Summary: Focus is on how the devil uses deception to hinder the Lord's servants.
DEEP SEA FISHING
James Series 6: How the Devil Uses Deception
INTRO: Something that fascinates me, is the recreational activity of deep sea fishing. The process if pretty basic, but has a bit of danger in it. Essentially, the boat captain throws out some kind of bait onto a massive line, then ties you into a chair and says go at it. The reason you are tied into the chair is so that when the fish pulls, it doesn’t pull you in. Yeah, no kidding. And if you do happen to hook something which I am told for about $1000 is very likely, an hour and a half fight later you actually pull it in and have enough fish steaks to last to the next Presidential election.
BIBLE VERSE: James 1:14-18
16Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
TRANSITION: The word here for “enticed” it technically a Greek fishing term, meaning to lure. And the Devil is absolutely here to LURE us into sin. And believe it or not, his temptations are fairly predictable, you can pretty much expect similar attacks over and over and over again.
SO WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF HIS ATTACKS? Remember, we may be fishers of men, but so is the Devil. And sure seems to know how to fish.
1. HE KNOWS THE BEST PLACE:
BIBLE VERSE: James 1:14-18
14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
LIST SOME PLACES THE DEVIL MAY TRY TO LURE YOU:
Allow for some playful discussion here, if something goes pretty serious, or if there is a debate, than hash it out. Remember, if a youth is asking you to justify a place to be; it’s probably because they know they’re not supposed to be there.
HERE IS A SURPRISE LURE: COULD A LURE BE A CHURCH? HERE’S A HYPOTHETICAL
For the sake of time, abbreviate this article…
“How do Satan and his ministers look on the surface to most people in the world? Are they actually monstrous in appearance, red all over with hideous grins and with pitchforks in their hands? Absolutely not! Just the opposite is the case. They look righteous. They look holy. They look like angels of light. And throughout the nations of the world at this time (and Satan controls them all), Satan has established a whole battery of different religious organizations, churches, mosques, synagogues, shrines, temples, grottos, certain holy mountains, etc., etc. where the authorities who administer them appear to be ministers of righteousness. This was Paul’s experience and teaching. And let me tell you a fact, Satan has not changed his tactics one iota in our day. And God, for a good purpose, has allowed Satan to have his full sway.
Look at the churches that call themselves "Christian" today. There are presently well over a billion people on earth who denominate themselves as "Christians." That is a great many people. But what did Christ Jesus say about "the many" who would acknowledge Christ as their Lord and Master? He said: "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ [saying that Christ was truly the real Christ]; and shall deceive many" Matthew 24:5). Since Satan’s job is to deceive the world (Revelation 12:9), it looks like he has done his job well because Christ Jesus himself said that "the many" would indeed be deceived. So, one can know for a fact, that the many denominations who make up "the many who claim Christ as their Lord and Savior are "deceived" because Christ said they would be. But a deceived person does not know he or she is deceived. Most people who are deceived are deceived because they consider Satan and his ministers to be like angels of light, like the ministers of righteousness (II Corinthians 11:13-15). Satan has got people to think they are not deceived when Christ said that they are (Matthew 24:5).
What Satan does is to get people to believe that Satan’s ministers are righteous (and that his ministers are certainly Christian) when in fact they are not, no matter how good they look on the surface. Satan wants people to think that he himself is an angel of light, when he is not. And while Satan may use and teach righteous principles 99% of the time in any particular circumstance to show people his so-called "goodness," it only takes 1% of strychnine in that beautiful looking apple pie to kill a person. It is the "strychnine" that Satan mixes in with his religions that is the problem. And to get people to eat his apple pie, Satan has to make all his apple pies look good.