IF I WERE THE DEVIL
1. Most of us have met the devil in the past and some are even now bosom buddies with him.
A. Even some that call themselves Christians, associate with him on occasions.
2. To help you recognize him, I want to say some things about his character.
A. He is a murderer and a liar, Jno. 8:44. But you never see his name on the FBI's most wanted list.
B. His is distinguished by the vast territory over which he rules. Job 1:7; 2 Cor. 4:4; Jno. 12:31.
C. He is bent on the frightful business of human misery, endless and eternal destruction.
3. So, when you look for the devil, don't expect to find him as a hideous monster with horns, a red suit, spiked tail, flaming eyes, and carrying a pitch fork.
4. How do you know that I am not the devil, or one of his angels?
A. The only way you can know is by examining my life and my teaching in the light of the Bible.
5. If I were the devil, here are some of the things I would do:
I. I WOULD TRY MY VERY BEST TO KEEP YOU OUT OF THE CHURCH, TO KEEP YOU FROM OBEYING THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
A. Here are my reasons for doing this:
1. The saved make up the church. Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23.
2. The cleansing blood of Christ purchased the church, which is His body, and therefore His blood is only effective within our lives as members of the church. Acts 20:28.
a. And well I know, that it takes the blood of Christ to wash away sins. Rev.1:5; Acts 22:;16.
3. God receives glory in and through the church, through His begotten people. Eph. 3:21.
a. Each one of us who have been baptized in water for the remission of our sins, have become living stones in the house of God. 1 Pet. 2:5,9,10.
b. In order to soothe the conscience I would urge one to join himself to a benevolent society, a lodge, or a denomination.
4. I would know that it was the responsibility of the church to be the "pillar and ground" of the truth. 1 Tim. 3:15.
5. I would know that Christ is the Head of the church, Eph. 1;22,23, but I want to be your head. Rom. 6:16.
B. Here are some things I would do to accomplish this:
1. I would argue that the church is non-essential to ones salvation, even in the face of Acts 2:47; 20:28.
2. I would encourage ungodly living by members, in this way I would even drive the outsiders away.
a. I would do this, realizing what Christ said do in Matt. 5:13-16.
b. I would also pick out the very worst and weakest of the members and hold him up as an example before the world as to what the church really is.
3. Then, I would go here and there and tell everyone that one church is just as good as another.
a. Paying no attention to what is said in Matt. 15:13; Eph. 4:4.
4. I would creat religious softness among the membership and thereby cause them to criticize the preacher, even publicly, for condemning sin by name: Dancing, Drinking, Lying, Cheating, etc.
5. All else failing, I would use my masterpiece of deception by imprinting upon their minds, very indelibly, the word TOMORROW!
a. Even though we are told that today is the day of salvation. Jas. 4:14; 2 Cor. 6:2.
II. I WOULD CAUSE CHRISTIANS TO BACK-SLIDE BACK INTO THEIR OLD WORLDLY WAYS.
A. I recognize that it has worked well in the past; so why shouldn't it work again?
2 Tim. 4:10; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jno. 2:;15-17.
1. I know that if I am successful, they will be worse off than before. 2 Pet. 2:20-22.
B. Here are some ways I would use to accomplish this:
1. I would urge Christians to keep bad company, realizing that such company will corrupt their way of life. 1 Cor. 15:33.
2. With subtilty I would whisper to them as I did to Eve..."Do as you please". Gen. 3:1-5.
3. I'd educate the authors of pornography to be more base and vulgar with their smut.
a. Then, with flattery and promise of more power, I would get the courts to rule in favor of the smut vendors and against God.
b. Just look at the progress I have made along this line already.
1) Small children can now buy filthy literature from bookstores and news stands, that an adult couldn't even get a few years ago.
4. Then, I'd have a contest between the movies and TV to see which one could show the dirtiest programs.
5. I would also have my agents out everywhere peddling drugs and illicit sex.
a. Then, I would say to those that might want to oppose such: "If you haven't tried it, don't knock it."
b. Yes, I realize that a male doctor has never had a baby but yet they can advise expectant mothers to abort their babies.
c. Next, I would convince young people that drugs are no worse than smoking or drinking.
1) Yes, I know that two wrongs don't make a right but what do they know, these dumb kids?
6. I'd sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of "distinction", and i would tranquilize the rest with prescribed or unprescribed pills.
7. but, I suppose, my best and favorite effort would be to convince Christians that the most important things in life are food, clothing, shelter, a bank account, and a lot of recreation and entertainment.
a. Then, if they have any time, energy, or money left, they could give the church a little bit of what they have left.
III. IF I COULDN'T GET YOU BACK INTO THE WORLD, I WOULD RENDER YOU USELESS WITHIN THE CHURCH OR AS A PART OF THE CHURCH.
A. Why would I want to do this, you might ask?
1. Well, it weakens the church like a dead cylinder in an automobile.
a. I remember the time, back when I was young, I had a 12 cylinder Lincoln coupe.
1) At the time I was in the USMC and was able to go home on weekends.
2) One day I started out and I could only get about 50 miles an hour out of my long, slinky car.
3) Knowing that something was wrong, when I stopped at a gas station, I asked the attendant (yes, they had attendants back then) to look under the hood and see if he could find something wrong. He looked and said someone has pulled off about half of your plug wires. So, I was running on about half power.
2. So, by doing this, I know there would be no fruit or very little fruit borne. Jno. 15: 8.
3. I know that a man's justification or condemnation comes by his works. 2 Cor. 5: 10.
B. Here are some of the ways that I would go about rendering members useless:
1. I would keep them ignorant of the Bible. "No need to attend Bible classes." "No need to study the Bible." Contradicting 2 Tim. 2:15.
a. You know, one sermon a WEEK will keep one WEAK.
b. Here is an illustration: There was a traveler that had to stay in a small town one night because the rain had washed out the road.
1) Upon entering a small cafe he said to the waitress: "Looks like the flood, doesn't it?" "The what?" asked the waitress. "The flood, surely you have read about the ark and the flood!" "Mister," she said, "I haven't seen a newspaper in three days!"
2. I would discourage visiting the sick -- "They didn't come to see you when you were sick."
3. You ought not to do any personal work. After all, what are you paying the preacher for?
a. If people want the tracts in our tract racks, let them come and get them.
4. I would promote covetousness -- "You ought not to give that much to those money-mongers up that at the church."
a. Keep more for yourself and your family. You know that rainy days come.
b. When you miss a Sunday or two where you attend, don't worry about making up what you failed to contribute.
5. But I would definitely encourage excuse making. After all, who has ever seen an excuse made that does any work in the church?
IV. I WOULD CAUSE CONFUSION AND DISTRACTION DURING THE WORSHIP SERVICES.
A. Why would I want to do that, you might ask.
1. Well, it turns peoples minds from God; and keeps sinners from hearing the truth. Jno. 8:32; Rom. 1:16.
2. It also makes bad impressions on visitors and keeps them from coming back.
B. How would you get people to do this? you might want to know.
1. They would whisper to people next to them and distract them and others.
2. They wouldn't sing -- then they would talk about the bad singing.
3. They would sleep during the services -- might even snore.
4. Talk, laugh, cut up; especially durng the Lord's Supper.
5. Write notes, come in late, run in and out to the bathrooms during the services, as though you had bladder problems or diarrhea, especially during the invitation song.
6. Play with children; try to gt little Joey to display his litest trick of walling his eyes and sticking out his tongue at the same time.
a. Or allow him to crawl up and down the pews or under the pews.
7. They will certainly want to amuse themselves by tying knots in the book markers and maybe even tying the books together.
8. Yes, I know that Christians ought to know how to behave themselves in the house of God.
a. But do they know it? If so, I know that many of them couldn't care less.
1. If you see these things being done or promoted by anyone, you can be quite assured that such a one is working as an agent of Satan; whether he or she realizes it or not.
2. But old satan can be defeated if we will only try. Jas. 4:;7; Eph. 4:27.
3. Don''t let him snatch the word from your heart. Matt. 13:19.
4. Neither let him use you as a tool or a servant of his.
5. Remember, that both he and his servants will spend eternity in the lake o f fire. Rev. 20:10; Matt. 25:41.
A. So will you if you serve him.
By Jim Sasser
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