Summary: If I were Satan this is how i would attack the Church.
If I were Satan
I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what we need to do next to use Memorial Park Christian Church in a way that would be of the maximum benefit to the kingdom. I pray for guidance, I visit with members of leadership as well as with members of the congregation trying to pick their brains as to what they believe God is calling us to do. Often times I sense God pulling us in one direction or another. At other times even after prayer and reflection I remain unclear as to God’s will for our congregation.
Often when I feel a need for guidance and don’t perceive that I am receiving as much as I would like I find it helpful to stop and make a list of things that I know would be counter productive to the church and see how much of that behavior I am contributing to in the church.
It’s really an easy list to compile, one only has to ask the question: If I were satan what would I do to defeat the Christian, what would I do to defeat this congregation? If I were satan what would I do without being to obvious to damage the kingdom.
I have read the lists of other men as they contemplated that very question. Paul Harvey wrote such a list and the concept of such a list was behind the book by C.S. Lewis called the “Screwtape Letters” in which he gives us a glimpse of conversation between two demons as they train to do battle with the church.
Almost every Sunday, as we should, we look at ways we as Christians are suppose to live so that others may see Jesus living in us and be drawn to Him. This morning however I want to turn the tables and look at methods satan uses to defeat the church in order that we may recognize such schemes instead of allowing ourselves to be a part of them.
This morning I want to look at ways satan can keep people from coming to the kingdom. I want to look at how satan can use us to damage other Christians, how he can use us to destroy this congregation and attack the Kingdom of God.
My intention is to allow us to recognize his lies so that we never allow ourselves to buy into his schemes. I believe there is a great advantage in knowing the plans of your enemy.
So if I were satan how would I keep people from coming to the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ? I think the most deceptive lie that I could tell to the masses of lost who are seeking God is this “God loves you and if you do your best to be good you’ll go to heaven.” If you talk to the unchurched it’s an idea that seems to have caught on. “I am not a bad person I don’t rob or murder I don’t get drunk, I don’t do drugs, I try to treat people with love and compassion so if God is truly a God of love he won’t send me to hell” after all hell is for bad people who need to be punished. It’s for those who molest children and steal from the elderly, who mistreat others and take advantage of people to their own gain. Sounds good doesn’t it. Good people go to heaven and hell is reserved for those who are just plain evil and after all they deserve it. It sounds wonderful, the only problem is it’s not true; it’s not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For we all have to face the reality of our own sin, we are not good people; we are sinful people and we must be born again.
Being good is not a qualifier for salvation. Salvation is the by-product of a life surrendered to Jesus. Peter in the book of Acts chapter 4 verse 12 speaking of Jesus said:
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
If you could just convince people that their salvation was determined by their own works, by their own actions, you could rob many a soul from the kingdom of God. If you could just keep people from finding out that salvation is not about what they have done but is based solely on what Jesus has done for us then you could fill hell with people who were convinced that they were good people. I think that’s a very effective way of keeping the lost from Jesus: convince them that their salvation is determined by their own actions.
Now what about those who are already believers; those who have already surrendered their lives to Jesus? What would be the best way to attack this group?