Sermon Transcript – Terminator Levels of Evil

1 Year Lectionary – Second Sunday After Christmas – Sunday, January 2, 2022 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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0:28the holy gospel according to saint matthew the second chapter and hang on a second here
0:35there we go [Music]
0:43when the wise men had departed behold an angel of the lord appeared to joseph in a dream and said rise take the child and
0:49his mother and flee to egypt and remain there until i tell you for herod is about to search for the child to destroy
0:55him and he rose and he took the child and his mother by night and departed to egypt and remained there until the death
1:02of herod this was to fulfill what the lord had spoken by the prophet out of egypt i have called my son
1:08then herod when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men became furious and he sent and killed all the male
1:14children in bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under according to the time that he had
1:20ascertained from the wise men what then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet jeremiah a voice was
1:27heard in rama weeping and loud lamentation rachel weeping for her children she refused to be comforted
1:33because they are no more but when herod died behold an angel of the lord appeared in a dream to joseph
1:39in egypt saying rise take the child and his mother and go to the land of israel
1:44for those who sought the child’s life are dead and then he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the
1:50land of israel but when he heard that archelaus was reigning over judea in place of his father herod he was afraid
1:56to go there and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of galilee and he went and lived in a city called
2:02nazareth that was and that was spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled he shall be called a
2:08nazarene this is the word this is the gospel of the lord in the name of Jesus
2:15amen you guys remember the terminator movies you guys remember those now i may be aging myself some of you may not have
2:21actually seen those movies but i remember very distinctly the first one was okay i mean a terminator a robot
2:28sent from the future to kill a woman sarah connor right but terminator 2
2:34creeped me out it absolutely just grabbed my attention and creeped me out and the reason being is because
2:42no matter what happened that terminator thing kept coming kept coming kept coming and
2:50you couldn’t get rid of that thing it was figuring out how to destroy it well that was all part of the plot so have
2:55you ever stopped to think that um the devil is a lot like that and what we see in the terminator movies is a very
3:02good depiction of how the devil operates in our gospel text today we hear of
3:09just how wicked and evil herod is in fact think of it this way i mean how how
3:17wicked is he he knows that the messiah has been born and his first response is to see if he
3:25can get the magi the wise men of the east to reveal to him where the messiah
3:31is so that he can go and worship him right and when that didn’t turn out and the
3:38wise men kind of made a fool of herod in a rage he decides he’s going to
3:43worship Jesus in his own way and that is he’s going to have him murdered
3:51who does that i mean could you imagine the scandal today you know president biden orders all kids
3:59in bethlehem pennsylvania two years old and under to be murdered right i think this wouldn’t this would make
4:05the news i think that people would be upset i think there would be opinion pieces written saying that that’s a really really evil wicked thing to do
4:13and so you’re going to note that herod he just cast this wide net he doesn’t send out agents to figure out who Jesus
4:19is and have him murdered he just cast this wide net everybody two years old and under if you’re a boy you’re dead
4:26and it’s absolutely wicked beyond all reason but you’re
4:31going to note then this is how evil operates and i would note that evil in
4:37operating in this way in its tenacity and its hatred towards the one true god
4:43is really really delusional and i want you to think with me for a
4:48second here can the word of god be broken
4:54no if the word of god says something’s going to happen you know what’s going to happen the thing that the word of god
5:00said right and so you’ll note that in our old testament text here we have god
5:06promising israel jacob was his birth name israel is his given name by god
5:12promising him that go ahead go into egypt i’m going to bring you out i’m
5:17going to build you into a mighty nation there and i will victoriously bring you out did god bring the children of israel
5:24out of egypt yes the whole book of exodus is all about that does god ever make a promise
5:30and not follow through no so in our gospel text today you’ll note these important words
5:38that after an angel appears to joseph in a dream and sends him to egypt
5:45joseph having dreams egypt that sounds vaguely familiar and
5:51it should that you hear these words in our text this was to fulfill what the
5:57lord had spoken by the prophet out of egypt i called my
6:02son so if god prophesied through the prophets of the old testament that his
6:09son would spend a sojourn in egypt and then come out of egypt was herod going to be able to kill Jesus prior to that
6:16nope not at all because god’s word cannot be broken and this is important for us so
6:23as we consider then how does evil operate and believe me this has
6:28implications for all of us we’ll note that evil is delusionally
6:34well wicked and tenacious singly focused in fact it’s in the book of exodus that we
6:41hear something akin to what we hear in our gospel text in exodus chapter 1 we read
6:47these words the king of egypt pharaoh you know the guy with the snake hat think about that for a second a guy with
6:53a snake hat sounds like a stand-in for the serpent right the devil right when the king of egypt said to the
6:59hebrew midwives well one of the whom was named shifra and the other pua
7:04when you serve as a midwife to the hebrew women and you see them on the birth stool if it’s a son you shall
7:11kill him if it’s a daughter she shall live. wow all the way back in egypt the
7:20devil was trying to figure out how to murder the messiah could you imagine had
7:25all the male children of the hebrews been slaughtered
7:30that would have put an end to the promise of the messiah the seat of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent right
7:37is satan ever going to be able to succeed in his maniacal plans
7:42no no in fact i would like to kind of posit this idea if you would for a
7:48second that when we read through scripture especially the book of revelation and other places it’s as if
7:55well the devil himself is wiley coyote
8:00and the church is the road runner i mean he’s always coming up with these plans
8:06to destroy the church and they always end up blowing up in his face
8:12but that never seems to stop him so going back to exodus 1 here the midwives
8:18though they feared god and they did not do as the king of egypt commanded them but they let the male children live so
8:26the king of egypt called the midwives and said to them why have you done this and let the male
8:32children live and i love this these women lie through their teeth to pharaoh the midwives said to pharaoh well
8:38because hebrew women they’re not like the egyptian women apparently the egyptian women were pampered and rich
8:45and spoiled and weak you know those those slave women of the hebrews they were vigorous you know and they said and
8:51they said this the the hebrew women they’re vigorous they give birth before the midwife comes to them they just pop
8:57them babies right out and you know we have no opportunity to murder those poor little male children lying through their
9:03teeth and so the people multiplied and grew very strong and because the midwives fear god god he gave them
9:10families and pharaoh commanded all his people every son that is born to the hebrews you shall cast into the nile but
9:16you shall let every daughter live you’ll note similar themes to our gospel
9:22text but what is behind this what is behind this is the devil himself and
9:27it’s here where we should pay attention to what paul is saying not paul sorry
9:33peter is saying in our epistle text telling us how we
9:38as Christians are going to participate in the sufferings of Christ if you
9:44haven’t started participating in those yet see me in about five minutes after
9:49the service things will start to heat up shortly after that it’s just generally how this goes remember the devil is like
9:55wiley coyote but here here’s how we think about this in revelation chapter 12 revelation
10:01chapter 12 we have this picture here of what the devil has been up to the entire
10:08time and what he’s currently doing now revelation chapter 12 verse 1 says this
10:13a great sign appeared in heaven a woman clothed with the sun the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of 12 stars
10:21now i know that rome thinks this is the virgin mary it ain’t all right you can tell because later this woman flees into
10:27the wilderness and god protects her and stuff like that this is a picture if you would if you you know the 12 the moon
10:33the sun the 12 stars that sounds a lot like one of those joseph dreams from the book of exodus that’s the point here in
10:40revelation chapter 12 we get a picture of the church of the old testament not
10:47specifically the virgin mary but the bride of Christ in the old testament at
10:52in the new same kind of imagery kind of bleeds over but you get the idea here
10:58and it’s in the in the woman the believers of the old testament that
11:03Christ comes out of she was pregnant crying out in birth pains in agony of giving birth another sign appeared in
11:10heaven behold a great red dragon seven heads ten horns on his head seven
11:16diadems now i would note that uh not even on my worst day would i like to go toe to toe with a seven-headed red
11:24dragon it sounds like that would be the end of my life the picture in imagery itself invokes well certain death this
11:32is a weird theme to have to be preaching around Christmas time because it sounds like something i should be preaching at
11:39halloween you know this scary imagery but here’s the thing you’ll note
11:44that in our gospel text that well all the shepherds have gone the stars
11:50disappeared the magi have gone back to where they’ve come from mary and joseph
11:55haven’t even had a moment to unpack and unload the gifts that they had received
12:00from the magi when they get word from an angel that they need to skedaddle and
12:06wander off into egypt and they left that very night you’ll note that the
12:12Christmas themes themselves do not have us sitting there constantly looking at Jesus lying in a manger Jesus is picked
12:19up and handled like a football and had sent off to egypt in order to protect
12:25his life we walk in danger all the way the hymn says and so you’ll note this
12:31obsessed wily coyote red dragon with seven heads ten horns on
12:37his heads he this is the one who had swept down a third of the stars of heaven talking about the angels of
12:43heaven cast them to the earth and the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that when she
12:48bore her child he might devour it she gave birth to a male child one who was
12:53to rule all the nations with a rod of iron but her child was cut up to god and to his throne and then the woman fled
12:59into the wilderness where she has a place prepared by god in which she is to be nourished for 1260 days you know a
13:07time time half a time that 1260 days is the time from Christ’s ascension until
13:12the time of his return you get the idea and so how did that work out for satan i’m
13:18going to devour the child well that didn’t work out Christ Jesus not only was he born he grew
13:25he laid down his life he was crucified for your sins and mind rose victorious
13:30from the grave ascended to the right hand of the father there he reigns and rules to this day well that didn’t work
13:38out for the dragon so and we hear now what happens in the aftermath of Christ
13:44victorious death burial resurrection and ascension
13:49and that is is that the devil was well he had to change careers a
13:54little bit the next part of revelation shows us what the devil had been up to
13:59up to the point of Christ’s burial and resurrection and death for our sins and that is is that apparently he was
14:06the worst attorney ever very litigious you know so think of the devil you know
14:12before Christ’s death for our sins he was up in heaven accusing the saints
14:18filing lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit and Jesus’s death on the cross silences him here’s what it says now war
14:26arose in heaven michael and his angels fighting against the dragon the dragon and his angels they fought back
14:32but he was defeated there was no longer any place for them in heaven and the great dragon then was thrown down that
14:39ancient serpent who was called the devil and satan the deceiver of the whole world he was thrown down to the earth
14:46and his angels were thrown down with him and i heard a loud voice in heaven saying now the salvation the power and
14:52the kingdom of our god and of the authority of his Christ have come for the accuser of our brothers has been
14:57thrown down who accuses them day and night before our god and they have conquered him by the blood of the lamb
15:04and by the word of their testimony for they love not their lives even unto death therefore rejoice o heavens and
15:10you who dwell in them but woe to you on the earth the devil has come down to you in great wrath
15:15because he knows that his time is short so think of it this way Christ’s death on the cross for your sins he was
15:22pierced for your transgressions bruised for your iniquities and mine that this then takes away the accusing power of
15:28the devil and michael and the angels give him a new job if you would he’s no
15:35longer an attorney and you’ll note that usually when things go poorly for something that you’ve planned this is a
15:41time for self-reflection and to consider your life choices
15:46but did the devil consider his life choices and decide you know maybe just maybe i should give up this fight
15:52against god because it’s not going to go my way no not at all and we now being forgiven by Christ the
16:00devil cannot accuse us of anything in fact paul says in colossians 2 that the
16:05record of debt that stood against us has been canceled and has been nailed to the cross there’s nothing that the devil can
16:12accuse you with you are covered by the blood of Christ you are clothed in his righteousness but here’s the thing
16:18having them been thrown out of heaven and to earth the scriptures say that he’s come down in great wrath because he
16:24knows that his time is short yippee for us but watch what happens next this is
16:30exactly like a road runner cartoon the dragon then saw that he had been thrown
16:36down to the earth and so he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child but the woman was given the two
16:41wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness to the place where she is to be nourished for a time time and half a
16:48time and the serpent poured out water like a river out of his mouth and after the woman to sweep her way with a flood
16:55but the earth came to the help of the woman and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river so the dragon had
17:01poured from his mouth every attempt by the dragon to destroy the church god
17:07miraculously steps in and saves the church and well does this give the devil
17:13pause no he keeps at it so then the dragon became furious with a woman went
17:18off to make war on the rest of her offspring that’s us on those who keep the commandments of god and hold to the
17:24testimony of Jesus so as we hear in our gospel text how herod
17:30wanted to murder Christ and in so doing ended up murdering a whole lot of
17:35innocent children and we hear about what well happened in egypt all those male
17:40children who were put to death because again the schemes and the evil of the devil to somehow put an end to the
17:46promises of god again i ask you can god’s word be broken
17:52no it cannot so it’s in that regard then we should consider what peter writes to us because
18:00the fight is here it’s now and the devil is like the terminator that second one that
18:06morphs into things and deceives and all that kind of stuff and he ain’t gonna stop he ain’t gonna stop coming after you
18:13coming after me coming after the church coming after those who bear the testimony and confess Jesus Christ as
18:19their savior for the forgiveness of their sins he ain’t gonna stop which means what
18:26suffering and persecution are the order of the day
18:32and listen to what peter says beloved do
18:37not be surprised i had no idea that Christianity was all
18:44about suffering who knew all right yeah i had no idea that i was going to be
18:50persecuted for saying the truth i thought the people were going to give me the key to the city
18:56right no don’t be surprised at the fiery trial
19:02when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you
19:08have you ever stopped to think just that sentence alone verse 12 of chapter four of first peter
19:14would probably and should give people pause at like lakewood who believe that they’re having their best laugh now you
19:21know what i’m saying here because they’re they’re going to be completely caught off guard
19:26suffering persecution i didn’t sign up for that i signed up to be a millionaire
19:32in the name of Jesus well that ain’t going to happen right but here’s what peter says
19:37rejoice in so far as you share in Christ’s sufferings
19:43how is that possible because god’s word cannot be broken
19:52just like herod was not going to be able to kill Jesus it was never going to happen because god’s word cannot be
19:58broken have you stopped to consider that when you are made to suffer and a
20:03fiery trial comes upon you as a Christian that god’s word said that that was
20:08exactly the thing that was coming so you should sit there and go wow that word of god is amazing i saw this coming
20:16i’m not surprised by the fiery trial i know that it’s here and so you know what i’m going to do i’m going to rejoice
20:23that god keeps his word
20:29you all don’t seem like he’s sitting around i don’t know about that i mean should we take suffering so lightly that
20:34we rejoice about it well it says it right there well that’s that’s my ipad but it’s in your bible if you’re reading along you
20:41get the idea so rejoice in so far as what you share in the sufferings of Christ
20:51and every time we are made to suffer as Christians when people lie about us
20:56slander us come at us make us suffer take away our jobs all because of our
21:02confession and cry or even take away our lives and i’ll say this here this is a little
21:07bit of a sobering fact there’s a vicar of a lutheran denomination down in australia who am i friends with and last
21:15week i had a conversation with him i knew that he was he had gone dark on social media hadn’t
21:20really seen him for a bit so i checked in you know did one of my friend friendship things checking and seeing
21:26how you’re doing vicar how’s it going and he got backed with me and we set up a zoom call and we talked
21:33for a little bit but uh part of the reason why he went dark and why he was really kind of down
21:39is that at the time remember when kabul fell last year
21:45well he had been working with some Christian churches that were in afghanistan
21:52and he was on a zoom call with some of the people in one of the churches in kabul when the taliban knocked on the
21:59door of the church and he watched video stream live
22:06as the taliban demanded that these Christians renounce Christ
22:14in his accounting of it there were several very brave souls who
22:20very firmly said we will never renounce Christ and they were gunned down as he watched
22:29the religion of peace strikes again
22:35but here’s the thing in my conversation with him
22:41he actually was able to rejoice because he knew they were with Christ
22:46you see we Christians have nothing to fear when it comes to death one of the church fathers says we
22:52Christians are the masters of death and why is that because we’ve already died
22:58the scriptures say that when you are buried with Christ in the waters of baptism you are raised with him you’ve
23:03got death already off your bucket list so you’re already dead we are the masters of death and what does the word
23:10of god say and the word of god cannot be broken Christ is giving you
23:16the new heavens and the new earth they belong to you he’s coming back just like he said just
23:23like satan couldn’t kill him just like satan can’t really destroy you when you are made to suffer rejoice that you are
23:32participating in sharing in the in the sufferings of Christ so that you may
23:37also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed therefore if you are insulted for the name of
23:44Christ you are blessed do you believe these words
23:50god’s word cannot be broken you are blessed because the spirit of glory and of god rests upon you but let
23:58none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evil doer or as a meddler if
24:03you’re suffering because of that well then you’re that’s not suffering in the truth that’s called punishment you’re
24:09being punished for your sins yet if anyone suffers as a Christian let him not be ashamed but let him glorify god
24:17in that name for it is time for judgment to begin with us
24:22what will be the outcome of those who do not obey the gospel of god and if the righteous is scarcely saved
24:27what will become of the ungodly and the sinner therefore let those who suffer according to god’s will entrust their
24:34souls to a faithful creator while doing good
24:39again we hear in our gospel text this took place to fulfill what was spoken by
24:45the prophet this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet hear then what the prophet says
24:53about us a little bit of a picture so when we are made to suffer and we
24:58will be when the fiery trial arrives and it will if it hasn’t already and if you’ve just finished one don’t worry
25:03another one’s coming the word of god cannot be broken here’s
25:09what the prophet says in isaiah chapter 60 we begin begin to
25:15get a picture of the world that is to come and there’s a specific prophecy about those who are troubling us and
25:22they should would do wise to pay attention to it and maybe turn away from their sin and
25:28repent but in isaiah 60 we have this wonderful passage where in looking at the eschaton
25:34you get a picture of something that relates to Christ and then it bleeds over and has implications for us here’s
25:40what it says starting at verse 1 arise and shine your light has come the
25:46glory of yahweh has risen upon you behold darkness shall cover the earth thick darkness the peoples but yahweh
25:52will arise upon you and his glory will be seen upon you and nation shall come to your light and the kings to the
25:58brightness of your rising so lift up your eyes all around and see that they all together they come to you your sons
26:05shall come from afar your daughters shall be carried on the hip this is talking about Christ note that there is
26:11a day coming when all the nations those who have been brought to faith in Christ from every tribe nation language people
26:19they will come streaming into the new jerusalem and they will even be bringing their
26:25children with them one of the things i think is really important here is that
26:31despite the horror that the women of bethlehem went through who lost their
26:36children that day they were in Christ
26:41and Christ will give them back to them their daughters their children will be
26:47carried on the hip as they journey and sojourn now to the new jerusalem to see their lord and
26:53savior and worship at his feet in his presence then you shall be radiant and your heart
26:58will thrill and exalt because of the abundance of the sea it will be turned to you the wealth of the nations it will
27:04come to you a multitude of camels shall come come cover you young camels of
27:09midian and ephah those from shiva shall come they shall bring gold and frankincense and bring good news the
27:15praises of yahweh all the flocks of kadar shall be gathered to you the realms of nabayaf shall minister to you
27:22they shall come up with the acceptance on my altar and i will beautify my beautiful house who are these that fly
27:29like a cloud and like doves to their windows for the coastline shall hope for me the ships of tarshish first to bring
27:36your children from afar their silver their gold with them for the name of yahweh your god and for the holy one of
27:42israel because he has made you beautiful foreigners shall build up your walls and their kings will minister to you for in
27:49my wrath i struck you but in my favor i have had mercy on you your gates shall
27:54be opened continually day and night they shall not be shut so that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations
28:01and their kings led in procession for the nation and the kingdom that will not serve you it will perish
28:07and the nations shall utterly be laid waste the glory of lebanon shall come to
28:12you the cyprus the plain the pine to beautify the place of my sanctuary
28:18and i will make the place of my feet glorious the sons of those who afflicted
28:23you listen to verse 14 the sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low
28:28to you and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet they shall call you the city of yahweh the zion of the
28:35holy one of israel so note then even those who trouble us now as Christians who persecute us and
28:41make us suffer because of our confession of Christ the word of God cannot be broken the
28:47prophet has made it clear speaking the words given to him by the holy spirit isaiah makes it clear that even
28:53those who afflict us will come and bend low before Christ and other passages of
28:59scripture make it clear that they will be made to confess the lord loved us
29:06so can the word of God be broken no when you think of that
29:13comical seven-headed red dragon it was the original wily coyote he still
29:21is to this day Christ has defeated him and he cannot defeat you because you are in
29:26Christ in the name of Jesus amen
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