Summary: Offense is not dangerous until we pick it up.
WARNING: This Sermon Contains Material That May Overcome Offense Series
Based on John Benere’s book, The Bait of Satan
Sept. 23, 2007 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A There are one of two things a trap needs to be successful:
1 Hidden (to enable the animal to stumble into it)
2 Bait (to lure the animal into its destructive jaws)
3 The devil uses both strategies in his most destructive & deadly traps
B The devil & his cohorts are sneaky, deceptive, masters of camouflage.
1 If we’re not in God’s word, we’ll not see his traps & tricks.
2 The trap is...offense
a OFFENSE IS NOT DANGEROUS UNTIL WE PICK IT UP
b The moment we pick it up, consume it-then we become offended
aa We produce the fruits of offense: hurt, angry, outrage, jealousy, envy, resentment, strife, bitterness, hatred
bb Consequences are insults, attacks, wounding, division, separation, broken relationships, betrayal, & backsliding
C Many folks fall into the trap & don’t even know they’ve been enslaved.
1 Don’t see the fruits/consequences because they are so focused on how they’ve been wronged (denial, justified)
a The enemy blinds us by causing us not to see beyond ourselves.
b The trap of offense is so prevalent in the modern church, we just assume it’s normal.
2 I believe as Christ’s return draws near, there will be a coming together of believers unparalleled in church history.
a At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 "Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Matt 24:10-13 (NASB)
b Repentance, revival
c Lost people will see the love of Christ manifest in believers & they will know we are Christians by our love.
3 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. Luke 17:1 (NIV)
a We will have the opportunity to be offended!
b Let’s expose two facts about offense that can help us overcome it.
1 The construct of offense
A We can catagorize every offended person into one of two categories:
1 Those who have been treated unjustly
2 Those who believe they have been treated unjustly
a The second category may 1) have inaccurate information or 2) their information is correct but their conclusion is inaccurate.
b (IL) I slapped you on the back, but only to kill the mosquito on it.
B Usually, it is those who are (or who were once) closest to us that offend the most severely.
1 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. 13 But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend; 14 We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng. Psalms 55:12-14 (NASB)
a The bloodiest wars (civil), the most viscous court cases (divorce)
b Your greatest offense will be from those who you are close to.
aa The closer the relationship, the more severe the offense.
bb Only those you care about can hurt you (you’ve given more of yourself to them).
cc People you worship with, guy preaching the message, someone you grew up with, or the person who sleeps next to you.
2 Don’t be shocked, bewildered when you get offended.
a Jesus promises us that it is guaranteed you & I will have the opportunity to be offended (isn’t that nice?)
b When we fall into offense, we fall into the trap of Satan.
C Pride can stop you from seeing the trap.
1 I’ve been severely hurt by people in the ministry, & people will say to me, "I can’t believe they did that! Aren’t you hurt?" "No, I’m fine, I’m not hurt."
a In my mind, I know about being offended, so I denied/repressed it (pride).
b Pride keeps you from dealing with the truth (you never change when you think everything is fine, keeps you from repenting, set free).
c Pride causes you to see yourself as a victim (I’ve been wronged so I’m going to withhold forgiveness-I’m justified).
2 Just because we’ve been wronged, mistreated, we do not have permission to hold on to our offense (the two wrongs don’t make a right).
3 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. 2 Tim 2:24-26 (NASB)