Summary: One of our enemy's greatest assets to cause so much mischief is his ability to not be recognized. This sermon describes Satan on 3 fronts - A Destoryer, A Deceiver, & A Devourer
Our Enemy the Devil
Ill. Years ago, there was a PBS Special that covered the events leading up to the "Battle of the Bulge" during WWII. It was the autumn of 1944 and Germany had been beaten back behind its borders. The Nazi war machine was in tatters and the repeated bombing raids of the Allies all but assured that Hitler’s forces would never rise again. Around the perimeter of Germany’s borders, the Allies spread a thin line of forces. One person observed that Allied forces were was so scattered that a man could slip between its lines without being observed.
All across Europe, there was celebration. Parties, dances, speeches all rejoicing in Germany’s defeat. The war was effectively over. The only problem was (pause) somebody forgot to tell Germany.
Even as his forces were being shattered and driven back Hitler was devising a plan for one last onslaught. Underground factories churned out more weapons, armament and ammunition. More of Germany’s young and old men were conscripted and trained for war. And as Europe rejoiced, Hitler planned. His goal was not to drive back the Allies into the sea, as much as it was to divide the British to the North and Americans to the South, so demoralizing them that they would sue for peace on his terms. Hundreds and thousands of men died because somebody forgot that the enemy still lived and that the war was NOT (completely) over.
APPLY: Paul assures us that the enemy still lives. The war IS NOT completely over. And you had better not let down your guard. We MUST put on the whole armor of God and prepare for battle. (Sermon Central Ill.)
The Devil is more evil and more cruel than even the very worst of men! If we hope to stay away from the devil schemes we must at least be familiar with what they are.
(Transition): Although there could be so much more said, lets analyze the Devil on three fronts: 1) As a destroyer, 2) as a deceiver, and finally 3) as a devourer.
The Devil is a Destroyer
Hebrew name for Satan is Abaddon it means “Destruction”. “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon” -Rev. 9:11
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;...” - John 10:10
He goes about like a wrecking ball destroying anything good in this world; especially good institutions, And since there are many for time's sake I want to bring to your attention 3 institutions He goes about to destroy:
1) The institution of Marriage –
We see the devil trying to destroy this institution as a whole through redefining what marriage is.
The Bible is clear that marriage is between man and woman Gen.2:24, I Cor. 7:1-3, Col 3:18,19, Hebrews 13:4-7
Satan says 'Marriage is not between a man and woman it can be between anyone or anything.' (give examples)
Satan will destroy your marriage on a personal level – He whispers - “marriage is too much work” “You can do so much better, you know you're unhappy” “this other person would treat you so much better” “You are not good enough to be with him” “She doesn't love you” “Just walk away, you know you can not endure this”
I read an interesting testimony this week from Karen Blake, a pastors wife who with her husband Chris have worked with Bill Wilson's Metro Ministries in Brooklyn NY. They had a great ministry in operation there. They had effective bus ministry and sidewalk Sunday schools. They were effectively taking the word to the people on the streets, and they were seeing thousands come to Christ. But she admits that it didn't come without a price. She said she had been cursed at, threatened, rocked, and egged. She had seen people beaten, shot, robbed, and killed. She adds, she had awoken to the sound of broken glass and people trying to escape burning buildings. They had been caught in the crossfire of Gun fights in the inner city, one of which almost cost her husbands life.
But more than any of that she said, the enemy came for their marriage. Satan has no authority to take you out of the position God has placed you in, and He knows this, so he tries to get you to leave it yourself. How does he do this? – through deception. He goes about destroying the union between husband and wife.
2) The institution of Education –
Satan has infiltrated the education system. It really all began when they took God out of schools. I remember saying the Lord's prayer with the pledge of allegiance in the morning at school. Can't do that now. It wasn't too long ago the public school house and the church house were the same building. Today the courts have made that illegal. Separation of church and state seems to only go one direction. The devil does not mind the state in the church, its the church in the state that He wants to destroy!