Summary: A four point message describing the devil in various ways in how he attacks Christ's church
Exposing the Enemy
Introduction: The famous hymn 'Onward, Christian Soldiers' begins:
“Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!”
Every person who enters in to Christ, enters into a war. The Christian soldier must fight hard for every step. Nothing comes easy when taking new ground, we are called to march forward not slide backward or run away. Jesus Christ is the captain of our salvation and we are to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 6:13 we are told to put on the full armor of God. We are told to take the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, and the rest of the armor so that when the day of evil comes we will be able to take our stand. It would be foolish to put armor on and not go to battle but It would be deadly to go to battle without armor. Paul couldn't make it more clear for us, this morning, the world is a battlefield and our occupation is war.
Now that we are recruited into his army, it is time we know who the enemy is. The enemy is not your fellow Christians. The enemy is not your fellow man. If they are your enemy it is because their hatred is in conflict with your love. Your enemy is threefold: the world, the flesh, and the devil, but today we are exposing our enemy, the Devil. No one doubts there is a devil except those who are under his control.
Transition: This morning we are going to look into four scriptures that describes our enemy as a lion, a thief, a serpent, & angel. We learn four lessons from these four warnings that describe the devil and what he does, First, we learn our enemy...
I. The Devil devours like a Lion
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8 NIV
The devil is our adversary, he is our enemy. If you are not being harassed by your enemy, then you are NOT living for God. As the saying goes “you only take flak when you are over the target.” Nothing will win the hate of your enemy more than when you show him the truth. The devil is described here as a certain type of lion. Lets look at the three ways he is described.
First, as a roaring lion. Rutherford once said he preferred a Roaring lion to a sleeping lion. That seems like a strange and peculiar statement. I believe his point was its better to take comfort in knowing that we are doing something for Christ to provoke the devil to Roar against us, rather than doing nothing to appease the devil to leave us alone. I've read that lions sleep between 17 and 20 hours a day. If you are already spiritually dead, then there is no reason for any lion to kill you. The devil can sleep the day away and come back to the carcass at any time.
During one day this past October, I was walking back down hill to my truck after a long day of sitting in a deer stand and on the narrow road back I came across a copperhead, just laying in the middle of my way. I blinded it with my flashlight and slowly walked around him as he slithered forward into the tall grass. I went my way and he went his. Sometimes that is the way we treat the enemy, let him go his way and he will let us go ours. This is a dangerous concept and could be a deadly one. Its foolish to think that the enemy is going to tip his hat to you and leave you alone because you left him alone. I believe what Rutherford was suggesting is that if you are sliding down to hell there is no reason for devil to interfere with the progress. Eternal damnation is the highest price to pay for playing neutral.
So why is he called a roaring lion and not a sleeping one? There is nothing about you that worries him except He sees the light of his conqueror inside of you. That's what makes him “your adversary.” He certainly would be content to leave you alone but when he sees you putting your faith, your hope, your trust, and your love in Jesus, that is when this old lion will Roar! He roars with anger, jealous hatred, resentment, and with great bitterness. Note: No one is more determined and cruelly motivated to tear down others than someone who is bitter. And the devil is the most bitter of them all. He is fierce, he is cruel, and he is strong. He is a supernatural being that is stronger than any man, from any generation, but make no mistake while no man is a match for the devil, the devil is no match for Jesus! He knows this, so he devises way to get you 'not to know it' through cynicism, skepticism, confusion, and doubt. The devil may be the king of the jungle on earth but he must bow to the King of kings who reigns in Heaven. KING JESUS!