Summary: We are destined to serve somebody or something. Do you really serve the true God?

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TEXT: ACTS 16:16-34


OPEN: A. A preacher meets an old friend from Bible college while at the North American Christian

Convention. The old friend asks the preacher, “How many members are in your congregation?”

The preacher responds, “We have 350 members.”

The old friend says, “Hey, that’s not bad. How many of your church members are active?” The

preacher says, “All of them.” The old friend says, “That’s great!” The preacher replies, “Not

really. You see, only about 20-30 of them are active for the Lord. The rest are active for the


1. Mt. 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he

will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

2. Back around the late 70’s or early 80’s, there was a contemporary Christian song called, Gotta

Serve Somebody

--listen to the first verse and the chorus:

You may be an ambassador to England or France,

You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,

You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,

You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You’re gonna have to serve somebody,

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

B. In our passage this evening, there are six different things that the people served


--Acts 16:16-18 – “Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a

spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortunetelling.

This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who

are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that

he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!”

At that moment the spirit left her.”

A. Here was a slave girl possessed by a spirit who could predict the future

1. “spirit of divination” – in Greek, spirit of “python”

--This “spirit of python” is closely tied to Greek mythology and what was known as the Delphi Oracle

2. The spirit of the snake is a reminder who is behind all the occult practices

--Back to Genesis 3 and the Garden of Eden

B. Anyone involved in the occult is in bondage

--they’re enslaved to its hideous illusions

1. “Occult” – “not revealed; hidden; of or relating to supernatural agencies, their effects, or knowledge of


2. What constitutes occult practices?

--astrology, ouija boards, seances, tarot cards, fortune telling, sorcery and witchcraft, Satanism and

demon worship, etc.

3. Bible is very clear concerning these practices

--Stay away from them! God is not pleased with those who practice such things

a. Lev. 19:26b – “Do not practice divination or sorcery.”

b. Lev. 20:6 – “I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute

himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.”

c. Deut. 18:9-14 – “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate

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