How concerned are you about the possibility of being robbed some day?
What kind of robbery are you most concerned about?
How many of these are aggressive, ‘Outside’ jobs? And how many quiet,‘Inside’ jobs?
What have you done, or do regularly, to reduce the risk of an ‘Outside’ attack?
And to reduce the risk of a gentle ‘Inside’ financial downsizing?
So you focus your protection against robbery mainly on ‘Outside’ risks. Right?
Have you ever been caught by an innocent-looking, friendly, convincing thief?
Now let’s talk about Spiritual robbery.
What would Satan like most to rob us of? [Our salvation]
How would he do that? [Tempting us to sin]
How does he usually work? Does he mostly use blatant, obvious temptation, like seeing money lying unattended on a shop counter (tempting us into doing an ‘Outside’ job)?
Or does he usually use a more subtle approach, like when we find we’ve been given too much change, suggesting that we need the money more than the shop (tempting us into doing an ‘Inside’ Job)?
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.
5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
What tactics did Satan use here to lead Adam and Eve into sin?
How does Satan use similar tactics on us?
[“Where in the Bible does it say that Infant Baptism doesn’t count?”]
2 Timothy 4:1-4
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
How else does Satan lead us subtly into sin?
[“You don’t like the message they’re preaching. You should move to a Church where you’ll feel more comfortable “]
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,
10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
In what other ways does Satan try to steal our salvation?
[Stories of amazing cures from ‘Faith Alone’. “See, I told you that’s all you need”]
Why would God encourage people to believe Satan’s lies?
[God doesn’t want the Weak to pollute the Strong. You’ve got to be able to recognise Satan’s work and reject it, however intriguing it might be !]
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.
16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
What’s the most successful tactic of all that Satan uses to rob us of our salvation?
[“Relax. You’re much better than most people. You’re saved already”.]
Let’s remember that our passport to Heaven comes with a temporary Visa. And never forget that our Visa needs to be renewed every day.
So what’s the Challenge we need to take up? What do we need to do to reduce the risk of Satan robbing us of our salvation?
[Study our Bible, Pray, Apply, Change, Help Others to Change, Go to Church,
Enjoy the Fellowship, Grow Spiritually and, most important, because of our conviction, Have Fun doing it !]