Satan has a formidable arsenal of weapons that he uses against us, but none so well-used as these mentioned here. At various times all of us have fallen victim to these weapons. See if any of them sound familiar to you. [A sermon by Dr. Arnold Lastinger. Published with permission.]
1. Doubt and Fear
A. Two edges of the same weapon: Doubt questions the past, Fear questions the future. This is usually the first weapon used against a new Christian. After the euphoria of newfound faith wears off, Satan attacks viciously with doubt and fear.
B. Accounts for the high drop-out rate among new believers. Hence it imposes a great responsibility upon us to nurture them. Even worse it’s not limited to new believers: often attacks more mature. Causes us to question our salvation experience and question our worth.
C. The remedy: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:16-17)
2. A lack of Feeling
A. Too many people think they must feel saved. Feelings are deceptive. We are saved when we believe (Acts 16:31). Believing is an act of the will, nothing to do with feelings.
B. If salvation depended on feeling, Stephen would have been lost while being stoned. Paul would have been lost in the Philippian dungeon. Peter would have been lost on an inverted cross.
C. The greatest discovery a Christian can make is that his salvation has nothing to do with his feelings.
A. Results from failed expectations in others. This includes God also. Maybe God is looking out for your best interests. Maybe simply a matter of timing.
B. Disappointment with others. Be gracious unto them, allow for human weakness. As you forgive you will be forgiven.
C. If we allow others’ failures to cause us to stumble, then our faith is in worse shape than theirs. “If they come between you and God, they are closer to Him than you are!”
A. Usually, because we fail to live up to our own expectations. Satan is ever ready to point an accusing finger when we fall.
B. Despite what Satan may say we are God’s children, (Romans 8:15). What Satan says doesn’t change that.
C. So what if we do sin? “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1-2).
A. This too is rooted in fear; fear of what others may say or do. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men shall persecute you and revile you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name’s sake.” (Matthew 5:11)
B. What if: Noah had given up when mocked and scorned? Moses had given up when reprimanded by God for striking the rock in anger? David had given up when caught in the sin of adultery? Christ had given up when the Jews would not accept Him?
C. Bible has the remedy for persecution also. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (Romans 8:35-39)
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