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Summary: The devil's worst nightmare is that believers actually start being the church Jesus declared they were capable of being: Overcomers, decisive witnesses, going after the lost, living the victorious life of joy and peace.

THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE

Matt. 16:17

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: Cajun Magic Trick

1. Thibodeaux and Boudreaux entered a chocolate store. As they were looking at the candy, Thibodeaux stole 3 chocolate bars. When they left the store Thibodeaux said to Boudreaux, "I'm the best thief, I stole 3 chocolate bars and no one saw me put them in my pocket. You can’t beat that.

2. Boudreaux replied: "You want to see something better? Let's go back to the shop and I'll show you real stealing." I'll steal while the shopkeeper is watching me and he won't even know.

3. So they went to the counter and Boudreaux said to the shopkeeper: "Do you want to see a great magic trick?" The shopkeeper replied: "Yes."

4. Boudreaux said: "Give me three chocolate bars." The shopkeeper gave him three chocolate bars and Boudreaux ate all three.

5. The shopkeeper asked: "But where's the magic?" Boudreaux replied: "Look in Thibodeaux's pocket."

B. DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE

FIRST A GOOD DREAM

1. One night the devil laid down to sleep. He had worked his day’s mischief and was satisfied with the number of souls he had damned to hell. He put on some hellish alternative music to sooth his nerves. He felt those warm fuzzies and soon was fast asleep.

2. He immediately began having good dreams:

a. Boys smoking their first cigarette

b. Teenagers trying drugs for the first time (hateful joy filled him – he chuckled in his sleep).

c. Thought of College Professors filling the minds of students with Atheism, Evolution, Situation Ethics…

d. Thought of the Mass Media indoctrinating the masses with Abortion, Pornography, Euthanasia, and Homosexuality.

e. With sinister glee he dreamt of preachers stumbling into sin and his joy in exposing them.

f. Thought of millions of church members – eating, drinking, marrying, etc. – focusing on earthly life.

g. And then his mind wandered back to Adam and Eve and their fall; how he tripped up the various leaders of Israel and the Patriarchs.

h. And Then (he smiled in his sleep) to the Greatest Day of his long life; when he killed the Son of God, the Light of the World! But he had put it out (ha ha ha! ) No more light now.

3. Darkness rules. “I rule this world”, he thought, “I always will!”

4. The Devil Went on Dreaming – seeing his army of servants march by – the Attilas, the Hitlers, the Stalins, the Khrushchevs, the Czars, Pol Pot, Osama ben Laden….

TURNS TO A BAD DREAM

1. His Mind Wandered to a Scene somewhat unpleasant – the Son of God talking to Peter. What had He said? The words wouldn’t come… Something about “Building”. That was it: “I will build My Church”. Well, if He was, He wasn’t doing too good of a job.

2. Then, in his mind’s eye, he saw believers praying; being filled with the Spirit, reading Bibles and obeying what God said.

3. He saw the world all dark except for a small light on the horizon. The words sounded in his ears, “I Will Build My Church!”

4. As he watched the light grew in intensity until it was like the Sunrise. The whole world was lightened with it. Then his mind recalled the Scripture, “WHO IS THIS THAT COMES LIKE THE SUNRISE? FAIR AS THE MOON, BRIGHT AS THE SUN, AND TERRIBLE AS AN ARMY WITH BANNERS?”

5. Then the Devil saw his Kingdom crumbling and he himself bound, and he saw himself falling into a lake of fire. He unconsciously jumped and woke up screaming!

6. Title: “The Devil’s Nightmare.”

C. TEXT: Mt. 16:13-18

13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

I. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

A. IMPORTANCE OF THE CHURCH

1. Is the church just the invention of religious men, and fairly irrelevant next to the power structures of government and media? No! THE CHURCH IS NO SIDESHOW, BUT THE MAIN PROGRAM OF GOD FOR THE AGES. Jesus said, “I will build my church!” It is a church so important that He “purchased it with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). Who is going in the rapture? The Church!

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