Three Things the Devil Wants

Introduction:

A.     The devil is pictured in the Bible as being desirous to enslave the souls of mankind.

1.      He has desired some things in which he was able to fulfill his ambitions.

 1 Pet. 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 2.      The devil accomplished his ambition to cause the spiritual fall of the human race (Gen. 3). 

B.   The devil wanted Jesus to serve him (Matt. 4).

1.      However, he failed in his effort to entice the Son of God to submit unto him. 

Heb. 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” 

Discussion:

I.                   THE DEVIL WANTS TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF THE LORD’S CHURCH.

A.     Many out of the church apparently do not realize that by staying out of it they are pleasing the devil; they are granting his desire. 

B.     Jesus said some would not enter the kingdom, and would “shut it up” to others. 

Matt. 23:13, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men:  for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” 

1.      Elymas tried to keep Sergius Paulus from entering the Lord’s church (Acts 13:4-12). 

Acts 13:8, “Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.” 

C.     The devil is in the business of religion in order to deceive and destroy the souls of men.

 2 Cor. 11:13-15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 

1.      Some claim that one church is as good as another.

2.      There are even those who deny the essentiality of the church. 

Eph. 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:  and he is the savior of the body.” 

Eph. 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it;” 

Acts 2:47, “Praising God, and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” 

D.     If it was not essential for people to be in the church to be saved, then it would not make any difference to the devil as to whether or not an individual soul was in it. 

Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” 

E.      Many love pleasures more than submitting unto the Will of the Heavenly Father. 

2 Tim. 3:4, “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;” 

II.                IF YOU ARE ALREADY IN THE CHURCH THEN THE DEVIL DESIRES TO GET YOU BACK INTO THE WORLD. 

A.     Not only was the devil successful in tempting Adam and Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden, but he is attempting to overthrow the faith of those in the church. 

1 Cor. 10:12-13, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:  but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 

Gal. 1:6-9, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

1 Pet. 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”  

2 Pet. 2:20-22, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 

Heb. 3:12, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” 

B.     We need to arm our selves against the wiles of the devil. 

Eph. 6:10-18, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” 

III.             IF YOU ARE IN THE CHURCH AND THE DEVIL CANNOT GET YOU TO COMPLETELY LEAVE IT THEN HE DESIRES TO RENDER YOU WORTHLESS IN IT.

A.     If the devil cannot get you to openly confess that you have quit the Lord and His church, he is willing to compromise if you are not completely devoted and dedicated unto the Lord.

1.      Indifferent members in the body of Christ are a delight unto the devil. 

Rev. 3:14-19, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:  I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:  be zealous therefore, and repent.” 

Matt. 6:24, “No man can serve two masters:  for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” 

Matt. 12:30, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” 

Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” 

Titus 3:1, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,” 

1 Cor. 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the word of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 

B.     The devil desires that those in the church be indifferent, inactive, grumblers, assembly forsakers, stingy, careless, ignorant of God’s inspired Word, deceived, etc.  

James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” 

Conclusion:

A.     Do not let the devil have his way with you. 

James 4:7-8, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” 

B.     The greatest challenge in life is engaging one’s whole life in doing what God desires of us. 

Eccl. 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.” 

Col. 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” 

Eccl. 9:10, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” 

C.     God desires that every precious soul be saved; whereas, the devil desires that we be eternally lost. 

1 Tim. 2:4-5, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 

2 Pet. 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 

1 Pet. 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 

D.    It is up to you and me as to whether we submit unto the Will of the Lord, or surrender unto the temptations of the devil.

1.      We should have the attitude of Joshua in this matter.  He said unto the nation of Israel: 

Joshua 24:14-15, “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth:  and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:  but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” 

E.     Those who neglect to do the Will of God are actually submitting unto the devil as their god.

1.      However, one who has served Satan does not have to remain in his service. 

Eph. 2:1-5, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”                                                                                                        

--Dub Mowery

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