Be Prepared For Battle–2 Corinthians 10:3-5

20150524FBCAM [Memorial Day Weekend]

Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Every Montanan knows, or should know, the story of Custer’s Last Stand. The Battle of the Little Bighorn took place 200 miles West of Baker. Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer was ordered to help get Sioux and Cheyenne Indians onto their new reservations. He led a battalion of 700 men attached to the 7th Cavalry. At the end of the day, Custer, his two brothers, a brother-in-law, a nephew, and 260 other men were dead. Historians have debated for years the causes of the massive defeat, but it really boils down to one thing: Custer and his men were not prepared.

 

1) He had been offered the use of Gatling guns, but declined, saying that they would slow his command.

 

2) He believed that 800 Indian warriors were in the area. The actual number is unknown, but conservative estimates start at 1,500 to 2,500 and range up to 5,000.

 

3) He was warned about the size of the Indian village they were approaching. A Crow scout said it was the largest village he had ever seen. But Custer was worried about the Indians scattering in small bands and having to chase them all down.

 

4) Custer had broken his battalion up into three companies—as a result, his men were widely scattered and unable to help one another. His company, the largest of the three, was completely wiped out. 

 

Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, but it is evident that Custer was not as prepared for battle as he thought that he was. He thought that he could handle anything.

 

Christians today are, by and large, far worse prepared than Custer was for the battles that we face. We live in a time of a gathering storm, with our culture rapidly abandoning the Christian roots that are at the foundation. Are we ready to fight? Do we know how to fight this war? Do we even know that we are in a war? The first step in our preparation for battle is to realize that… Continue reading

What Happens Immediately After You Die?—2 Corinthians 5:6-8

20150125FBCAM

Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

What happens immediately after you die? I know that most people don’t like to think about dying, but really—we should. It is, after all, going to happen to every one of us. 

 

To help us in our thinking about what happens after we die, we can go to the Bible. The apostle Paul was one that thought a great deal about the afterlife, and one of his best passages is in 2 Corinthians 5.

 

Before we read our passage, you need to understand a little bit about the future. The bodies that we have now are doomed to decay and die. But if you believe in Jesus Christ, he has promised you a new body—a resurrection body.

 

This resurrection body will be given to every believer when Jesus returns. The Bible says—

 

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51–53)

 

This is a promise that we can depend on, because it’s a promise from God. All believers will be given new, glorified resurrection bodies when Jesus returns.

 

But wait. What happens to you between the time you die and the time Jesus returns? What happens immediately after you die? To start to answer that question, we turn to Paul in 2 Corinthians 5—

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Sermon: We Are Weak, He Is Strong

 

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7–10)

 

I. WE ARE WEAK 

 

In this passage we learn that even the great apostle Paul did not have an easy life given to him by God. To the contrary, the Lord even gave him a thorn—a hardship—to keep Paul from forgetting that he was weak—we all are weak.

 

2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 

2 Corinthians 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

 

Paul had been given much knowledge by God—he would write much of the New Testament—and to keep him from getting a big head about it, God allowed Satan to buffet him. 

 

Paul was made humble and humanly weak—and the Lord refused to take the thorn away because he wanted Paul humble and weak. We’ll see why later, but first, in verse 10, we see Paul gives a list of his weaknesses: 

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