Sunday, October 13, 2013

To Judge Ourselves Part 7 – Where Satan Rules

To Judge Ourselves
Part 7 – Where Satan Rules
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We spent the last year looking at what the Book of Acts had to say about the founding, operation and behavior that the Lord expects from us as individuals, and as a church, or congregation of believers.

We then spent a few weeks looking at the letters that Jesus sent to the seven churches in Revelation, telling them where they were going right, and wrong, as well as what the punishments and rewards would be.

A few weeks ago, I took all of those letters, and compiled them into one letter from the Lord, to us.

Our new series will take a look at each of the points Jesus made in that letter, and we will not only examine our church as a whole, but ourselves as individuals.

2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

2 Peter 2:4-10 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell[a] and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;[c] and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge[e] in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority."

We have already looked at Jesus speaking to us about hard work, not tolerating wicked people in the church, and testing those who claim to be apostles, but are nothing more than false prophets, and last week we spoke on perseverance, and enduring hardships for His name, Spiritually Rich during times of affliction and poverty, Slander.

Last week we looked at Not Being Afraid.

This week we will look at Where Satan Rules.

Revelation 2:13a
"13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me..."

I.         Where is Satan's throne, or rule of power?
a.      The god of this world
                                                             i.      2 Corinthians 4:3-4 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

1.      Satan is called "...the god of this world..."

2.      Satan is the major influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His influence also encompasses the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions.

b.     The ruler of the air
                                                             i.      Ephesians 2:1-3 "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath."
1.      Satan is called "...the ruler of the air..."

2.      The natural state of all human beings is a kind of spiritual death. This spiritual condition is universal: both Gentiles and Jews are “by nature children of wrath”

3.      Second, human beings are in active rebellion against God

4.      Third, they are subject to the evil rule of Satan (called in v. 2 “the prince of the power of the air”

a.      Galatians 4:3 "So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world."

b.     Colossians 1:12-14 "and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

5.      Fourth, they are totally unable to change themselves from rebellion against God .

a.      John 3:3 "Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."

II.      From the inception of acceptance to "his way"
a.      The garden contained a symbol of righteous obedience to God, called the Tree of Knowledge.

                                                             i.      The symbolizing the knowledge of God as our Lord.

                                                          ii.      Refraining from eating of it, was obedience to God's Word.

                                                       iii.      Called "Tree of Knowledge" because disobedience to the Word of God would educate Adam and Eve, they would learn of the punishment and suffering brought about by disobedience to the Word of God.

                                                         iv.      As long as Adam "obeyed" God's Word, not to eat from the Tree, he was living in obedience. Adam was essentially, "Righteous", and in God's Kingdom.

b.     When Adam chose to disobey God, and obey Satan, he had chosen a new Lord and master. One who would undoubtedly make his life a living hell.

                                                             i.      Satan, out of jealousy for God's love for us, as well as his frustration of wanting to be a god, wishes to hurt God.
1.      Satan's Jealousy caused him to attack Job. "Of course Job loves you, you bless him with everything. Take it all away and he will curse you."

2.      However, Satan underestimated our love for God. We love Him in times of plenty, as well as in times of want. For our love is not based on what God gives us, rather, that He is our Father in heaven, Holy God, and has loved us first.

                                                          ii.      Because God is God, and Satan, a mere creation, he cannot physically hurt God.

                                                       iii.      So Satan attacks God's heart, through us.

                                                         iv.      This is why Satan will never stop trying to destroy us, and rule over us, trying to manipulate us all into disobeying God's Word (sinning), and following him instead of the Lord.

c.      Since "The Fall", because we are children of fallen, we must be adopted back into the Kingdom.

                                                             i.      This can only happen through a sacrificial payment for our sin-debt, and an adoption into the King of King's royal family, which takes place through our submission to the Lord, and repentance of our old family and its way, sin.

                                                          ii.      This is Salvation.

III.  But isn't Jesus King now that He has established His Kingdom?
a.      Yes, it is true Jesus established His Kingdom at the Cross.

                                                             i.      However, to not be confused as the Apostles were. This Kingdom is a "Spiritual Kingdom", for our battle against our previous ruler, Satan, is a Spiritual one!

                                                          ii.      Ephesians 6:10-12 "10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

b.     the world is his for a time
                                                             i.      However, Satan's days are numbered, and Judgment is coming.
1.      Revelation 12:12 "Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

c.      Satan has no power over believer's
                                                             i.      Colossians 1:13 "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,"

                                                          ii.      Unbelievers, on the other hand, are caught "in the snare of the devil"
1.      2 Timothy 2:22-26 "22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."

                                                       iii.      Unbelievers are in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19), and are in bondage to Satan (Ephesians 2:2)

                                                         iv.      So Satan is NOT in "complete control" of every aspect of the world, but influences it, and manipulates the unsaved as slaves. God is still sovereign, and still maintains authority overall, but allows those who chose to turn to sin to be lead and enslaved to that which they left Him for.
1.      Romans 6:16 "Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?"

Romans continues to say, "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." in verse 17 & 18

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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