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Summary: Our real enemy is Satan.

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INTRO.- ILL.- Two boys were walking home from Sunday School one Sunday morning. THEY DIDN’T STAY FOR CHURCH! Shame on them. Their SS lesson had been on the subject of the devil. One boy said to the other, "What do you think of this devil business?"

"Well," the other boy replied, "You know how Santa Claus turned out - THE DEVIL MUST BE EITHER YOUR MOM OR YOUR DAD."

Brethren, I don’t believe than anybody’s mom and dad is the devil. Although I admit that some moms and dads act like the devil occasionally! But don’t we all?!

Today, I want us to realize who the real enemy is! I want us to recognize who we’re up against!

ILL.- On their way home from church, the couple were discussing the preacher’s sermon. The wife said, "It seems to me he didn’t put enough fire into his sermon."

The husband said, "Well, in my opinion, he didn’t put enough of his sermon into the fire."

Brethren, for many, many years I have heard about all kinds of preacher-problems in churches: The preacher didn’t do this or the preacher did this. Or the preacher got into a fight the board, the elders or the women of the church, or the young people, or the youth director, and so on.

I have known of some preachers who were liars, greedy cheats, lustful, boasters, thieves, controllers, and a few other things.

I could tell you some stories that you might find hard to believe. And then again, you might not.

But contrary to what some church members might think, the preacher is the not the real enemy! He may play into the enemies’ hands occasionally, BUT HE IS NOT THE REAL ENEMY!

ILL.- While preaching in Iowa many years ago there was an older gentleman in the church who always called me, "Bub." And that kinda of worried me, because I didn’t think he even knew what he was saying. So one day, I just told him, "Hey! I am not beelzebub, meaning the devil. I just wanted you to know that."

That old brother never meant anything by calling me "Bub." But I sure wanted him to know that I was not the devil nor was I in league with him.

Brethren, there are times in life when we think some people are the devil! It may be some leader like Adolf Hitler or Saddam Hussein. Or a criminal like Charles Manson. Or some TV personality like Shirley MacLaine who has practices spiritualism, which according to Scripture, does have something to do with Satan.

But the devil is none of these people. Nor is he your mate. Nor your boss. Nor that person who irritates the daylights out of you at work! Nor that strange person who lives down the street from you.

Satan is none of these people. Satan is Satan and HE IS OUR REAL ENEMY IN LIFE. People are not our enemy. But make no mistake about it! We do have an enemy! We do have an opponent in life who is called Satan.

ILL.- In 1966 A man submitted a manuscript to a well-known publisher. It was rejected, however, with the explanation that the subject was a dead issue and no one believed in that sort of thing of any more. The book was entitled THE DARK PRINCE and presented the spiritual being called Satan.

Is Satan a dead issue? Do people not believe in him any more?

ILL.- Someone said "The devil’s cleverest trick is to make people believe that he does not exist."

ILL.- Bible teacher, William Evans, wrote, "It is popular in some circles today to spell the word ’devil’ with the letter ’d’ left off. This reduces the idea of an actual person called the devil to a mere influence called evil."

ILL.- Someone else said, "The devil may be out of fashion for some, BUT HE’S NOT OUT OF BUSINESS."

Is there a real evil person called Satan or the devil?

ILL.- American preacher Billy Sunday who lived from 1863 to 1935 said, "I know that the devil is real for two reason. #1, because the Bible says so. And #2, BECAUSE I’VE DONE BUSINESS WITH HIM."

WE KNOW THAT THE DEVIL IS REAL BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO! And we believe the Bible is the Word of God.

Job 1:6-7 "One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord AND SATAN ALSO CAME WITH THEM. The Lord said to Satan, ’Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ’From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.’"

Brethren, the angels came and presented themselves to the Lord. WHY? Probably because they were accountable to Him. Satan also came into the Lord’s presence. DOES THIS TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT SATAN? Surely it says that Satan must also give account of himself to God!

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