Summary: Just before people are delivered or have break-through salvation, the enemy usually puts up one final fight to keep them from being saved. Fear not; Jesus is the Conqueror. Hold fast to Him and you'll get victory!
THE DEVIL’S LAST THROW
1. Two men met at a bus stop and struck up a conversation. One of them kept complaining of family problems. Finally the other said,
2. "You think you have family problems? Listen to my situation. A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter, and we got married. Later my father married my step daughter. That made my step daughter my stepmother and my father became (thru my wife) my stepson. Also, my wife became mother-in-law of her father-in-law.
3. "Then my wife’s daughter, who is also my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father's son, but he was also the son of my wife's daughter, which made him my wife's grandson. That made me the grandfather of my half-brother.
4. “This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the half-sister of my son, my stepmother, is also the grandmother. This makes my father the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father's wife.
5. “So I'm my step-mother's brother-in-law, my wife is her own child's aunt, my son is my father's nephew and I'm my own grandfather! And you think YOU have family problems!”
6. In today's text, we're going to read about another family with family problems.
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer [and fasting]. Mk. 9:14-29.
1. We're going to see 3 things in this passage: 1) Hope Awakened, 2) the devil's last effort to sidetrack a miracle, and 3) God's faithfulness in putting Satan under our feet.
2. The title of today's message is, "The Devil's Last Throw."
I. HOPE AWAKENED
A. A HOPELESS CASE
1. Out of Control Physically;
a. Foaming at the mouth (v. 18),
b. Gnashing his teeth (18),
c. Falling on the ground (v. 20),
d. Wallowing (v. 20).
2. Out of Control Mentally (Mt. 17:15)
"for he is lunatic"
3. Mk. 9:17, "my son, which has a... spirit." He was Demon Possessed.
a. "You dumb and deaf spirit... come out of him" (v. 25),
b. No sound could penetrate those ears,
c. (Some teenagers/husbands are like that).
5. Dumb (couldn't speak)
a. (Sometimes we wish our teenagers were ‘dumb’)
b. Unable to communicate.
6. Continued for many years. "Pining away." HOPELESS! Undoubtedly the father had sought help of professionals -- physicians, the priests, possibly even so-called prophets, etc.
7. YOUR CASE? Maybe some of you feel that your situation/problem is just as hopeless.
a. You've tried to reconcile/reach out to them -- hasn't worked.
b. You've tried doctors, medicine, surgeries, psychiatrists, etc., and it seems hopeless.
c. The devil has even told you, "Lost people are doing better than you."
B. THE DISCIPLE’S FAILURE