Summary: The Devil has put many things in our lives that distract us from hearing the word of God.

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June 28, 2015

Church Planting

Runnin’ with the Devil

Acts 13:4-12

Opening words: At the very heart of this morning’s scripture lesson is a very complex topic, the Devil. Did you know, in the Bible, the Devil is called by 42 different names? Those names are interchangeable. In this message I will use two of those names, the Devil and Satan. What are your thoughts on him? Do you believe the Devil is a little red creature with a tail and pitch fork? Do you believe the Devil is just the embodiment of mankind’s dark side? Do you believe the Devil is physical in nature? Do you believe the Devil is a spirit? Do you believe the Devil is the primary source of our world’s problems? Do you believe the primary source of our world’s problems are human selfishness and ignorance? Do I have to go on? There seems to be as many opinions about the Devil are there are people. This is the most important question. Do you believe God will win in the end? Regardless of your understanding, this message will speak to you. Let me call this message Runnin’ with the Devil.

This is sermon number twenty-six in my sermon series called Church Planting. During the summer months, I have been preaching through the Book of Acts. This is no small task, because Acts has so much to offer. I believe the Holy Spirit is vital to our future success. Human effort and determination are not enough to revive the church. It is the Holy Spirit who created the church originally, and it must be the Holy Spirit who revives the church again. With this understanding, let us look at our scripture lesson for today, Acts 13:4-12.

Acts 13:4-12 4 The two of them (Barnabas and Saul), sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper. 6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.


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