Dealing with Temptation The Devil 2 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This is a continuation of the preaching from last week on dealing with temptation from the devil.
The devil condemns – 1 Tim 3:6 – the warning here is against putting a novice into the ministry – his pride will cause him to fall into the condemnation of the devil – the devil condemns young, proud preachers and ministers who have not matured in the ministry – the word condemn here is used the same way we talk about buildings being condemned because they are unfit for use or service – the devil can take a proud minister and make him totally unfit for use or service – for that reason we are patient, methodical, diligent, careful, and thorough in training you for the ministry – much training is required to prepare for the ministry – without this valuable preparation, you are more likely to get condemned by the devil – some find it hard to wait while they are being developed by the Lord – you mustn’t rush the work of God.
The devil ensnares – 1 Tim 3:7; 2 Tim 2:26 – he does this by causing a person to fall into reproach and the snare of the devil – a young, immature Christian is not expected to have a good report right at first while he is still shaking off the world and becoming accustomed to the Holy Spirit conforming him into the image of Jesus Christ – you expect that he is going to be rough around the edges – here, we don’t want young, immature Christians to feel pressured into conforming to our expectations – they will only be frustrated and learn to be hypocrites – however, once a Christian has been saved for a while and has had time to grow, he is expected to maintain a good report among Christians in the church and among the unsaved outside of the church – the devil tempts you to lose your testimony outside so that he can ensnare you and keep you from being an effective witness and minister for Christ – how many people have we met who will not go to church today because of what a mature Christian did that brought reproach and ensnared them.
The devil opposes – 1 Pet 5:8 – he is our adversary – he is our opponent – if you know where the Lord stands on a thing, then you know where the devil stands because he is going to stand against the Lord, though he may make it look like he is with the Lord – if you gauge your Christianity based upon what you see other Christians doing and not on what the Lord says, you will fall prey to the devil because many Christians have already fallen prey to his opposition – modern churhces blur the lines and make it nearly impossible to discern where the Lord is and where the devil is on any matter – Christians in many of these churches are already rounded up in the devil’s crowd just waiting to be devoured – they are easy prey.
Therefore, be sober, be vigilant and resist the devil steadfast in the faith – you have to know that the devil is lurking, just waiting for one slip up in order to pounce – keep your eyes open and your awareness keen and stand absolutely on the truth of God’s words