Summary: 1- Satan always makes us question our faith. 2- Satan always has a comeback temptation
INTRO.- ILL.- One bright, beautiful Sunday morning, everyone in the tiny town of Johnstown got up early and went to the local church.
Before the services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews and talking about their lives, their families, etc.
Suddenly, the Devil himself appeared at the front of the congregation. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
Soon everyone was evacuated from the Church, except for one gentleman who sat calmly in his pew, not moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence. Now this confused Satan a bit, so he walked up to the man and said, "Don’t you know who I am?"
The man replied, "Yep, sure do."
Satan asked, "Aren’t you afraid of me?"
"Nope, sure ain’t," said the man.
Satan was a little perturbed at this and asked, "Why aren’t you afraid of me?"
The man calmly replied, "Been married to your sister for over 30 years."
Brothers and sisters, regardless of whether or not you think you’ve been married to the devil’s sister or even the devil’s brother, you’d better fear Satan! Satan is a deceiver and a destroyer! He’s something of a lunatic and definitely a liar!
If you are led by God’s Spirit then you WILL be tempted by the devil. Now, what if you are not being tempted by the devil? That’s probably when you need to worry.
ILL.- A Christian slave in America was overheard by his master. The black man was groaning, weeping and praying to the Lord for deliverance from the devil. His master said, “You seem to have a good deal of trouble with the devil and he never bothers me at all. And yet you are a good, praying Christian and I am not a Christian. Why doesn’t he bother me?”
The black man replied, “Master, I will explain this. When you are out shooting ducks, which do you send the dog after first, the ones that fall dead or the ones that wounded and are trying to get away?”
The man replied, “Well, of course, I send the dog after the wounded ones. The dead ones we are sure of and can pick them up later.”
The black man said, “And so it is with Satan. He already has those who are not born again, fast and sure. But those that know the Lord are the ones that he sets his dogs after. He knows he can pick up the others later.”
If someone doesn’t know the Lord then, in a sense, Satan already has them in his grasp and he doesn’t have to work too hard to keep them there. But Satan wants to deceive everybody and if someone is already a Christian then he has to work very hard to trip them up! And he may work harder on them than others.
In our text, Jesus had an encounter with Satan, a face-to-face encounter with Satan. And I’m not sure that anybody in their right mind would want to face up to Satan in any kind of contest.
I’ve seen a few people in life that I considered to be in league with Satan or on the same league, but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anyone I considered to be Satan or as evil as him. Nevertheless, we all need a healthy respect for him because he is a deceiver and a destroyer of souls.
PROP.- From the Lord’s face-to-face encounter with Satan, let’s consider some thoughts about temptation in this life.
1- Satan always makes us question our faith
2- Satan always has a comeback temptation
I. SATAN ALWAYS MAKES US QUESTION OUR FAITH
Matt. 4:3 “The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Satan questioned Jesus. IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD.
ILL.- Some time after the conversion of Augustine, he came face to face with the woman who had been his evil genius for many months, having dragged him deeper and deeper into the slavishness of sin until he had been freed from its bonds by the Lord Jesus Christ.
When he passed her with only a formal nod, she stopped him and said, “Augustine, do you not know me any more? See, it is I.”
Looking at her a moment, and knowing that she no longer held him in her evil spell, Augustine replied, “Yes, but it is not I.”
Augustine knew himself. He knew who he was just as Jesus did. He was no longer the “old” Augustine. He was the new Augustine who was in Christ. He was new a person in Christ.
Sometimes we get into trouble simply because we forget who we are and whose we are! I’ve done it and you’ve done it.