Satan Hates the Church!
Last Sunday night I was speaking from 1 Timothy 4:1-5 on the subject of Satan’s lies. Two men were there who didn’t know the Lord (one has been consistently coming on Sunday nights, the other came for the first time) so I prayed as the sermon began to close that the Lord would work in their hearts.
My closing challenge was “Satan has right where he wants you” and used the well-known illustration of a painting that depicted Satan playing chess with a man. In the painting Satan is getting ready to take the mans king ending the game (and taking his soul) so it’s named “check mate.” However, a famous chess player studying the painting realized the man had ONE MOVE LEFT! Of course the application of that illustration is Christ’s the only way we can escape Satan’s condemnation.
As I told the story of the chess painting the Holy Spirit was at work…..
But that’s when the drunk man decided to come in.
I believe he had no interest in coming to church, but seeing his friends inside, decide to come in too. But being drunk he became a huge distraction by changing seats three times (eventually sitting on the front row!) and talking very loudly. So I asked him in a kind, but authoritative voice to leave because he was distracting everyone.
Sadly the moment was lost after he left. My unsaved friend talking with me Wednesday night said the Holy Spirit was really working in his heart, but the distraction made him angry about the drunken man interrupting church.
The next morning the drunk man (now sober) immediately gave me a hug, and apologized profusely for the way that he had acted last Sunday night. I forgave him because he was truly repentant, and explained the best way to prove he was sorry was showing up sober.
Last Sunday was a painful reminder that Satan hates the church, and will do anything he can to keep people from accepting Christ!
But this hatred of Satan can never keep us from doing the work of God
Because God loves the Church!
These setbacks of Satan are frustrating, but they give opportunities to live out what we preach. People saw my gracious response to the drunk, and willingness to forgive him for his foolish actions. And that made my testimony stronger!
The two men who came last Sunday returned last night with three of their friends! I spoke to all three today who said they really enjoyed the service, and will be coming again.
Satan will always persecute the church because he hates it…..
But he cannot prevail against it.