Guest Speaker Capt. Chad (Farewell Sermon)
As Christians, we are in a constant battle with the enemy. Satan, The Devil, Lucifer, and his dark angels are always on the attack against us. If you’re a Christian here today, I’m directing this message towards you, and if you’re not you can still listen up, because I’m going to be talking about one of the greatest benefits of the Christian life.
One of the reasons the airline industry is so safe, and this is probably the same for any industry, is because we have learned from past mistakes. For every airline I’ve ever worked for, part of the training has involved reviewing past accidents so we can learn from them and not make the same mistake.
There’s one particular accident that I’ve looked at in every training event I’ve been through. It’s well known to those who work in the airline industry. That’s probably because it’s just so tragic, and so completely avoidable. It just shouldn’t have happened.
In December of 1972 there was an Eastern Airlines flight making an approach into Miami International Airport. After lowering the landing gear the crew noticed that the green light that tells them the nose gear is down and locked properly was not lit up. They decided to abort the approach and enter a holding pattern to figure out what the problem was. They entered the holding pattern and began troubleshooting the problem. During all their talking and moving around, the altitude hold on the autopilot was accidentally disconnected. No one noticed. While turned around to talk with the second officer the captain accidentally slightly pushed the control yoke causing the plane to enter a very gradual descent. The plane started slowly descending and no one noticed, because they were all trying to figure out what was wrong with the landing gear. Nobody was paying attention to flying the plane. They noticed the problem too late, just seconds before impact. The three pilots, 8 of the 10 flight attendants, and 94 passengers were killed. The investigators discovered the landing gear was working just fine. It was a light bulb that had burnt out.
Think about how tragic this story is with me for a few minutes. 105 people lost their lives that day because 6 eyeballs (three people), were busy staring at a 200 yen light bulb that had burnt out, and they weren’t paying attention to the big picture. That is tragic. Equally, if not more tragic, is the Christian whose too busy looking at burnt out light bulbs. When we get too busy looking at our sin to see the victory in which we should be living.
Satan doesn’t want us to be Christians, that’s a given. However, if you absolutely insist on being a Christian, then he’s going to try to rob you of your effectiveness as a Christian. He wants to rob you of your victory and your joy that the blood of Jesus Christ bought for you. He wants to rub the sins you’ve committed in your face, and bring you down remembering the things you’ve done. He wants you looking at the burnt out light bulbs in your life. He will do everything he can to narrow your field of vision like this. Why? Because, victory and joy are contagious, and he can’t have that.
Ephesians 6:12 says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Satan is always there to resist our efforts to live for God. Zechariah 3:1 tells us Satan stands opposite of God. He hates us, and is constantly planning our destruction.
The devil takes great delight in reminding us of our past sins and trying to convince us that those sins haven’t really been forgiven, because they can’t. They’re just horrible! But God tells us something different. In Jeremiah 31:34 and in Hebrews 10:17, God tells us, “I will forgive….and remember their sins no more” Micah 7:19 He hurls “all our iniquities into the depths of the sea”. Ps 103:10-12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.”
We have been given victory over who we were!
Romans 8:1 tells us there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. 1 John 1:7 “The blood of Jesus Christ, Gods Son cleanseth us from all sin” vs. 9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” Let me just be sure I point out here that I’m talking about confessed sin. Sin we’ve already confessed to God and been forgiven for. I’m not talking about a current sin in your life that the Holy Spirit is trying to get your attention on. I’m talking about sin you’ve put before the Lord, repented of, and received forgiveness for. (Read the verse again)
Cleanse us from all wickedness. Satan is trying to convince you that you are wicked. You were wicked, but you’ve been cleansed. Your wickedness no longer exists. Isaiah 1:18 “though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow.
So what to do when we are attacked by Satan like this:
James 4:7 tells us we must “resist the devil and he will flee” from us. God doesn’t debate your past sins with you, so don’t let the devil do it. It’s just not up for discussion.
1 Peter 5:8 “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith” Resist him! Don’t give him the satisfaction of even wondering if God had really forgiven you. Remember that you are a child of God. Let your heart be filled with gratitude for the forgiveness He’s provided, not with doubts of His forgiveness.
Let Him talk to you and talk to Him back. Hear His voice, not the devils. To do this you have to keep a daily fellowship with Him. As you spend time talking with Him and absorbing all the promises He gives us in scripture, you rob the Devil of his power to mislead you because you’re putting the truth in your heart instead of his lies. Then 2 cor 2:11 says he can’t take advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices. (Or his ways)
So, let us not struggle with the memory of our past sins. Resist the lying devil and choose to believe God. Let the joy of the Lord be evident in our lives!