Summary: How does Satan stop Christians and the cause of Christ? 1- Supposedly through death 2- Forcefully through sin 3- Briefly through separation
INTRO.- Who’s got the power? It depends on the person you’re talking to.
ILL.- In the financial world, it’s Warren Buffet. Mr. "Combover" (Donald Trump) may think he’s got it, but not compared to Warren Buffet whose wealth stands at $62billion dollars. Trump’s wealth is $3 billion. Not too shabby, however.
Who’s got the power? Who’s got the stopping power in life? Who can put the brakes on people? Who can call a halt to people’s lives?
ILL.- A friend and associate of boxers, American writer Wilson Mizner was himself a talented fighter. One night Mizner and boxer "Mysterious" Billy Smith visited a San Francisco bar, where Mizner started a fight with some longshoremen. At the end only one longshoreman was left standing. Although Mizner rained punches at him, he stayed obstinately upright. Suddenly, Smith noticed what was happening. "Leave him alone, Wilson!" he shouted. "I knocked him out five minutes ago."
On investigation it turned out that a punch from Smith had indeed knocked the longshoreman out cold, but had also wedged him vertically between two pieces of furniture.
That could be an accurate picture of our already-defeated but still standing enemy called Satan! His power is somewhat diminished even though he’s still standing. Sad to say, the devil still has SOME power!
I Pet. 5:8-9 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
What’s the evidence of Satan’s work in this world? It’s everywhere: violence, murder, rape, abuse, immorality, drinking, drugs, greed, etc. Satan is a dirty dealer! He’s worse than Al Capone or John Gotti ever thought of being.
ILL.- Two 6 year old boys struggled with the problem of the existence of the devil. One boy said, "Oh, there isn’t any devil." The other, rather upset, said, "What do you mean, there isn’t any devil? It talks about him all the way through the Bible!" the first replied, "Oh that’s not true, you know. It’s just like Santa Clause, the devil turns out to be your dad."
No, Satan is not your daddy, although he is a daddy. He’s the father of lies and murder. (John 8:44) The devil is powerful but not all powerful!
18For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan stopped us.
SATAN STOPPED US. Can he really do that to us? Yes, if we let him.
PROP.- How does Satan stop Christians and the cause of Christ? 1- Supposedly through death 2- Forcefully through sin 3- Briefly through separation
I. SUPPOSEDLY THROUGH DEATH
14 "You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. "They displease God and are hostile to all men 16in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved."
Notice: They killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets. And I think that Satan thought this would put an end to God’s cause in this world by using the Jews to kill Jesus and the prophets.
Death signals "the end" to most people in this world. Most people dread the thought of death as though there is nothing more. Zero. Nothing. Finished. Terminal. The end. OH REALLY?
ILL.- There are many answers posed to the question of Job: “If a man dies, shall he live again?”
- Science says, “He may live again.”
- Philosophy says, “He hopes to live again.”
- Ethics says, “He ought to live again.”
- Atheism says, “He will never live again.”
- Jesus Christ says, “He shall live again.”
ILL.- A few days before his death, Dr. F. B. Meyer wrote a very dear friend these words: "I have just heard, to my great surprise, that I have but a few days to live. It may be that before this reaches you, I shall have entered the palace. Don’t trouble to write. We shall meet in the morning."
The words of Meyer do not sound like he feared death or that he thought death was the end of his life. WHY? Because, no doubt, he believed in the resurrection of Christ and his own resurrection! He believed in John 3:16.
Death will not stop God’s plan! The death of Jesus, as we know, just played into God’s hands. His death wasn’t Satan’s plan, it was God’s plan for man’s redemption! Satan may have thought he was putting an end to Jesus and his band on earth, but that didn’t happen. It is through death that we have life! It is through the death of Jesus that we have life! Eternal life!