Summary: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, ready or not, here I come. Satan where are you. Oh, Satan where are you. Some people are looking for Satan in the church.
SEEING SATAN IN CHURCH
THEME: BE CAREFUL ABOUT LOOKING FOR SATAN IN THE CHURCH.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, ready or not, here I come. Satan where are you. Oh, Satan where are you. Some people are looking for Satan in the church.
Some people do not come to church because they are bent on searching for Satan under every rock. People look for Satan in everyone and everything. People look for Satan in the members, the leaders, and the minister. They take it upon themselves to be the Satan detectors of churches.
In fact in C.S. Lewis book the screwtape letters, in which portraits the Devil teaching a young apprentice on how to tempt and destroy man’s faith. In the book there is a section on causing people to be constantly looking for a church that suits them, instead of coming to church to be a disciple and a learner of the ways of the Lord. The people come to church looking for the variety of church that pleases them. This causes the people to totally take their minds off of the true intend to be at worship and puts in on themselves. Satan loves to see people come to church looking for him.
The problem is that if someone begins to look for Satan in church. He is there to be found. Satan is in the church for sure. Acts 5:1-11 “But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God." And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it. And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" And she said, "Yes, that was the price." Then Peter said to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out as well." And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.” If a person wants to find Satan, he can walk into any church building that is meeting on Sunday. Satan will be sitting there in the pews. You may not recognize him because “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14).
Satan is doing everything he can to hurt the work of God. He loves to use Christian people for his purpose. If he can tempt a Christian man or woman to sin, and then cause that person to be a stumbling block for another person, then Satan is rejoicing. Satan is spending his time destroying churches. He loves hiding behind Christian people to push others away from church. In the parable of the sower, the word of God is preached. There is a receptive soul but Satan is there to take away the word from the heart. “And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them” (Mark. 4:15). Satan is using Christians to destroy God’s work. He is scaring people away from church with church people who have bowed down to Satan instead of God. “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).
Recently, I was reading a book about the restoration movement. It was talking about the split between the churches of Christ and the instrumental Christian churches. The book was detailing the account of the congregation going to court about who owned the building. The case was the instrumentalism against the non-instrumentalism. Both groups were fighting for the control of the property. In fact in a few cases, the group that lost the first case would appeal to a higher court and the ruling was overturned. But after the church went through the ugly court battles, the congregation was devastated to the point that the congregation could no longer grow in the local area. Every one knew about the dirty business of the church. No one wanted to come to a church that fought in court. Pretty much Satan destroyed the cause of Christ in that town. If you want to find Satan you can see him in church at any time.