The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

November 22, 2013

Satan’s no caped character; he’s real, so put on armor of God

From the Pulpit

By Rev. Cherrie Andres

- — What would you do if you were Satan and you knew you only had a very short time before Jesus Christ returned to earth? What would you do to seduce men into the spider web that has been thickly-coated with the worst types of sadistic evil ever known to man? What would you do to deceive and to destroy?

Surely you have dreamt about what you would do if you won the $40 million jackpot, or inherited a vast fortune from a long-lost relative. But what would you do if you were Satan? How would you try to dupe the general public into seeing the world from your point of view, knowing that the decisions they make in these last days would have eternal repercussions?

If I were Satan, I would deny my existence. Please understand that Satan is not a mythical figure wearing a cape and carrying a pitch fork with a long, dangling tail. He is very real, and he is seeking whom he may devour.

It was a very real devil that crept into the Garden of Eden and seduced Adam when Eve asked him to take one tiny bite of that red, delicious apple. Even as the juice was dripping down Adam’s hand, they were both filled with shame. One tiny bite and we were all kicked out of the garden for eternity.

It was a very real devil that tempted Jesus in the wilderness, saying, “If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.” Can you imagine someone saying that to Jesus? If the devil can tempt the Son of God, he can tempt you and he can tempt me.

The best news is that in the end good always triumphs over evil! Satan was cast out of heaven and will wind up in a lake of fire for all eternity. He is a malicious monster who wants nothing more than to rob, to kill and to destroy every aspect of your life. God’s nature is loving kindness. Satan’s nature is vicious to the core. He is a lion on the prowl, constantly looking for the weak and wounded so he can grasp them in his clutches and devour them whole.

This same roaring lion wants to destroy every child in your house and every grandchild. And if you allow him to creep into your home, he will attack without mercy. Satan is a liar. If you are a fan of little white lies, I’m telling you today in Jesus’ name, stop it! The Bible says that all liars will have their place in the lake of fire. Do you really want to take that chance with your “little white lie”? Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If you offend someone, then that’s just too bad! It’s better to offend the world than to offend God.

Satan do wants to rob you of your spiritual inheritance. He wants to steal your joy, destroy your finances, control your home, destroy your relationships and manipulate your thought life. You are a child of the living God, act like it, talk like it and think like it. Your life should be a reflection of Jesus Christ.

Are you doing enough for the Kingdom that Satan feels threatened? Satan isn’t afraid of a Christian who whines! He’s afraid of the Christian who shines! You can rest assured that Satan is going to see if you really mean what you say.

If you choose to put on the full armor of God, you can stand against anything that hell throws your way. The battle is the Lord’s! But if you choose to be swayed by Satan, he will systematically annihilate all that you hold dear. But it’s your choice. As a free moral agent, you were created to forge your own path if you so choose. But beware, Satan can trick you.

Last but not least: If I were Satan I would convince all men everywhere to “procrastinate,” to tell them there’s still plenty of time. Don’t be in a hurry to receive Jesus. Put if off. And day by day, you’ll stumble into the abyss of hell.

Our time is short. We must slug it out every day in the trenches as if each day is our last. Don’t fool yourself in thinking we have plenty of time. Live each day as though it were your last, for some day it will be. The moment you close your eyes on planet earth, your next breath will be in front of Jesus Christ, your creator and your judge. What then?

Rev. Cherrie Andres is pulpit supply pastor for the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.