Summary: Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.
Devil’s Happy Hour
Happy hour according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is "a specially scheduled period of time - perhaps an hour or two in the late afternoon - during which some restaurants and bars give discounts for drinks, especially alcoholic drinks, thereby encouraging patrons to order more alcoholic drinks, and to drink them in that restaurant. It is also used strategically by venues in coordination with lock-in times to attract patrons to a venue at certain times. Happy hours are alive and well at bars and clubs in all corners of the globe."
Well satan has his own "happy hour" and it is alive and well, attracting unsuspecting patrons to a venue of his liking at certain times and certain places each week. You wouldn’t suspect this "happy hour" to be popular with the devil, but that is his specialty, operating out of view behind the scenes. He hates to be obvious and avoids the spotlight at all costs. If he can hide behind a religious exterior, that is the best of all worlds to him.
The devil’s happiest hour is Sunday morning in many Churches across America. He rings the bells for many churches that preach a watered-down, luke-warm, feel-good gospel, a gospel devoid of any power of the Holy Spirit for salvation, miracles, healing and deliverance. These are five-star churches for the devil. He loves them. He labors hard to keep them full. He, like St. Paul, knows "another gospel" when he hears it and he wants many to hear this gospel. He knows the people will hear a sermon that is barely 10-15 minutes long, full of fluff that tells them "I’m OK, you’re OK, and that’s OK." What Steve Hill (Charisma, Jan 2006) calls "silly sermonettes to Christianettes in bassinettes." The devil loves these kinds of churches where the Holy Spirit has packed up and left and no one has even noticed it. What a tragedy!
The devil’s busiest hour is Sunday morning. He goes around and wakes up multitudes of what Fr Tom Forrest called "baptized pagans and spiritual pygmies" to make sure they get to their favorite sleeping church. This will ensure that they will not hear the life saving gospel of Jesus Christ and the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. They will leave church feeling very good about themselves and their self-centered lifestyles. This heritage they will pass down through many generations. The devil smiles and says, what a plan! ... I got them trapped for decades in a feel good, religious spirit... they are powerless... they will never be a threat to me... what could be better!
People in these churches will never be confronted about sin, death, judgment, Heaven or Hell. Spiritual warfare, demons and the battle we are involved in, are never mentioned. The need to make Jesus Lord of your life is avoided like the plaque. We don’t want to upset the congregation. We want them to feel good about themselves. All the while many are living in sin and thinking nothing about it. Many marriages are being devastated by evil spirits. They believe their husband or wife or the kids are the problem. What they don’t realize is that they have a live-in snake in their home! They have no knowledge of this serpent and no training in how to recognize, expose and defeat him. Then we wonder why Christian marriages break-up at a rate similar to non-believers.
St. Paul at times preached from dusk to dawn (Acts 20). He preached about Jesus Christ and him crucified, accompanied by a demonstration of miracle working power! (1 Cor 2). If he visited our churches today and listened to our 10 minute sermonettes, he no doubt would be on the verge of cardiac arrest. He would probably exclaim, "You senseless American Christians! Who has cast a spell over you... after beginning in the spirit, are you now to end in the flesh?" (see Gal 3) "I am amazed that you are so soon deserting him who called you... and are going over to another gospel. But there is no other. Some who wish to alter the gospel of Christ must have confused you. For even if we, or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel not in accord with the one we delivered to you, let a curse be upon him!" (Gal 1)
Fr Raniero Cantalamessa (www.Cantalamessa.org) is the preacher to the papal household. This month (December, 2005) he preached an advent meditation to Pope Benedict and his household entitled: "Faith in Christ Today and at the Beginning of the Church". Fr Cantalamessa described how we are not leading people today to a personal adult declaration of Jesus as Lord of my life as the starting point for faith. Instead we tend to major in "doctrine, laws and institutions."