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Weekly Bible Study
“Satan's Approaches”
by Hugh Davidson   
September 10th, 2009

John 15:18-25 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, they hated me without a cause.”

This world is not only under the control of Satan but he also has several approaches of deception and one of these is false religion because he knows that man has an innate desire to be religious and he also knows that he can use religion to captivate the minds of men. The greatest persecutors of Christianity under the direction of Satan have always been false religions and cults, even though they often operated under the guise or the appearance of godly living.

It’s amazing to see how the devil duplicates everything that’s considered Christian, so that people can appear to be religious without ever having had to repent of their sin and make a commitment to Jesus Christ. I was thinking about the many approaches that Satan takes and I just want to go through a few. First and foremost there’s religion and there are those who meet this need to be spiritual by being part of a group with religious overtones whether it’s a church that doesn’t preach the gospel or a group with a religious feel to it. They all have religious rituals, regular meetings, they usually open in prayer, they give money to the needy and they have a sense of belonging in that they’re committed to the group itself. It’s just like being part of the body of Christ without having to live for God.

Then there are others who advocate prayer, fasting or meditation and all these things are taught in scripture but many of these people are doing these things for reasons other than getting close to God. They pray in the sense that they talk to themselves and they tell themselves that everything is going to work out. It’s their way of forgetting what’s bothering them. They fast to cleanse their bodies from the impurities of their diets and balance their metabolic systems. (Whatever that means.) And then they meditate or make their minds blank to free themselves from the stress of the world. All this sounds good and religious but the Bible teaches us; we are to pray to communicate with God, we are to fast to get closer to Him and we are to meditate on the word of God to purify our hearts and minds.

And there are other areas where Satan has tries to get man to ignore God and the Bible like the issue of creation and the so-called intelligent crowd has gone to extremes to show us that the world came from nothing and is going no where. And do you know what always baffles me? This same crowd emphasizes how we all need to be conscious of the envoirment. Listen, if life is meaningless than why should we waste time worrying about the world we live in, the next generation or even the problems of those who are starving. After all, according to their theories of life everybody is going to die anyway and all the money we spend on them, we could have been wasted on ourselves. Now, it sounds like a selfish view of life, but if life is meaningless and ends up no where then why would it matter?    

Then there’s the issue of salvation and Satan tells us, there’s no such thing as sin and so none of us needs to be saved since there’s nothing to be saved from. He just says our problem is that we haven’t evolved enough to overcome the concept of sin. And once the human race evolves on it’s own it will root out all the abnormal people who are abusive to others and then we’ll reach a level of perfection. But listen, does it look like the world is getting better?

Then there’s his approach to the church and he tries to get our attention focused on ourselves rather than on God where it should be. And that’s why we see things going on like bizarre rock concerts and Christian comedians rather than preaching and they call these worship services but that’s man centered religion.

Then there’s his approach to evangelism and Satan likes to either water down the message or use the means of reaching people to seem offensive. I remember visiting in the hospital a few years ago and I had a word of prayer with a lady who was very sick and even though she was a member of my church, since I was new in town and didn’t know her, I shared the gospel and then I left a tract for her to read.

Well, her daughter-in-law who was a member of a liberal church went completely bananas when she saw the tract and had her pastor call me; then he and I had coffee and he told me why she was offended. He said she thought I inferred that her mother-in-law wasn’t going to heaven and then he gave me a few tracts that weren’t as offensive. They sure weren’t. They would offend or influence anybody. They had real nice pictures of sheep and the twenty-third psalm inside. They were the kind of tract that any non-Christian would be glad to receive. In other words, it was Satan’s approach to evangelism.

Then there’s Satan’s approach to giving. And he would have us all give anywhere and any amount as long as it’s not used to get the gospel out. You see, my point is, there’s not an area of the Christian life where Satan hasn’t gotten in and tried to cause problems and misunderstanding. After all, he knows if he can get us busy fighting with one another then we won’t have the heart to fight the fight of faith. And why does he do all this? He does all these things because as Jesus says, he hates us and he not only wants us to fail in everything we do but he also wants us to fail in our attempts to reach other people as well.

   Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren” in Revelation 12:10 and there are many ways he accuses us. He always makes bad things look good and convinces us that we’re really going to miss something great when it’s not worth seeing in the first place, then he tells us we’re better or smarter than we really are and convinces us that everything we do that’s wrong is private and no one is ever going to know about it; but as soon as we do the thing we know we shouldn’t have done in the first place, he tells us we’re useless and wicked sinners who really don’t love God or anybody else and we don’t deserve to be saved let alone used in the ministry. Listen, he’s not the funny little guy in the red suit. He’s the enemy of our souls and he will do everything he can to keep us from getting saved and then he does everything he can to keep us from being a witness to others. So, how’s he doing with you? 

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