For several weeks now we have been focusing on our culture’s war with Christ and Christianity. But as we have been doing that I have made it clear that this war is not just a war of ideas or opinions, its not impersonal, but personal. There is someone behind it. The war is not just with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers. Satan hates God and everything good that God has made or God is doing. So we have seen Satan’s hatred of babies and children, of God’s image in man as male and female, of marriage, and of authority and submission. Satan has stooped to anything and stopped at nothing. He has initiated weapons of mass destruction like abortion and sexuality immorality, and spread lies about what God has said and sown the seeds of doubt and distrust in God’s Word, calling good evil and evil good. Last week I started the first half of two sermons on Satan’s attack on marriage by attacking God’s intentions for headship and submission. Satan has managed in our culture to turn headship and submission into things to be despised and resisted.
This series of sermons on “Did God Say?” is really a series on the battle of authority. Which authority are we going to follow? What voice are we going to believe? Is God’s Word true and authoritative or is the world’s view authoritative? Satan is assaulting the authority of God and His Word, to undermine the truth and credibility of God’s Word and erode our confidence in it. By sowing the seed of tolerance in our culture, Satan has made all social and moral issues seem neutral, we all can believe whatever we want; and we have to affirm the validity of everyone else’s opinions and beliefs. Tolerance and plurality and political correctness are king and God’s Word is bigoted, intolerant, insensitive, out dated and irrelevant. In the words of a Christian, French scholar from long ago: “Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it” (Blaise Pascal). This is why, in the words of Jude 1:3, I am “appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” by God from the very beginning. I am making my appeal to you from God’s Word, not from my opinion or the world’s opinion. But we can’t be naïve about this. “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it” (George Orwell).
In this sermon series on Satan’s attack on God and God’s Word and God’s world, I have neglected to point out something important. Satan isn’t going to like it. And if he can he will try to get me to misspeak and he will try to get you to misunderstand. He will try to sow seeds of confusion and questioning and more lies. I have been very aware of walking through a minefield, very sobered by the seriousness of the issues and painfully aware of my inadequacy to do this well in a very limited amount of time. I appreciate one person taking the initiative to talk to me about something misunderstood in last week’s sermon, and I invite anyone with questions or concerns to do the same. I don’t want Satan to gain a foothold in any thing I say. And of course, pray for me for God’s grace and wisdom. This morning I am continuing our series of sermons under the title Did God Say …? That’s a reference to Satan’s words to Eve in the garden when he said: Genesis 3:1 “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Satan is hell-bent to destroy you and your life and everything good in your life. He is out to get God and he is out to get you. Our world lies in the power of the evil one, in the hands of the god of this age. If you are a Christian then as far as Satan is concerned you are one that got away, you are an escaped prisoner of the evil one and a danger to him. Most of us go through life ignorant of Satan’s work. He is always at work, subtly trying to subvert and mess with your life, your marriage, your kids, your thoughts, your impulses, your emotions, your plans, your ideas.
We are in the midst of a sermon series titled, “Did God Say … ? Satan’s Attack on … . We have been dealing with ways Satan has been spreading his vicious lies and hatred and death throughout the world and in our culture. When Satan asks the question, “Did God really say …?” you have to know that if you don’t know what God really said, the wrong answer is a death sentence. When Satan asked Eve that question he distorted what God said and she didn’t have the right response. The result was disastrous, death and destruction fell on the entire human race. When we question what God said or distort what God said or twist His words, it will not and does not go well for us. This is another way of saying that all of our problems, all of our issues in this world and in this culture of ours are religions problems, they are all spiritual problems. There is no separation between secular and sacred. Our battles are not with flesh and blood or about flesh and blood, but between the spiritual principalities and power. Ephesians 6:12-13 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. The battle is spiritual to the core, between God and Satan. And the most important weapon is God’s Word and knowing what God said. This morning we will focus on another one of Satan’s lies, a lie that strikes at the heart of our identity, at who we are, and how God has created us. Did God Say …? Satan’s attack on gender. Why would I pick this topic on Cadets Sunday? It occurred to me this is a very appropriate context. Our culture would say we shouldn’t have Cadets or Gems, they should all be together. Or at least girls should be allowed in Cadets and boys should be allowed in Gems. So what we are celebrating here today is counter-cultural, it is revolutionary, we are part of the resistance.
Did God really say? We are considering the lies Satan propagates through our culture, through media, through politicians, through unbelievers, as he carries out his assault on all that God has created and called good. Last week we saw why and how Satan hates babies and his greatest weapon to that end, is abortion. But Satan’s assault doesn’t stop with babies in the womb, it continues full force after they are born. This morning I want us to be wise to Satan’s attack on children. Satan’s attack on children. Why does Satan hate children? For the same reasons he hates babies. We read one reason last week, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such at these.
Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, the Sunday closest to the day the US Supreme Court issued its worst ruling in the history of the court, when it legalized child sacrifice, we call abortion. Before I begin, I want to give a very clear word of life and hope to anyone who has had an abortion or has been involved with someone getting one. Our God is gracious and merciful, He As the pastor here I want to declare our love and support for anyone who needs it. As I speak this morning if you are feeling covered up with shame, know that just means you are not yet free, and Satan still has his hooks in you. Shame is God’s grace to move us toward His forgiveness and freedom in Christ. Confess and repent and He will set you free, His perfect love casts out all fear and sin. And when Satan reminds you of what you have done, remind Him of what Jesus has done for you. Let me show you an honest, healthy, hope filled way of dealing with sin.