Summary: Why do we yield to temptation when things are going well and how do we resist it effectively.
Beware of the Second Temptation
Scripture: Genesis 3:1-13
- message to go with Adult SS Class....
Today we’re going to talk about temptation. And we all know the classic passage of scripture that every pastor has used at least once to preach on temptation.
What’s the story? (take answers) Yes - Jesus temptation in the wilderness, during 40 days of fasting.
Every sermon on Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness reminds us of the three places in our lives where we need to be careful of the attacks of satan.
Our needs, power, and pride.
But was Jesus ever tempted AFTER that wilderness experience?
If you read the story in Luke, you’ll find at the end of it, it says the devil “left Jesus until the next opportunity came.”
Can you think of times when Jesus might have been tempted?
Think of the stories of Jesus. Put yourself in his place - what would you be tempted with in those situations? (Take answers.)
YES! All these situations are places of vulnerability - they are all places we need to guard against - when we’re tired, when we’re popular, when we’re frustrated, when we’re hungry.
But what about when we’re not all that vulnerable?
We know that temptation is strong in our weakest moments. What about when things are just about perfect? What about when things really, “couldn’t be better”??
When things are going really well, and you feel like you have the world by the tail, why is it, in those times, that we still, often, yield to temptation? Why do pastors, apparently, at the peak of their ministry, fall.
Why is it after we’ve lost 10, 50, or 100 lbs., do we gain it all back and then some?
When we get a promotion at work and are making more money than ever before, why is THAT the time we find ourselves filing for bankruptcy? Or at the very least arguing with our spouses more than ever about money.
Why is it when we’ve finally reached retirement and we’ve got a good pension and we’re traveling and enjoying life, we make poor choices that apparently lead us AWAY from our passion for Christ and his Kingdom.
Why do we yield to temptation when things are going so well?
I think the answer may be, what I have called, “The Second Temptation.” It’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s a second phase at least - it IS like a second temptation.
Take your Bibles and turn to Genesis. Genesis, 3. We’re going to read verses 1-13. Genesis 3:1-13.
Let’s look at the first temptation. It’s a set up actually. The first temptation usually is. Most Christians - generally - hopefully - don’t get caught by the first temptation.
Look at the end of the first verse. The serpent says, “Did God REALLY say you must not eat the fruit from ANY of the trees in the garden?”
There’s the first temptation.
Doubt - did God REALLY say,
and Deceit - from ANY of the trees . . .
Now here’s a great example from Eve.
Eve handles this question, that’s meant to defeat her - it’s meant to set her up for the fall. But she responds just like she’s supposed to.
Look at it. “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
Notice - Eve’s response attacks the half-truth that is part of every temptation we will ever encounter.
Satan exaggerates his question to Eve. “Did God really say you can’t eat from ANY of the trees?
Eve says, Of course we can - it’s just the one in the middle we can’t eat from.
So, she exposes the lie.
Expose the lie.
She tells the serpent he’s wrong - they CAN eat from the trees in the garden, then look at what’s next. She says, “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat IT; if you do, you will die.’”
Here she goes - Eve is doing what we’re supposed to do when we’re faced with temptation. She quotes what God has said to her. For us, it’s,
But now - having said that - what’s wrong here? Is there something not right about what Eve said? (Take answers.)
YES! You have to KNOW scripture in order to quote it, or you’re going to get caught!
God never said they couldn’t even touch the tree.
Folks - I can’t emphasize enough, how important it is for you to KNOW the Word of God. KNOW what it really says - so you don’t mis-quote it and then try to live by the lie.