful to you. These little mini miracles, these signs. Now, if it's an angel, sending you a message from God, then it won't go against God's Word because angels obey God and don't go against God's Word but many times, God sends you a little sign through an angel and we need to have our eyes open to that.

Well, angels are God's messengers and angels are God's ministers. It says in Hebrews 1:14, "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation"? Angels were created by God before the creation of the world and they were created for God and for God to use in our lives. They were created to serve God and to be sent by God, to help us out. And so since angels were created by God before the creation of the world to serve him and to serve for him, we're not to worship angels, in fact, the Bible warns against it. In Colossians 2:18 it says, "Don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud".

So we're not to worship angels, we're not to pray to angels, we're only to worship God and to pray to God. The angels worship God, God doesn't worship the angels. There's only one God. Now, some people today worship creation. Now we're to see the beauty in creation we're to take care of creation, but we're never to worship anything God creates. We're not to worship creation, we're to worship the Creator. Now there are some people who worship themselves. I mean, that's what humanism is, it's elevating ourselves, but we are creation of God and so you don't worship anything that God created, you admire it, you appreciate it, but you don't worship it. You only worship God.

And so the angels worship God, we know that, and we're to worship God because we are God's creation. So God created angels as his messengers, as his ministers and sometimes, as his military to fight against evil and to fight for those who are believers in this world. Before the universe was created, there was this great cosmic clash, this war in heaven and Revelation chapter 12, tells us about it. It says, "Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him".

There's a spiritual battle going on all around us between angel warriors and Satan and his fallen angels. But here's the good news, Jesus said, "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in this world". Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world, that God has already won the victory and he's given us if you're a Christ follower, the Holy Spirit of God in our lives, he's given you angels around you that go before you and surround you and so greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. Satan is a defeated foe. Like I said last week, he's a lame duck. I mean, he's like a politician who's been voted out of office and he's just serving out the last of his term and he's trying to wreck a lot of havoc as he goes out because scripture says that he knows his time is short, and Satan is on a leash and he can't do anything in your life or have power over your life.

We didn't understand the war is really over. This is so important. If you don't understand that you've already won and all you have to do is stand in Christ victory, that you have won the war because of what Christ has done when Christ died on the cross and rose again, he defeated death, he defeated hell and the devil himself. He has won the victory, but yet a lot of us Christ followers don't realize that. But I have to say that even though the war is over, as long as you're on this earth and as long as the enemy's on this earth, there will always be battles. There will, we're not in heaven yet, so there will always be battles, spiritual battles that are going on all around us and usually we think we're fighting another person, we're fighting against our circumstances. We're fighting against a problem, but it's a spiritual battle that's going on.

Now this brings me to what angels do for us. First they protect us. In Psalm 91:11 it says, "For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go". Focus on those two words, "Protect you". It's good to know that we have heavenly protection around us. Now, if you're a believer, God has placed this bubble of protection around you. This invisible wall of protection, this force field of protection. And then he's placed his angels around you to protect you and the Holy Spirit inside you. That's so good to know. And the Bible says that the enemy is constantly shooting these flaming arrows that come at us because he wants to wound our hearts and take us out of the game.

He wants to bring destruction in our lives, disharmony in our relationships and so that's what he's always trying to do and so constantly, Satan and his demons are shooting these flaming arrows at us and they just bounce off and we don't even know it most of the time. I mean, you're driving to work, you get to work and you start your day and you didn't know that you just missed a car wreck because Satan was shooting that flaming arrow at you. If you would've just left a minute earlier, a minute later, but God's bubble of protection and the angels were watching over you. Like shields, the angels have they just block off those fiery arrows. Constantly, thousands upon thousands just bounce off and most of the time we don't even know that it's happened.

It's just God's protection that surrounds us but then every once in a while, God will move one of those angels to the side and open up that protective bubble and then a flaming arrow will come through and hit us, and that's when we say, "God, this makes no sense. God, I don't get it. Why did you allow this evil into my life? Why did you allow this into my life? This hurts so deeply. You know, I'm living for you God, and then this has come into my life and I know you're a good God but, and you don't bring bad things in the mouth, but you allowed this because you're all powerful, you could have stopped it. Why didn't you stop this? This makes no sense".

And sometimes we don't understand, many times we don't understand. And some things we won't understand until we get to heaven, but that's when we just have to pour it out to God our anger, our hurt and trust him that he is a good God because whenever he allows that fiery arrow to get through and he pushes that angel aside, it's always for his glory and our ultimate good it's just that we can't see it at the time. But know that God is protecting you, there's all these arrows coming at us all the time and they just bounce off, because of God's protective angels and their shields around us. In Matthew 18:10 it says, "Watch that you don't treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don't you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven"? Focus in on those two words, "Personal angels".

This is where we get the term guardian angel from. The Bible says you have a personal and or personal angels that are specifically assigned to protect you. That's so encouraging. There is a guardian angel protecting and probably many, two or three or four guardian angels that are specifically assigned to watch over and to protect and encourage you. Now, those of you who are parents of more than one child, you probably got a kid who you say, "And that kid's got ten or 20, maybe a 100 guardian angels. They're always getting into stuff and I just don't know how they've survived this long". It's you understand that, but it's so true, you have a guardian angel or angels that are assigned specifically to you.

God loves you so much that he has assigned one of his great and powerful angels or more to watch over you, to protect you. And that's really encouraging because that means that that angel or those angels are with you in pain, they're with you in good days and bad days, they're with you and watch over you when you're afraid. They stick with you when you fail, and even at the moment of death, they never leave you, you'll never be alone and they will be the ones ushering you into the presence of God. And you'll go into the great glory of heaven on angels wings. You're never alone.

Let that be encouraging to you, angels protect you. And I just wanna say that, it's really encouraging that when you walk out of this place, you know, you've got angels protecting you and angels also direct us. It says in Genesis 24:40, "The Lord will send his angel with thee, and will direct thy way. Sometimes God uses an angel to direct you". In this passage in Genesis 24, Abraham here didn't want his son Isaac to marry one of the local women in the land of Canaan because they all worshiped idols rather than the one true God. So he wanted his son to go back to his homeland, where he would find a woman that loved God to be his wife. And so Abraham said, "Hey, an angel is gonna direct you to your wife. God's told me an angel is gonna direct you to your wife. I've been praying about this and God's angel is gonna direct you to the one for you".

And so Isaac met Rebecca and the rest is history. He married the perfect one for him. So those of you out there, those single guys out there, you guys who are single, this means that maybe you don't need to find your angel, you need an angel to find your match. I mean, you need an angel to find the match that is there for you and so that's when we pray for God's guidance. "God guide me, God direct me," because when you pray for God's direction, many times he sends an angel to direct you, to guide you. And it's not a coincidence, it's God's guidance through his angels that protect us and they direct us. And many times in my life, I felt like God had sent an angel after I prayed to open a door that no one else could open.

And so how then should I respond to what God wants me to do, because his angel, messengers, and ministers are working in my life. Well first, I need to open my spiritual eyes. I need to pray, "God open my spiritual eyes so that I can really be aware and sensitive to this spiritual battle that's going on all around me and the resources you've given me to fight the battles and struggles in my life". And I shared with you a few weeks ago about the prophet Elijah who was surrounded by the enemy army, and then Elijah servant looked out and freaked out and he came back and said, "What are we gonna do? We're so outnumbered," and Elijah prayed, "God, open his eyes so that he can truly see".

And the servant looked back out and he saw thousands upon thousands of angels with flaming swords drawn standing between Elijah and the enemy army. You see if we could just see God's protection, and God's direction, and God's angels all around us, it would be so encouraging. So we pray, "God open our eyes so that we can see," because usually what we see, is that we're surrounded by the enemy. Usually we see that we're surrounded by problems. Usually we see that we're surrounded by giants and all we can see is the giant that we're facing. All we can see is the problem that surround us. But when I pray, "God open my eyes to really see".

I get a little glimpse of God and his mighty warrior angels that are protecting me and the problems get real small and I get perspective. Well, I want you to look at this next verse, Hebrews 13, 1 and 2. "Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it". Focus on that last phrase, "Entertained angels without realizing it". This is the guiding verse for over 100 ministries and missions. This verse here, that every time we minister to someone who is hurting, who feels hopeless, or homeless, anytime we minister to the poor and powerless, we might be ministering to an angel.

And that's why we're never to judge anyone by their looks or their socioeconomic level because, they might be an angel. Every time we minister here at Woodlands Church to one of those little ones, or to one stranger who walks in off the street and we welcome them, we might be welcoming an angel. In fact, it says here, whenever you welcome and show hospitality to a stranger, you might be welcoming an angel. And so I want to open my eyes, I want to open my mouth, and I wanna open my heart. And when you open your heart and you serve others, and you care about others, you may be entertaining angels. Well, these messengers and ministers of God and God's military, man, they have shared the greatest messages that have ever been shared.

It's so amazing when you look at scripture, in fact, the most powerful message that was ever shared, was shared by an angel on that first Easter. In Matthew 28:2 it says, "There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord, came down from heaven and going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angels said to the women, 'Do not be afraid for I know that you're looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here: He has risen just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.'"

On that first Easter, the angel sat on the stone and he gave the greatest message of all time, he said, "He's not here, he has risen just like he said". And that changes everything. That's the message that changes everything because Christ is alive, I've come alive. Because the tomb is empty, my life is filled. Because Christ died and he rose again and defeated death and sin and Satan himself, we have victory because he is our champion and we win. That changes everything. And because Christ defeated death and rose again and is alive, he is risen, he is not here, we have heaven one day and that changes everything. Folks, if it weren't for heaven one day, I mean, there's no hope, there's no hope.

If Christ didn't rise from the dead, there's no hope. Paul says that in scripture, if Christ be not risen from the dead, then, you know, we're the most foolish of all and we're to be the most pitied of all because this life is filled with pain and battles and hurt and wounds, but I'm here to tell you, Jesus is alive and he's alive in my life to make all the difference in my life and because he has risen, we will rise with him one day. But I want you to see another message that two angels brought that maybe the second most powerful message in scripture.

You see, after Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to so many of his followers and so many were with them and saw the resurrected Lord. But then he ascended to heaven, and when he ascended to heaven, he disappeared into a cloud and it says this in Acts 1:10. "They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as he went away, when two men dressed in white suddenly stood beside them and said, 'Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus who was taken from you into heaven will come back in the same way that you saw him go into heaven.'"

When Jesus ascended to heaven he disappeared in the cloud, and the disciples kept staring up at the cloud going, "Wow, I've never seen anything like that before". And two angels came down and they said, "Why are you staring up at the sky? This same Jesus who went up to heaven, is coming back in the same way in the clouds with millions of angels with him to take you home forever, so get busy".

And the first time he came, he came as a tiny, fragile little baby, helpless, born to a peasant woman in a filthy animal stable. He became then the suffering servant to serve all, and then he became the suffering Savior to die on the cross for the sins of the world. The first time he came, he came as a tiny little fragile, helpless baby, but I want you to know when he comes back, he's coming back as the mighty warrior with thousands of angel warriors to come and get us and to take us home one day.

The first time he came, he came as a suffering servant, but when he comes back, he's coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He's coming to rule and to reign with us forever. And his angels will bring us home to be with him forever. And if the Lord calls me home before he comes back or calls you home before he comes back, then we still will have our angels at the moment of death, who will never leave us but will usher us into the presence of God on angels wings. That is so good to know. It's good to know when you leave this place today, you have angels surrounding you, protecting you, blessing you, strengthening you, and directing you.
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