Summary: Biblical Truth confronting subtle deception
The Invisible War: Subtle Deceptions of the Enemy
September 24, 2006
Pastor Kent Wise
It doesn’t surprise me one bit that the last six weeks have been filled with tremendous stress, emotion, and conflict for me and for those around me. When we started this series many of you commented that you had never heard this subject taught or really did not know what to expect from these teachings. My prayer has been, as we went through this series, the Holy Spirit would begin to reveal to each of you certain areas where you are caught in the middle of this invisible war, this spiritual battle. Today’s message will reveal the subtle ways that Satan deceives us as Christians. Brothers and sisters, today’s message… will trouble some of you. … will upset some of you. …will cause some of you to rethink your personal feelings of God’s love. …will be rejected by some of you. I already know this going into this message, and my heart is burdened by that revelation because it could mean the difference between eternal life or eternal damnation.
13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy1 that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.
14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.
21 "Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’
23 Then I will declare to them, ’I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Deception occurs every day in our lives. It is often times so subtle that we don’t even realize the lie until it is too late. Our culture is bombarded with images daily that are designed solely for their persuasive message. TV shows, computer games, commercials, songs, books and the list is endless are designed to arouse and stimulate us. For many of us they create a longing for something that we don’t have, …for something that we can’t have, …for something that we must have. They draw us into a simulated reality where we no longer recognize the TRUTH. We begin to question our values, our ethics, our beliefs, and yes our purpose. In essence our lives become entangled in deception as we deny the impact of these things on ourselves, our children, and our society.
I can still remember the impact that Madonna, “the material girl”, had on teenagers in the 80’s and 90’s. In November NBC will air a special showing of Madonna’s recently completed “Confessions Tour”. In the show, Madonna, wearing a fake crown of thorns, descends on a suspended mirrored, disco ball-type cross. When some Christian leaders complained about the mockery, NBC ignored their concerns.
Making mockery of the crucifixion of Christ has been a trademark of Madonna for many years. In 1989 she had a video for the hit song "Like A Prayer." The video featured burning crosses, statues crying blood and Madonna--representing Jesus--freeing a saint from his sexual repression by seducing him. This is the same Madonna who once said, "Crucifixes are sexy because there’s a naked man on them." AFA Website
However, the subtle deceptions are not just a product of Hollywood. They occur right in our own backyards in the organizations that we belong to and in the community that we live. In the scriptures read today, Jesus is revealing to us that the subtle deceptions of our enemy is designed to keep us from realizing the promise of eternal life. 13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy1 that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. We get so caught up in the “good works” that we limit or forget to make time for prayer, …for the study of God’s Word, …for fellowship with other believers, …for authentically worshipping our Lord.