Summary: What Jesus did and does in regard to the devil, blasphemy and sin.
INTRO.- This title sounds like a pretty serious subject and it is! Life is serious stuff. Life is both serious and scary. In just a few weeks’ time we’ve had four school shootings in the US. If that isn’t serious I don’t know what is!
Oct. 2, 2006: A gunman killed at least five people, including himself, and wounded more at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, PA.
Sept. 29, 2006: 15-year-old Eric Hainstock brought two guns to Weston Schools in rural Cazenovia, Wisconsin and fatally shot his principal, 49-year-old John Klang, after Klang had given him a disciplinary warning for having tobacco on school grounds.
Sept. 27, 2006: 53-year-old gunman Duane Morrison took six girls hostage at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado. Morrison used the girls as human shields for hours before he shot and fatally wounded 16-year-old Emily Keyes and then killed himself.
Aug. 24, 2006: Christopher Williams, 27, went to Essex Elementary School in Essex, Vermont looking for his ex-girlfriend, Andrea Lambesis. He shot and killed teacher Mary Alicia Shanks, 56, and wounded another teacher at the school. Williams also killed Lambesis’ mother.
In the light of these school shootings, we wonder “what is going wrong with this crazy world?” That’s just the point.
More and more people seem to be going crazy or else they are doing all kinds of evil things. I still want to say, “Do you believe in the devil now?”
ILL.- On the CBS evening news, Monday, Oct. 2nd, they had the father of one of the Columbine’s School murders speak about the school shooting problem in the US. Brian Rhorbough whose son was murdered at the Columbine School shooting said, “I’m saddened and shaken by the shooting at an Amish school today, and last week’s school murders.
“When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting. Since that day, I’ve tried to answer the question, "Why did this happen?"
“This country is in a moral free-fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak, without moral consequences and life has no inherent value.
“We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong. And I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children.
“Suicide has become an acceptable action and has further emboldened these criminals. And we are seeing an epidemic increase in murder-suicide attacks on our children.
“Sadly, our schools are not safe. In fact, we now witness that within our schools. Our children have become a target of terrorists from within the United States.”
I think he said a mouthful, the biggest being, “We have expelled God from the school and the government…” There were a number of people who wrote to CBS after his free speech. Some agreed and some totally disagreed. Certainly everyone has a right to their opinion.
I don’t believe that he was without compassion for those people who lost their children, but he did blame the whole mess in America on leaving God out of the school system and the government. And I would certainly add, leaving God out of the family, out of our lives in general. If Christianity isn’t taught and lived out in our lives at home then what we do at school won’t make much difference.
When people have no relationship to the living, loving God who created them there will always be chaos, violence, and all kinds of evil!
If people truly believed in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior and followed Him we wouldn’t be having all these school shootings and a lot of other serious problems.
Life is serious stuff. The problem is that unless we encounter something really tough we don’t get too serious about God, Christ and the church. These horrible things that are happening in America and around the world should be a wake up call to America and to all people everywhere!
PROP.- I want us to look at this text from the standpoint of what Jesus did and does in regard to the devil, blasphemy, and sin, because this is serious stuff.
1- Jesus delivers people from Satan
2- Jesus knows people’s thoughts
3- Jesus forgives all sin but one
I. JESUS DELIVERS PEOPLE FROM SATAN
Matt. 12:22-23 “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"
Demon possession. Is it real? Are there still people today who are demon possessed?