Summary: We need to be alert to being spiritually abducted!
• SLIDE #1
• I cannot imagine the horror a family faces when a loved one is abducted. If you have been following the news you have heard of one the most recent cases out of Cleveland where three girls had been missing for over ten years.
• They were given up for dead only to be found alive, they have been abducted and were subjected so unspeakable horrors for the duration of their captivity.
• According to Parents.com a child is abducted every 40 seconds. That translates to over 2,000 children per day (under 18 years of age) or 800,000 per year.
• According to recently published FBI statistics that city is Phoenix Arizona. You read that right. According to the FBI you stand a greater chance of being kidnapped in this American city than you do in Baghdad, Iraq or Kabul, Afghanistan. (http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/us-city-world-kidnapping-capital-separating-fact-from-fiction-154762.htm)
• Mexico had by far has been the biggest location for kidnappings" followed by Honduras, Venezuela, Nigeria and the Philippines.
• But according to a 2012, October article Nigeria now gets that honor.
• They account of over 25% of the world’s kidnapping. (http://www.bellanaija.com/2012/10/04/nigeria-is-now-the-kidnap-for-ransom-capital-of-the-world-accounting-for-25-of-global-kidnappings-aio/)
• I have seen the shows on TV where a guy gets abducted and ends up living in a box for months until a ransom can be met.
• I found that there are companies that sell “kidnapping” insurance that companies can purchase to cover their workers in case of a kidnapping. The insurance company will pay a ransom to get you back.
• How many of you would do all you could to protect you and your family from being kidnapped?
• Think for a moment about how difficult it would be to have a loved one taken from you.
• Now we are going to turn in a little different direction. Imagine for a moment a loved one who belongs to Jesus being spiritually abducted away from God.
• In our text we are Paul is trying to warn his readers of the danger. No one can snatch us away from the love of God, but we can allow ourselves to be taken away into captivity.
• What are you doing to protect yourself from being spiritually kidnapped?
• Let’s look at our text together
• SLIDE #2
• Colossians 2:8 (ESV) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
• SLIDE #3
I. The clear and present danger of spiritual abduction.
• It is so easy to be going about your business only to realize that one day you have been taken captive spiritually.
• Paul has been speaking on the subject of making sure your walk is solid now he speaks of the danger of being taken captive.
• In verse 8 he starts out by saying that we are to see to it that no one takes you captive.
• The implication here is that we have to do something to make sure we are not taken captive. We are responsible for what happens to us spiritually.
• The word translated “captive” was used of taking captives of war and leading them away as plunder. It has the idea of being kidnapped, the idea of being taken against ones will.
• As we ponder this though we need to understand what Romans 8:35 tells us.
• SLIDE #4
• Romans 8:35 (ESV) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
• But with that thought in mind, which says GOD will not quit loving us, we need ot realize that WE can reject God’s love. We can walk away.
• SLIDE #5
• Hebrews 6:4–6 (ESV) For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
• We see in Galatians 1 where Paul was worried about the Christians in Galatia going back to the old ways or falling prey to those who would come in and try to take them away from the faith.
• SLIDE #6
• Galatians 5:1 (ESV) For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
• The words used by Paul in the original text indicate that the danger he is speaking of is a real and present danger, not some hypothetical or imagined danger.