Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

SATAN

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The Flesh Is Weak

Monday, September 18, 2017
This may be a dumb question, but why do we sin even if we know it’s wrong, and we hate even the thought of it?

Sincerely,
Selfishly Annoyed

Dear Selfishly Annoyed,

There is a constant struggle among our soul, our fleshly body, and our mind (Rom 7:14).  Sin is tempting to our physical bodies – even when we know that it damages our souls.  Sin has the power of instant gratification even though the long-term consequences are spiritual death (Rom 6:23).  Sin is alluring and enticing and plays upon our most basic physical desires (Jas 1:14).  Sin appeals to the eyes, flesh, and our pride (1 Jhn 2:16).  The devil knows all of our fundamental physical desires and exploits them to get us to do things that have major spiritual consequences.  He is tricky (Eph 6:11) and fools us unless we guard ourselves against his lies (Jhn 8:44).

Exhorting The Exorcist

Tuesday, September 05, 2017
Do evil spirits really exist, or is it something people over the years have made up, and we fall into it and allow ourselves to believe, therefore, allowing our minds to play tricks on us?  I need and want to know this.  If they do exist, do they just linger around in some homes causing harm (emotional or physical) to people?  And if they do exist, and do this, why and how can we make them go away?

Sincerely,
Haunted

Dear Haunted,

Evil spirits are real, but they were cast out and their powers greatly reduced by Christ and the apostles.  Demon possession ended not long after the days of Christ.  Jesus made it clear that one of His jobs was to bind the devil and take His strength away by casting out his demons (Matt 12:28-29).  When Jesus’ disciples had come back from their evangelism trips and related to Him that they had cast out many demons, Jesus told them that they were defeating Satan by getting rid of Satan’s demonic minions (Lk 10:17-18).  When Jesus and His disciples cast out demons, they did it permanently (Lk 8:30-33) and bound Satan by their acts.  We no longer have to deal with such overt attacks by the devil because he has been bound by Christ's sacrifice (Rev. 20:2).  Demon possession no longer exists; the devil must use subtler methods to deceive us now. If you would like a more in-depth answer to this question, one of our AYP writers taught a class on the subject.  It can be found HERE.

Costumes, Candy, And Controversy

Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Why do christians celebrate Halloween when it has to do with Satan?   Halloween began when the Romans worshiped other "gods".  That is what I have studied; if this is so, then christians that celebrate this tradition are following Satan’s road.

Sincerely,
More Trick Than Treat

Dear More Trick Than Treat,

Good and faithful people debate this issue all the time, but, yes, you can celebrate Halloween without sinning.  Halloween does have its roots in pagan rituals.  All Hallow’s Eve is often associated with evil spirits, demon worship, voodoo, and witchcraft.  It is, however, also associated with happy scampering children whose most wicked intent is the desire to glut themselves on candy. New Year’s Eve could be viewed the same way.  New Year’s Eve is often associated with inappropriate male and female interaction and drunkenness.  It is also associated with fresh starts, reflective new beginnings, and an evening of friendship and brotherly kindness.  These holidays can be a good thing or a bad thing.  Though the origins are pagan, many holidays have pagan beginnings that are no longer a part of the modern tradition.  How you participate and your reasons for participating will make the difference.

  1. God soundly condemns witchcraft and any magical arts (1 Sam 15:23, Acts 19:19).  Anyone participating in Halloween in an occult way is sinning.
  2. Christians are supposed to focus on pure and holy things (Php 4:8).  Many of the costumes that are worn during Halloween are macabre, violent, or ghoulish.  Christians should think very carefully before placing too much emphasis upon dark things.
  3. Christians should dress modestly (1 Tim 2:9).  Many costumes, especially those worn by adults, are immodest.  A holiday is not an excuse for dressing in an ungodly way.
  4. Don’t participate if it will bother your conscience.  God tells us that we should always keep a pure conscience (1 Tim 1:5).  If you can’t do something in faith, it is sin (Rom 14:23).

After considering these principles – go get some candy corn!

Deluded By Dishonesty

Friday, July 07, 2017
I have a friend who asked me a question.  He asked me about 2 Thess 2:11.  He wanted to know why God would send a "strong delusion" to man.  He feels it is God allowing Satan to cover the eyes of man.  I told him it was most likely because man is so obsessed with evil; it’s God's way of rubbing their nose in it.  I told him that when man desires evil, that's what he gets (evil).  Could you explain this whole thing to me so that I can give him the answer he seeks?

Sincerely,
Friendly Counsel

Dear Friendly Counsel,

2 Thess 2:11 is referring to only a certain group of people – those who refuse salvation because they are unwilling to love the truth (2 Thess 2:10).  What your friend is concerned about it is that God would somehow allow Satan to keep people from having the freedom to see the truth, but that isn’t what this verse is referring to.  Jhn 3:16 makes it clear that God sent His Son so that everyone would have the freedom to choose salvation, and Ezek 18:23 shows that God doesn’t desire any of the wicked to perish.  The strong delusion referred to in 2 Thess 2:11 is the same as the seared conscience mentioned in 1 Tim 4:2.  When people refuse salvation and refuse to see the truth, they will naturally become more and more wicked because they will make bad choices.  They will sear their own conscience and become deluded with evil.  If we are honest, we draw closer to the truth; if we are dishonest, we move farther from it.

All The World's A Stage?

Wednesday, May 03, 2017
When God cast Satan out of heaven and gave him the earth to rule over, why then would God make the choice to create man on Earth?  The more I read the Bible, my feelings towards being a christian began to change.  God creates man on earth, knowing Satan is there.  God destroys the earth with the Great Flood because He saw that the earth was wicked.  God binds Satan for a thousand years and then turns him loose again to rule once more before he is cast into the lake of fire for all eternity.  This life God gave us seems to me to be a stage for His amusement.  I love my children and would never set up such drama in order for them to prove to me they love me... why has GOD??

Sincerely,
Toyed With

Dear Toyed With,

If God had set the earth up as a stage for His amusement, then He never would have come and died on a cross for us (Jhn 3:16).  God specifically restricts Satan’s ability to tempt us (1 Cor 10:13), and God makes it clear that He never asks us to endure any trial that He isn’t also willing to endure (Heb 2:18).

This life is all about letting people have the freedom to choose their own destiny (Deu 30:19).  Even the flood that Noah’s family endured was for their benefit – it saved the only faithful people on the planet from the corruptive influence of sin (1 Pet 3:20).  God doesn’t desire any of the wicked to perish (Ezek 18:23).  His desire is for all mankind to choose Him.  God honors our freewill by giving each of us an entire lifetime to choose for ourselves whether we want to spend eternity with Him or away from Him.  It isn’t about us proving our love… it is about God respecting the freedom He gave us.

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