Identifying the Source of Trouble in This Congregation (Part 2)

Identifying the Source of Trouble in This Congregation (Part 2)

     Did you stop to pull out the directory to see if you could identify the culprits? Did your insides squirm as you read the list, hoping you would not see your initials? When a two-part sermon like this was preached by another minister in another locations, the first half (delivered in the AM) resulted in several responses to the invitation and a large number returning that evening to see you belonged to each set of initials. If you whipped out your directory, you probably found it difficult to find a name to go w/each set. That is because each one belongs to Satan in one of his many forms. The true source of trouble in any congregation, family or individual life is:

AB - Accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10)

AD - Adversary (1 Pet. 5:8)

BB - Beelzebub (Mat. 12:24)

BL - Belial (2 Cor. 6:15)

TD _ The Devil (Heb. 2:14)

TE - The Enemy (Mat. 13:39)

FL - Father of lies (John 8:44)

GW - God of this world (2 Cor. 4:4)

PD - Prince of Darkness (Eph. 2:2; John 12:31)

RL - Roaring Lion (1 Pet. 5:8)

ST - Satan (Mat. 4:10)

SW - Spirit that works in the sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:2)

TT - The Tempter (Mat. 4:3)

     Now, in no way am I discounting the free will choices people make. James 1:13-15 very clearly places the blame of sin on the individuals choosing to act on their lusts and desires. One is not possessed or overtaken by the devil to do his will any more than a person is overtaken by God and made to do what's right. But Jesus calls the devil the "father" of sinful behavior (John 8:44). John tells us that the one who practices sin is "of the devil" (1 Jn. 3:8). Those who sin are doing his will (2 Tim. 2:26).

     Satan is at the heart of national, congregation, familial, and individual sin.  We're told to resist him (Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:9). The hopeful fact is that, with God's help, we can always successfully do so.  Let's be aware that the devil does not want God's children or His work to succeed. If he can thwart our efforts as a church to be united, faithful to God's Word, evangelistic, and productive, he will do so. Knowing this, we should be more determined not to let him win!                                                       --Edited from an article by Neal Pollard