I want to take you to an upper room in Jerusalem today. There are several men sitting around a table. They have sad looks on their faces. Their leader has just told them that He is soon to die by crucifixion.
But even though He faces death His thoughts are on others not himself.
He tried to comfort His friends with these words. Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. I am going away to prepare a place where you will be with me forever.
Then He looked at impetuous Peter, the most outstanding of His disciples. Jesus knew that Peter would be sorely tested, so He sad to Him, “Peter, Satan is going to tempt you, but I will praying for you.”
Just as the Devil got hold of Peter and sifted him as wheat, causing the world to see the chaff in his life, so does he want to get hold of you and I.
If you are redeemed, he knows he can not keep you out of heaven. but he wants you to sin and thus lose your witness and influence. He wants to be able to point out and say to someone else and say, “Look at him, He is a Christian, but look at the sin and anger and rebellion and jealousy and lust and selfishness in his life.”
I. THERE IS A DEVIL Once in Heaven, an angel with great power, intelligence, and beauty.
Then he rebelled and was cast out. He is behind every evil thing in the world today.
Modern men scoff at the idea of a personal devil. A figment of a distorted imagination.
If there is no devil who then is behind all evil in world.
Wars, cheap political intrigue, greed and graft in high places, lust and sin and selfishness, jealousy and envy, and hatred.
IS THE DEVIL REAL?
Ask Eve. Ask Job. Ask Jesus.
You can not do business with the Devil and prosper.
II. THE DEVIL WANTS EVERY SOUL
He knows the work of Christ. that He can save a man.
He does all he can to avert or stop this. His job is to tear down the work of the Savior.
He went after Job.
If you say He never tempts me, then perhaps he already has you in
his clutches and does not have to worry about you. The man who recognizes he has an adversary has hope for him for he will depend on himself to win the battle but on another stronger person.
III. WHAT DOES THE DEVIL WANT YOU TO DO?
A. He wants you to drift away from the Church.
When 1st saved and joined the church, you came every service. Hardly wait for next one. Then quit prayer mtg. Satan laughed and said I have him now. Soon quit Sun. night.
There are thousands of “Christians” like this. They never go to God’s house, give nothing, can’t witness for Christ with their Christian testimony nullified.
What happens when drift away from Church?
1. Disobey God’s command Heb. 10:25 To not forsake assembling ourselves together.
2. Disobey His command about the Lord’s Supper This Do oft in remembrance of me. Fail to attend church can not participate.
3. Disobey His command to give our tithes and offerings.
4. Disobey His command to witness. You don’t have a witness if not faithful to church.
5. You bring reproach upon cause of Christ. Nothing to Christianity.
6. You starve your own soul.
B. He wants you to take it easy.
Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.
Christianity is a militant religion. To soft bed but struggle all the way.
Paul tells us to fight the good fight in I Tim. 6:12.
Easier to stay in bed on Sun. Morn that go to church. Easier to rest than to resist.
C. He wants you to neglect the Bible.
The devil knows if you store God’s Word in your heart you can defeat Him, so he persuades you to neglect it.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I may not sin against thee.
D. Satan wants you to neglect your prayer life.
There is an old couplet that says: Satan trembles when he sees The weakest saint upon his knees.
Would soldier go to enemy unarmed? Yet we often fight flesh, world, and devil while laying aside our mightiest weapon, prayer. Hard for devil to defeat a praying man, woman, or church.
E. He wants you to lower your standards.
Christianity presents the highest standard of living. Devil loves to see us lower them.
F. He wants us to criticize the Church.
Only agency fighting the Devil is church When Satan sees a dead church he sits on steeple and laughs.
But when He sees a church on fire he gets busy. Methods he uses.
1. attacks from the outside – this causes to grow stronger 2. Works from the inside. Whisperers, fault finders. Hurts church.
G. He wants you to lose your temper
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
Being angry does not serve cause of Christ.
H. He wants you to act childishly
Bible tells us to be childlike but we are never to act childishly.
Get feelings hurt quit.
I. He wants you to put off the matter of serving Christ.
Many churches have people who say One day I will be a better Christian. But one day never seems to come.
IV. HOW CAN WE DEFEAT THE DEVIL?
1. By staying close to Christ.
2. By resisting Him.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
3. By getting busy for God. An idle brain is the devil’s workshop.
4. By trusting God’s strength for our deliverance. Not trying to win alone.
5. By giving Jesus your life and becoming His child. That will be one less soul he will get to suffer in eternity with him.
What will it be today? Will you serve God or the Devil? It is one or the other.