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THE DEVIL AND HIS CROWD OUT TO GET, DISTRACT, AND CAUSE DOUBTS
Charles E. Whisnant<br /><ul><li>August 09, 2009 Rivers of Joy Baptist Church
I Thessalonians 2:17-20 (18)</li></ul>THE DEVIL AND HIS CROWD OUT TO GET, DISTRACT, AND CAUSE DOUBTS<br />17But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. 18Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. 19For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20For ye are our glory and joy.<br />Satan is out to get in the way of you getting on your way in the Christian life<br />"
In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."
2 Corin. 2:11<br />Satan's Scheme #1 - Drive us to despair.<br />Satan's Scheme #2 - Tempt us to be proud, or to think more highly of ourselves than we should.<br />Satan's Scheme #3 - Tempt us to feel perplexed, and to begin to doubt God when our prayers seem to go unanswered.<br />Satan's Scheme #4 - Troubling the believer with blasphemous, impure, unbelieving thoughts.<br />Satan's Scheme #5 - Tempting us by our carnal friends and relatives.<br />Satan's Scheme #6 - Not tempting us at all, in order to "
us when we least expect it.<br />and yet Satan hindered us. (2:19b)<br />A second reality that Paul understood well in his ministry and relationship with the Thessalonians was that he faced satanic opposition. He had the spiritual discernment and understanding to realize that God has allowed Satan to oppose the kingdom of God in a variety of ways. <br />Scripture mentions many of them: the devil tempted Christ ( Matt. 4:3-10);<br />he opposes the gospel ( Matt 13:19, 2 Cor. 4:4) <br /> he performs counterfeit miracles (Ex. 7:11; Acts 8:9-24: 13:8; cf. 2 Thess 2:9, Rev. 16:14) <br />he seeks to deceive believers (2 Corin 11:3, 14, Eph 6:11) <br />he perpetrates lies and murders ( 1 Kings 22:22; John 8:44)<br /> he attacks individual churches ( Acts 5:1-11, Rev. 2:9,13, 24, 3:9)<br /> he especially attacks spiritual leaders ( Job 1:6-2:8, Luke 22:31-32, 2 Corin 12:7-9, 1 Tim 3:7)<br /> The New Testament reports that he was present at the churches of Jerusalem (Acts 5:1-10), 2 Corinth 2:1-11Ephesus (1 Tim 3:6-7), Smyrna (Rev. 2:9-10), Pergamum (2:13)), Thyatira (2:24)), and Philadelphia (3:9).<br />Satan wants to thwart the progress of God's kingdom much as an army seeks to disrupt the advance of an opposing army. The word translated hindered is a military term referring to digging a trench or breaking up a road. One of the countermeasures an ancient army would take against the opposition was to dig a massive trench that would prevent enemy troops from reaching its men. Another way to frustrate the enemy's progress would be to tear up a brick or stone road so that he could not traverse it. Thus Paul depicted the powerful devil as supernaturally obstructing the apostle's strong desire to revisit Thessalonica. Paul did not state specifically how Satan thwarted his desire, but the hindrance could refer to the trouble at Jason's house and the pledge that Jason made ( Acts 17:9) <br />Paul recognized that Satan (the adversary) is the real enemy behind all opposition to the gospel. Satan’s purpose is to hinder the work of God and stop the forward march of the Church. As the god of this world he blinds the minds of unbelievers, trying to keep out the light of the glorious gospel of Christ 2 Corin 4:4<br />SATAN WILL HINDER, GET IN THE WAY BY<br />1ASUGGESTING DOUBT<br />2AMAGNIFYING DIFFICULTIES<br />3ABY DISTRACTIONS <br />4ABY FRUSTRATING OUR PURPOSES<br />5ABY TEMPTING US TO DO THE OPPOSITE<br />6ABY ACCUSING US WRONGLY<br />Whereas as Satan kept Paul out of Thessalonica for a time, this became a blessing because we have the epistle which Paul wrote, having words for us of comfort, warning and direction.<br />19For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing.” Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? <br />“For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.” (2:19-20)<br />Listen, Paul loved his people, he understood his enemy and he looked for his Lord’s coming.<br />PAUL LIVED IN THE LIGHT OF THE RETURN OF THE LORD.<br />PAUL ASKED THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS<br />1AWHO IS IT THAT WE HOPE TO SEE?<br />2AWHAT IS OUR CROWN?<br />3AWHERE IS OUR REJOICING?<br />4AWHO IS OUR HOPE?<br />5AWHO IS THE SOURCE OF OUR ETERNAL Happiness?<br />