Summary: How the devil uses people to bring an unclean spirit into the Church
(Mark 1:21-27) "There was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit..."
I believe that the devil goes to church every Sunday.
He probably goes to church more often than some professing Christians.
He came in the form of a man.
"And there was in their synagogue A MAN with an unclean spirit..."
Satan cannot possess a Christian, but he can influence God’s people.
The Bible speaks of the "shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked..."
This tells us that the devil throws fiery darts to hurt, oppress, and discourage God’s people.
And, what better place to do his dirty work than in the CHURCH!
A place where you would expect to find help, and encouragement.
A place where you think it’s safe!
A place where you would think you could let your guard down, and be at ease.
Yet, he shows up, and brings his unclean presence. And, he came on the back of a person!
"There was in their synagogue A MAN with an unclean spirit..."
Bringing an Unclean Spirit
Into the Church
I. Why does the devil come to church.
A. I’ll never understand some people.
1. They constantly complain about the way things are at church.
> They tear down everything, and everyone.
> They backbite, they gossip, and sow discord among the brethren.
2. They complain about the preaching.
> Its too hard; Its too soft...
> He should have said this; He should have said that...
3. They seem to find fault with everything.
> They find fault with the kids that make such a mess...
> They find fault with the adults that do this or that...
4. Yet, they keep coming back.
> If it is as bad as you say it is, why do you keep coming back?
> Really, What’s the common denominator?
B. The devil is the same way.
1. He hates everything about the church.
> He hates prayers.
> He hates preaching.
> He really hates PRAISING!
2. He hates when God’s people REPENT!
> He hates it when the lost get saved.
> He hates it when Christians get right!
3. He hates a Godly song service.
> He hates worship!
4. Yet, he keeps coming back.
> He, or one of his emissaries is here every service.
> He hates church, but he keeps coming back!
C. Why the devil comes to church!
1. Because he wants to keep the lost from believing the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
> Some think they have resisted the gospel because they are smarter than others.
> But, the truth is, they were just easier targets...
> The devil BLINDED their eyes.
2. Because he wants to use church members to disturb the work of God (John 13:2).
> Judas was not a monster.
> He was a highly esteemed disciple of Christ.
> He was lost, but he was part of the church.
> There are often lost people in the church, who have made a profession of faith.
> And, often the devil uses them to destroy the church.
3. Because he wants to oppress and discourage God’s people (Eph. 6:10-13).
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." [1 Pet. 5:8-9]
4. Because he wants to use God’s own people to sow discord in the church (Eph. 4:26-27).
> This whole chapter is about putting off the old man, and putting on the new.
> Its about being Godly and holy people.
> And, in the middle of his exhortation of Godliness...
> The Apostle says, "Neither give place to the devil..."
> Which means its possible for a Christian to give place to the devil.
> Its possible for a Christian to let the devil use him or her!
> Its possible for a Christian to bring an unclean spirit into the church.
II. An unclean spirit at church.
A. An unclean spirit of Jealousy (1_Cor. 3:1-7).
1. ENVY (jealousy) caused strife and divisions.
> The word STRIFE means to fight.
> DIVISIONS means groups separating among themselves.
2. The church at Corinth was plagued with an unclean spirit of jealousy.
> Notice what they were jealous about...
> They were envious about WHO LED THEM TO THE LORD.
> The one said, "I am of Paul," and the other said, "Well, I am of Apollos."
> Paul said, "What difference does it make? Christ is the Savior."
3. But, this wicked spirit of jealousy revealed how CARNAL they were!
> It is one thing to fight in the church about doctrine, and so forth...