Summary: Satan has a strategic plan and john warns us about those that will implement that plan.

Satan’s Subtle Strategy

1 John 2:18-23

Intro: A young woman brought her fiancé home to meet her parents for thanksgiving dinner. After dinner, her mother told her father to find out about the young man. The father invited the fiancé to his study for a talk.

"So what are your plans?" the father asked the young man. "I am a biblical scholar," he replied.

"A Biblical scholar. Hmmm," the father said. "Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in?"

"I will study," the young man replied, "and God will provide for us."

"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?" asked the father.

"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replied, "God will provide for us."

"And children?" asked the father. "How will you support children?"

"Don’t worry, sir, God will provide," replied the fiancé.

The conversation proceeded like this, and each time the father questioned, the young idealist insisted that God would provide.

Later, the mother asked, "How did it go, Honey?" The father answered, "He has no job and no plans, and he thinks I’m God

. It seemed the young man had no direction did he?

. While you can applaud him for his faith in God, God expects us to work also.

. Without a plan in life, nothing ever seems to go right.

. We all need plans.

. We are about to embark on another journey as a church.

. We had our vision casting about a year and a half ago and we have been successful in what we set out to do.

. That session was more about setting goals for the immediate future and we have accomplished much of that.

. Now it is time to review and renew or vision.

. Our mission will never change.

. We will always endeavor to “encourage and develop those we meet into committed followers of Jesus”

. I encourage each of you to participate in the vision casting sessions.

. You will hear more about this in the next couple of weeks.

. There is a need for individuals and churches to have a strategic plan. It keeps us focused on our goals.

. Did you know that Satan also has a strategic plan?

. We are going to see that plan in our scripture this morning.

. I call it Satan’s Subtle Strategy and we see it in 1 John 2:18-23

. 18Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.

19These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.

20But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth.

21So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies.

22And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.

23Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

. The first thing we see here in Satan’s strategy is:

. When The Strategy Started

. The strategy started the second Jesus died on that cross.

.Look at verse 18 again:

. 18Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.

. John writes “Dear Children”, therefore we know that he is writing to Christians.

. He says listen up Christians, the antichrists are here. They are starting now. These are the last days.

.Do you get tired of people predicting the end of the world.

. There have been over two hundred advertised predictions for the end of the world.

. Harold Camping, the host of the “Family Radio Network” predicted that the last day would be May 21, 2011 @ 6pm.

. That didn’t happen.

. He had a long history of trying to predict when Jesus would come back.

. I have always said that if somebody got lucky and guessed, God would change it.

. In Matthew chapter 24:36 Jesus says that no one, not the angels or even Jesus knows when the last day will be.

. The reason is that we are confused about the last days.

. Folks, the last days started when Jesus died on the cross.

. We are living in the last days.

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