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Summary: This sermon shows how to resist the blinding, scheming, invisible presence of Satan.

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February 22, 2004A

"Satan: Resisting Satan in Times of Trial"

SERIES: Meet the Cast

Introduction:

A. "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

1. The Shadow was a radio program that I listened to as a kid (we did not have TV at the time).

2. Even though the Shadow was a crime fighter whose every show taught, "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay!" there is a strange comparison to evil in the program. There are similarities to Satan.

3. "We live in a society that believes in evil but writes off Satan as a character in cartoons with a pitch fork and horns. This image has reduced the truth about the enemy to a mere fairy tale...Satan is a real created being..." (Rick Long, "Satan: How to Resist Satan in Times of Trouble," http://www.sermoncentral.com/contributor_sermon.asp?SermonID=65873&ContributorID=10996&NameFirst=Rick&NameLast=Long&ImageName=RickLong10996%2Ejpg&ImageHeight=272&CN=Grace+Church+of+Arvada&CWeb=February 17, 2004.)

4. At the Last Supper, Jesus discussed Satan with the phrase "prince of this world (Jn 12-14)."

5. John explains that he has been sinning from the beginning, 1 Jn 3:8.

6. He is in rebellion against God and his authority.

7. He seeks to overthrow all that belongs to God. That includes us and the world in which we live.

Satan is real. He is our enemy. We must resist him because of Jesus and for our soul’s sake

I. Resist the ability to blind.

A. The Shadow, Lamonte Cranston, wealthy man around town, had the ability to cloud men’s minds so that they could not see him.

B. Satan is able to affect our minds and the way we see things. NIV 2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

1. I have noticed how quickly people will believe anything but the truth.

a. In his interview with Diane Sawyer, Mel Gibson said that his critics have no argument with him, they have an argument with the four Gospels.

b. Bob Russell tells in his book God Builds a Church about his son Rusty speaking to a high school world religions class. He told them about Jesus’ claim that he is the way, the truth, and the life. "Most of the students still insisted that it was wrong of him to contend that any way was the ‘true’ way." (Bob Russell, When God Builds a Church, (West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing Co., 2000), p. 21.)

2. How do you know that Satan has not clouded your mind? Are your beliefs old wives tales, tradition, heretical ideas or truth in God’s eyes? Here are some ways you can know.

a. God has sent us the truth. NIV John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

b. We can know that truth. NIV John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

c. We are purified by obeying the truth. NIV 1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth...

d. Our obedience to the truth tells if we are in him or not. NIV 1 John 2:4 The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:

You can be sure that Satan has not clouded your mind and blinded you if you believe in Jesus, follow the gospel of salvation in Christ, and do what he says.

II. Resist the invisible presence.

A. The Shadow is able to stay near the villains without them knowing it, eavesdrop on their conversations, be at the scene of the crime, and capture them. I especially enjoyed the part of the program where the Shadow spoke to the criminal, but the criminal could not see him. The criminal would shout, "Who’s there? Who are you?" Next, he might shoot into the darkness trying to hit what he could not see. Then there would be a smack, "Ooph." A fall. The Shadow would have landed a blow to the criminal, knocking him down so that he could be detained for the police.

B. Satan is not visible, but is lurking in the background. NIV 1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

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