Over the last few weeks, I have written about the tricks of the enemy because there are many tricks that Satan uses to do what he does. There is an ultimate goal for Satan and all his tricks and that’s to take each of us away from God and while he will not succeed in taking away all, he is happy in taking away as many of us as possible.
The Bible tells us that Satan’s plan is to come as a thief to kill, steal, and destroy: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Too many people are guilty in believing that they cannot be taken by Satan but we must remember that he was there in the very beginning and is so cunning that he took a third of the angels with him.
A trick that I have experienced Satan deploying upon the people is denominations. Personally, I do not like denominations because they are manmade. They usually let people know what they do different than the other denominations which can be a good thing because there are certain denominations that should be avoided if you desire the real word of God. This may sound harsh to say but the reality of it all is not every church building teaches the real word of God and Satan loves this!
The once major league baseball outfielder turned evangelist, Billy Sunday, explained how “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.” In a perfect world, people would be as they say and where they go would reflect what they believe and the live they live but we do not live in a perfect world. Going to church is good if you are truly being fed the word of God but if you are not being taught properly then the experience can be a wasted trip but more importantly, it could be a one way trip to an unpleasant destination.
There is no denying, any longer, that Satan does not reside within the United States and it’s even harder to claim that Satan or one of his demons does not congregate together when church doors open within this country. A.W. Tozer summed up, many years ago, what we are currently observing in our country right now: “It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.” God must be the most important part of the individual, wherever you may be, and this includes both inside and outside the church.
Scripture is clear that God is not in everyone who claims Him and He is not in every place that talks about Him: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). A friend of mine once told me that cults are what people label something that they do not like and he got this idea from one of his close friend who does not believe that Jesus Christ is God. Obviously, at least to me, is the source that he is taking his guidance from is very questionable because there is bias in his guidance which Christ is clear that we are to be careful of what and who we listen to: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). My friend claims to be a Christian but he is taking advice from a friend that is agnostic-at best-but this is something that I see all the time.
Second Corinthians 11:13-15 is an important reminder to stay close to God’s word and this does not just include religious teachings but every aspect of our lives: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into tan angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” Paul reminded us to be careful about what we listen to but also, to what we cast aside: “Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).