Summary: This sermon discusses the need for Christians to recognize who the real enemy is, and where our real battles in life occur.

Coping with Life: Enemy Recognition

Matthew 28:18 - 20, Revelation 12:9, 20:2, 2 Corinthians 11:14, 1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 10:13

Ephesians 6:10-13, Romans 13;12-14, 2 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 10:4, 11:3,

2 Thessalonians 2:9, Colossians 2:10, 15, 1 Peter 3:22,

February 24, 2004

I. If there is one thing that Christians don’t need to do its live in fear. There are around 100 verses in the bible where God tells us not to fear.

A. If ever there were a group of humans on this Earth that shouldn’t live in fear it is Christians.

B. We have an assurance that God is going to be with us. When Jesus commissioned his disciples and all other Christians to go into the world and make disciples He made a statement that should erase all fear.

(Mat 28:18 - 20 NIV) Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

C. When we read the great commission sometimes we focus on what we are supposed to do so much that we miss two things in the verses that we should always remember.

D. Jesus tells us that all authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to Him. That means that He is in charge.

E. He also tells us that He is always with us. What that means to Christians is that the one who has all authority in Heaven and on Earth is always by our side.

F. We of all people have no reason to fear, and I tell you that because what I am going to say today has no connection with fear. WE ARE NOT TO FEAR, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BECAUSE THE ONE WHO HAS ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH, ALWAYS STANDS BESIDE US.

G. But, there is a big difference between not fearing, and being aware.

II. There is one thing that I am aware of, and that is that Satan is not happy with what is going on in this church.

A. I am also aware that he is fighting tooth and nail to keep us from moving forward.

B. Just look at the things that have happened in the last few months.

1. Loris has had health problems.

2. Mona is battling Cancer.

3. Bert and Dee have both had heart surgery.

4. Linda Lowrance has had to have surgery on the veins in her legs.

5. Louis has had health problems.

6. Jose and Maria have been attacked in their finances.

C. Those are just the things that popped to my mind, but I want you to notice one thing. What do all those people have in common?

1. They are all leaders in this church. They are all people, who when they are not able to be here leave a big hole in the leadership. They are all people who if they are held back from serving God by circumstances in their lives, the church as a whole hindered in accomplishing what it is here to accomplish.

2. Not only in the area of leadership, but in general there are a lot of the members of this church that are dealing with problems of their own.

3. Satan attacks marriages, finances, child parent relationships, friendships, health, and on and on, because it is his goal to keep churches from accomplishing the things that God wants them to accomplish.

III. I think we all realize that our world has it’s problems. We want to make a difference or at least we want there to be a difference.

A. We struggle with life, and worry about where things are headed, but the problem is we fail to recognize who the enemy is sometimes.

B. The bible makes it plain who our enemy is.

Revelation 12:9 (NIV) The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Revelation 20:2 (NIV) He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

C. In the December 1988 issue of Psychology today there was a survey that asked people around the world if they believed in Satan. It was done by George gallop who is a Christian and here are the results.

Ireland 66%

U.S. 66%

Republic of Ireland 57%

Spain 33%

Italy 30%

Great Britain 30%

Finland 29%

Norway 28%

Belgium 20%

Netherlands 20%

West Germany 18%

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