Preparing for Worship // May 07, 2017

Preparing for Worship // May 07, 2017

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In the 9th grade, I had the pleasure of sitting under a Bible teacher who at my high school was famous for being crazy. She was an elderly lady with spiked hair and looked a little bit like a Disney villain. But the reason why everyone loved her and what made her so popular among the students was the stories she would tell, especially about her encounters with demons. On one occasion, she had seen a demon hiding in the bushes, and on another occasion, she had witnessed an exorcism. They were pretty incredible stories. As high schoolers, we loved these stories because they were crazy and entertaining. I have no idea if the stories she told were true, but the point is this: all of the students in my class, both those who believed in demons and those who didn’t, wanted to hear these stories because they were fascinating. Our understanding of demons and spiritual warfare extended no further than fantastic stories about scary, monster-like creatures.

When someone starts talking about Satan and demons, what your response? Does it conjure up images of paranormal activity and a trident-wielding devil, or do you instantly put up your intellectual walls of suspicion? Scripture makes it clear that demons are real, but it also makes clear that their primary involvement in this world is not through Rosemary’s Baby type possessions. Rather, their primary mode of attack is to lead us to slip and fall into sin. Spiritual warfare is about fighting the temptations of the evil one, not about exorcising demons.

For believers, this means that every day is a fight against Satan as we seek to live in light of our role as God’s children. Every time you disobey God’s law, you deny your identity as a member of His kingdom. For unbelievers, this means that you stand on the side of Satan and his demons in this spiritual war; there is no middle ground. For everyone, every time you hear talk about demons or spiritual warfare, remember that you are in a fight, whether you know it or not. All of your actions serve either to further God’s glory and expand His kingdom or to fight against Him on the side of Satan. Who are you fighting for?

THE WORD

Scripture: Matthew 12:14-50
Sermon: The Reality of Spiritual Warfare

SONGS

A Mighty Fortress is Our God (Traditional)
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Sing to the King (Billy Foote)
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Whom Shall I Fear (Chris Tomlin)
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Be Thou My Vision (Traditional)
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Song of Preparation: The Christian’s Hope Can Never Fail (Red Mountain)
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Song of Response: O Church Arise  (Keith Getty)
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