Summary: We need to be focused more on the human spirit and the Holy Spirit than spooks.

INTRO.- ILL.- A man was going to attend a Halloween party one time dressed in a costume that supposedly looked like the devil; red suit, tail, fork in hand. While walking to the party it began to rain so he darted into the nearest building, which happened to be a church where a revival meeting was in progress.

As the man entered the door, everyone turned to see who had come in late for church. As soon as the people saw the man they began to run out of the building. One lady caught her coat sleeve in the pew and as the man came closer she said, “Devil, I’ve been a member of this church for twenty years, but I’ve really been on your side all that time.”

Brothers and sisters, there are several applications that can be made to this story.

There may well be some people in the Lord’s church who have been on the devil’s side all along. Holy company doesn’t always insure holiness. Judas Iscariot was with Jesus most of the time and he certainly betrayed Him. If it could happen to Judas there is a good possibility it could happen in the church today.

I wouldn’t encourage you, however, to go around pointing fingers at people. If you point your finger at someone there will be many more fingers pointing back at you. Don’t be too quick to judge people. Just continue to love one another as best you can, strive for peace with everyone and let the Lord do the judging. That’s His business, not ours.

Another application to our story is this: IS THE DEVIL A REAL SPIRITUAL BEING? What do you think? Most Bible-believing people do believe in the evil one called Satan or the devil.

ILL.- I like best how preacher Billy Sunday said it many years ago. He said, “I believe in the devil for two reasons. Number one, because the Bible says so. And number two, because I’ve done business with him.”

We do believe in the devil because God’s Word tells us about him. We also believe in the devil because of the evil that we see taking place in our world every day. We may also believe in the devil because we feel that we, too, might have done business with him in various ways.

WE DO BELIEVE IN THE DEVIL! We do believe that he is evil and out to deceive, dupe and damn the world.

Acts 13:10 Paul said to Elymas the sorcerer, "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?”

Apparently those who are involved in various kinds of sorcery are considered in league with the devil.

What about spooks and spirits? Some think that being involved in Halloween is being in league with the devil himself. I wouldn’t say that.

ILL.- Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family said, "If the Halloween experience is focused on fantasy rather than the occult, I see no harm in it. My final word to parents on the subject would be ’stay true to your own convictions.’"

Just because some Christian family allows their children to go “trick or treating” it doesn’t mean that they are evil and/or involved in devil worship.

However, if a family has strong convictions about not participating in Halloween in any shape or form, then so be it. I just don’t believe we should condemn others based on our own opinions.

Many Christians do, however, have alternatives to Halloween, hence the reason for our Fall Festival.

ILL.- Regent University communications professor Andy Freeman says that Christians should look to Jesus as an example. He said,” Jesus would never have said, ’run and hide, its Halloween!’"

I suspect that Jesus would have done like he did all the time. HE WOULD USE THE OCCASION TO SOMEHOW POINT PEOPLE TO THE GOD OF HEAVEN AND THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL!

ILL.- Someone else wrote, “While darkness permeates many areas of life, is this a reason for Christians to retreat? The abuse of inanimate objects such as pumpkins or cats must not reduce us to feelings of fear, anger, or confusion. After all, desserts aren’t evil because some people overeat. Phones aren’t evil because some people make death threats or prank calls. Nuclear power in itself isn’t evil. Similarly, there are no evil spirits in our pumpkins, nor do they roam in my neighbor’s black cat.”

I think Christians should enjoy life as best they can and use every occasion to witness for Christ. Instead of being held captive by Satan, we must resist him by pointing people to Christ!

I admit that there are some things in this world that are mysterious and hard to explain. Some of these things people attribute to evil and/or Satan.

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