Summary: We are destined to serve somebody or something. Do you really serve the true God?
TEXT: ACTS 16:16-34
TITLE: “WHO DO YOU SERVE?”
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
--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
I. SERVANT OF THE OCCULT
--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
the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or
daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or
casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things
is detestable to the LORD , and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive
out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you
will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God
has not permitted you to do so.”
d. Divination is always associated with witchcraft, sorcery, and other things that are clearly occult
--The Bible clearly states that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God and
will be condemned to eternal punishment if they do not repent.
C. Could say a lot more on this subject but I’ll save it for another sermon.
--Let me just give a warning of the dangers involved in just dabbling with the occult let alone being fully
involved in it
1. Pandora’s box – in mythology, Pandora was created by the gods to tempt and curse Prometheus who
had crept into Olympus and stolen the fire of gods.
a. Pandora’s box contained all kinds of evil. When it was opened, it released all the evils in the world