Satan: Is He or Isn't He?
Each of the Apostles believed that Jesus was the Messiah. Because of their closeness to Him, each of them expected to have a significant position in His coming government. So focused were they upon themselves, that they had altogether missed His teaching about greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven. Those most faithful to the Lord are always servants to Christ and His Church. James and John had expectations of sitting at Jesus’ right hand. Their mother had even gone so far as to ask this of Jesus. These two were the most affluent among the disciples and it is safe to assume that their father Zebedee was the greatest supporter of Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus told His friends that they would indeed sit in judgment of principalities and powers, but not before a time of testing. Of all the Apostles, none was more certain of his faithfulness and righteousness than Peter. After all, had Jesus not called him the Rock and declared that he would provide the foundation upon which the Church would be built?
Even as these thoughts were running through Peter’s mind, Jesus spoke to him, “Simon, Simon! Satan has asked for you that he might sift you as wheat….” The testing time came just a few hours later and Peter failed miserably. As Satan got hold of Peter, sifted him, and revealed the chaff in his life, each of us must be wary for the Devil is seeking so to treat us! It is hard to convince people of the need for repentance when the majority do not feel the need.
Statistics show that 95% of Americans believe in God. And, most if not all believe they are going to Heaven when this life comes to an end. Unfortunately, a much smaller percentage believe in a fallen angel named Lucifer. There is little doubt, in my mind, that Satan is responsible for both these sets of numbers. Nothing serves his purpose better than complacency. His mantra is, “Don’t worry, be happy!”
My purpose is to reveal the truth about the Evil one’s existence and to convince believers of the need for constant vigilance against his attacks!
I. There Is A Devil
A. A fallen angel of great power and cunning
B. The source of every evil and wrong thing
1. He and his minions hate God and mankind
2. He opposes God at every turn and in every life
C. Jesus spoke of him and to him
D. Some doubt his existence
1. Ask Eve – She lost everything
2. Ask Job – His life was torn asunder
3. Ask Jesus – He battled him
4. Ask any believer that has tried to live for God
II. Satan Desires to Trouble and Damn Every Soul
III. What Satan Desires of Believers
A. To drift away from the Church
1. He manufactures reasons and excuses
2. His greatest desire is to nullify your life
B. He promotes a life of ease
1. True faith is confrontational
2. Our fight is with principalities and powers not within the Body
C. He wants us to ignore God’s Will and Word
1. Read it but give no place to its power!
2. Exercise your right of free will not to serve
D. Abandon praise and prayer
IV. The Way to Victory
A. Get close and stay close to Jesus
B. Resist the Devil and he will flee
1. Too often we tolerate him, then we begin to listen to him, and ultimately we embrace his lies
Better to flee than to be fleeced!