I was listening to a sermon by D.A. Carson on the way to work the other day called, "This Present Evil Age", and heard him say something that really stuck with me. I had to listen a couple of times.
His point was that when Jesus Christ died for our sin on the cross stating "Tetelestai" (it is finished), Satan knew his time had come. Satan knew that his end had begun and that Jesus had accomplished exactly what God had said in Genesis 3:18. So, did he just give up, fly the surrender flag, admit his defeat and turn himself in? No way!! He has been raging against Christ's bride ever since and will continue to until Christ returns. Until then, metaphorically speaking, Satan's tact is that all hell would break loose. But he has been bound and will only actually sow as much God permits. (keep in mind, I am paraphrasing).
The parallel illustration that Carson used was the D-Day story. In June 1944, when the Allies landed in Normandy, Hitler's influence had already been pushed back in Africa, in the East, and in Russia. D-Day was the final blow. Everyone with an ounce of intelligence could see that Hitler's reign had ended. But what did Hitler do? Surrender? Give up and say: "Okay, I'm done. I failed. I was wrong. You win?" No way! He raged all the more and tried to pull out all the stops not just to resist the inevitable, but in full denial attempted to avoid humiliation and rage on in full-blown wickedness.
This is a Satanic pattern that the watching world has recognized in many people who have ascended to powerful positions unchecked. Most people, even those who are not Christians, see what is happening to Charlie Sheen and KNOW that apart from human and divine intervention, that Sheen's current tirade/bender will end tragically. Ultimately the wages of
sin is death and without repentence and faith - eternal separation from God.
What Satan and Hitler show us is that even though it may be perfectly obvious to rebellious, raging sinners that utter defeat is imminent and that their final separation from God in Hell will be permanent and eternal, many of them may continue along on their own way, even redoubling their rebellious efforts.
What Charlie Sheen's situation shows us is that some people are living their lives right on the cusp, entrapped, in denial, self-deluded and wretched. They are not even aware of how dangerously close their lives are dangling over the ultimate and inevitable end of debauched wickedness. The wages of sin is death. Eternal separation from God. In Hell. Without Christ.
Rob Bell wants to tell us in his new book, Love Wins, that the fate of every person who ever lived is that they will go to Heaven. For Mr. Bell, apparently there is no hell. (If this were true, how would Mr. Bell ever account for Satan?) And if this is the only message that a person like Charlie Sheen ever hears and believes, he will die tragically in his trespasses and sins. If someone had not told me that "There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1), then took the time to explain just what that meant, and then introduced me to Christ, I too would be headed to eternal separation from God, in Hell, just like every other raging, rebellious enslaved sinner.
I pray that the true Gospel will go out and that false messages that try to sugarcoat that which is poison would fail and fade away.
Afterall, we do know WHO really is "Winning"!! And who has lost. The war has been won. Jesus has won. But we're still fighting our little skirmishes until our hero returns. At the end of the day, it's going to matter who we side with, because that's who we're going to be with eternally. We will be with him (whichever him you're side with), WHERE he is.