Sermon:
How to Handle a Snake

I. Introduction

Now we Pentecostals always get accused of handling snakes. We donít handle snakes as some do.

They get their idea of handling snakes from Mark 16:18. In this chapter we see several signs that Jesus Himself said would follow those who believe.

Mark 16:15-18
15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
NKJV

When this scripture says ďtake upĒ serpents, itís not talking about bringing a box of snakes to church and carrying them around your neck. The Greek words for ďtake upĒ do carry the idea of picking them up, but the idea is to ďdo awayĒ with them or ďcast them away.Ē

Our job as Christians is to cast away Satan and his works!

1 John 3:8
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
NKJV

So we donít go out looking for snakes! But I want to assure you that if you walk in Christís ways, you will encounter some snakes!

Satan himself is pictured as a snake!
Rev 12:8-9
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
NKJV

II. They built a fire!

Two ways to stir up a snake in the work of God:

A. Start a fire!-God is doing that around here every day! The fires are burning!

B. Start adding fuel to the fire!-a fire must be carefully tended. Paul himself gathered sticks to add to the fire.

You who are younger Christians, donít let the fire go out of your life! You must add fuel every day!

Note: Paul was a prisoner at the time. He didnít have to work! The natives built the fire, Paul could have sat down and waited for them to put wood on it. But it shows the kind of person God desires us to be. Humble in spirit, with a servantís heart!

There are three ways to get something done:
1. Do it yourself
2. Hire someone to do it
3. Forbid your kids to do it

III. The snake came out!

A. The serpent canít stand the heat!

When Godís fire starts to burn the devil has to get out. Remember the demons that plead with Jesus as He was about to cast them out!

Luke 8:31
31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
NKJV

B. The serpent attacked the servant of God!

Notice that the snake didnít bite anyone else around. The devil knows who to attack.

Notice how it attacked, it didnít just bite Paul it attached itself to Paulís hand!

This was probably a Lebentine Viper. This snake doesnít just bite you, it chews on you a little