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Ten Doors That Let The Serpent In Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2022 1:00 am

Ten Doors That Let The Serpent In Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 15, 2022 1:00 am

The Bible says Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But he can’t get in unless the door is open. In this message, we conclude an overview of ten doors where Satan harasses us. Pastor Lutzer offers five truths to overcome the enemy’s attacks and not allow any foothold. We can walk in the light by putting on the full armor of God and completely submitting to Him. 

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. The Bible says Satan is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, but he can't get in unless the door is open. Believers can either open the door or slam it shut. Today we'll learn about some of these doors and find out how to set the deadbolts properly.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. We're in a series on God's devil, and today we'll hear part two of 10 doors that let the serpent in. Pastor Lutzer, I believe we've come to door number four.

Dave, I'd like to answer your question more generally. By the way, I love your imagery about using the deadbolt on these doors, but I want to emphasize the fact that Satan always wants to get a stronghold in our lives because of sin that we tolerate. So no matter what door we're talking about, the answer is always the same, the confession and the dealing with sin. I've written a book entitled God's Devil. I wrote it to encourage believers so that they might understand that God is not only competitive with Satan, of course, but overwhelmingly powerful that Satan cannot do anything without God's approval. I wrote this so that Christians would be encouraged in their walk. For a gift of any amount, it can be yours.

You can go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now at the end of this message, I'm going to be giving you this contact info again. For now, let us listen together as we learn once again Satan's tactics and God's answer. Number four, fear.

I'm thinking of particularly here irrational fears, irrational fear and paranoia such as the case of Saul that we spoke about briefly last time. Also in Luke chapter 22, I find this very interesting, verse 31 where Simon, Simon, Satan have desire to have you that he might sift you like wheat. And Peter ends up being unable to witness for Christ and unable to identify himself with Jesus Christ because he's terrorized. He's afraid that if Jesus Christ goes to the cross, he may have to go to the cross. And therefore when a servant girl comes and says, don't you belong to his company, he denies it three times and ends up swearing.

He ends up lying. But notice that the Devil was involved, irrational fears, sometimes even rational ones, where there is in Saul's case this tremendous overwhelming sense of jealousy, the feeling that everybody is against you, the interpretation of events that make you fearful beyond all rationality and comprehension. Number five is guilt. It's guilt. Zechariah chapter 3 verses 1 to 7, though the Bible says there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, Satan always wants to have you doubt God's ability to thoroughly cleanse you and forgive you. And that's why you've heard me comment earlier about the number of letters that we receive here about the unpardonable sin. Somebody's always thinking that he has committed a sin that is too great for God to forgive. And then you have Christians who have confessed to their sins and yet they are awash with guilt because they don't know the difference between cleansing and forgiveness, like the woman who said to me, I had an abortion and though I have confessed the sin a thousand times, I still feel foul from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. That dear woman was forgiven because the promise is there, but she was not cleansed. He forgives us and he cleanses us. He gives us a brand new conscience. He washes us subjectively, subjectively speaking, he washes us clean so that we can look into the eyes of our Heavenly Father and know that we have been spoken clean. Oh, how the devil hates that.

He wants you to use guilt for another reason that I shall point out in just a few moments. Number six, you have such things as drugs. Here we could put alcoholism, but I'm thinking also of psychedelic drugs, the whole Eastern meditation. Now the Bible doesn't say anything about drugs per se because psychedelic drugs at least were not known in those days. But what you find is people who want to empty their minds, they want to empty their minds and think about nothing. Now we're supposed to meditate in the law of God day and night, but that means we have content. People who want to empty their minds find that spirits come in. When my wife and I were on that cruise to Alaska and the lecture was being given regarding some of the Indian customs of having the experience of enlightenment, it talked about the need to empty the mind and how drugs could help bring that about. Just ask Adolf Hitler, though you won't have a chance to, but if you were to, he would tell you that.

There are now already drugs to put him in touch with the powers. Number seven, false religions, false religions. Now folks, just remember this. If in any part of the world you are ever visiting as a tourist or as a missionary and you come to a temple or you come to a statue or a shrine and people are bowing down before it, always remember they are worshiping demons. It says in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 20, 1 Corinthians 10 verse 20 that the pagans who worship idols, Paul says, they worship the demons.

If we had time, we could prove that from the Old Testament. God says wherever there is idolatry, behind the idolatry is demons. It's interesting that in the Psalms it clarifies that. It says that our fathers, our forefathers who worshiped idols were worshippers of demons. And don't be fooled because somebody says, well, you know, they're not actually worshiping this idol of stone or wood. They are just venerating it.

Don't be fooled by that. That is also idolatry and behind it is demonic worship. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God only. Thou shalt not bow down.

Thou shalt not serve any representation of God because God is a jealous God. I have visited a few countries of the world. I was in the Far East many years ago and there were some people with us and they wanted to go into this pagan temple just as tourists to look around. And I suppose that's okay. I don't judge those who do it but I said I'm not going in because I knew that that pagan temple where ancestors were worshiped was a habitation of demonic spirits.

And I thought it best to respectfully decline going inside. Number eight, all forms of occultism. And this includes so many things that we can't even begin to mention them all. But look, listen to what God thinks of some of these things. Let me read it to you and then I'll give you the passage I am reading.

When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination. You know, even divining or witching for water. When we were out on the farm years ago as kids we used to witch for water. And I don't know whether or not it worked. We didn't have the equipment to dig the well where the twig went down. Some of you know that experience. Well, there was another man who was doing it and he began to talk to the twig.

And would you believe that that thing was ripped out of his hands and according to his testimony flew at least 30 feet from him. You're not supposed to be divining for water, witching for water, a witch. The Bible has a few things to say about those things. Or anyone who practices witchcraft or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, one who casts a spell or a medium or a spiritist or ones who calls up the dead.

Listen to this. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. God will judge you.

They are detestable. Anybody who reads a horoscope is rebelling against God. They are shaking their fist in God's face and saying I'm not looking to you to guide me.

I am looking to the stars. That is detestable in the sight of God. And who can even begin to mention all of the new age cures for ailments. My parents in Canada, Saskatchewan, Canada, some of you can't even pronounce Saskatchewan, in an area that is so flat and so sparsely populated that you would be convinced that sin hasn't even come up that far north.

And if it has you would think that it would be frozen solid. Walked into a health food store because they wanted some health foods and some I want to say pills but the correct word would be vitamins. And would you believe that the woman behind the counter wanted to know the birth date of them so that she could look at her occult chart to know which ones would be best for them. Occultism. And the new age movement is ancient occultism with a friendly American face.

Almost as many ways to be involved in the occult almost as there are interests among Americans. Number nine, despair and hopelessness. Absolute despair. Listen to me very carefully now and you can turn here sometime when you have time to reread that fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark. You talk about a hopeless situation, a man among the tombs who wants to be isolated who's thinking of committing suicide and cutting himself and mutilating his body. Despair and hopelessness. If you believe a lie of the devil, it becomes truth for you. Will you remember that? If you believe a devil's lie, it becomes truth for you.

That is to say you think that it's the truth. The devil likes to bring hopelessness. My situation is hopeless.

I'm not able to find any way out. There is no way out. God has abandoned his responsibilities in the world. The promises of God can no longer be believed. I am utterly hopeless. Where is the escape hatch? Let me die.

Let me die. Hopelessness, despair. That's not, that's not of God.

That's not of God. Number 10, sexual impurity. You know the Bible says in 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verse 5 that husbands and wives, for example, should maintain their proper sexual relationship, lest Satan tempt you, it says. And what do we have to say today about eroticism, about heightened sexual desires, about those who find themselves within insatiable lust and desire for pornography and all forms of sexual aberrations? I was at a conference yesterday and a young pastor was there and just telling me what had been uncovered in his small church.

Frightening. Among some people who would appear to be some mighty, fine Christians. All of those things that lie hidden and sexual deviations of various sorts and kinds and motivated by a heightened euphoria which drives relentlessly and causes people to take all kinds of gambles to fulfill their lusts and desires. Let me now give you five truths that we must hang onto.

Five truths. Number one, I know that this is very basic but you must be convinced, absolutely convinced of Christ's triumph over all this mess. You say well that's not hard to believe because it says in Ephesians that he is ascended above all principalities and powers in every name that is named. Obviously Christ is triumphant.

Well I know that that's obvious. But does not that breed hope? If Christ is triumphant and if we have been placed in him as the Bible says that we too are seated at the right hand of God the Father, does not that give hope to those of you who are writhing in despair believing that you have to be locked into the battle and never win? Second, and this is a toughie now but just hang on, you must move from darkness, from darkness into light and that is the place where most people stumble. You see when the Bible says and Jesus is the one who said it in John 3 when he said that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil and he says anybody who does evil deeds hates the light neither comes to the light lest his deeds should be exposed. What is the darkness about which Jesus Christ speak? What is darkness? Darkness is secrecy. Darkness is secrecy. Darkness is that chain that binds people, those chains.

I know I've used the illustration before of the man who saw me in Washington D.C. when I was there many years ago and said I have to talk to you and it was raining and we shared an umbrella as we walked around the block. Four hundred dollars a month on pornography and he said I'm not giving you my name, nobody knows about this, you're flying back to Chicago tomorrow, you're the only man in the world who knows what I'm doing and he wouldn't give me his name. I tell you that there is not much hope for a person like that no matter how often he spills his heart before God and what happens is there in the darkness, there in the secrecy, there in the hidden places that are so skillfully covered, that is the devil's workshop. I'm not saying that you should share it publicly, I'm not saying that you should willy-nilly tell whomever, but I believe that God has somebody for everyone with whom you can share your personal struggles who will be trustworthy and pray with you that this problem, this addiction brought to the light will be exposed and then those who walk in the light, the devil's power to shame and to hide will be broken. Number three, you know what you have to do when you're really counseling people and they've got chronic problems and I'm not saying that this works all the time, but here's a fundamental question, absolutely fundamental, that I have to answer and you have to answer. When you and I struggle with our sins and when we lose those battles with the devil, here's a question for you.

Are you willing, am I willing, to do whatever? And that's the word to underline, to do whatever is necessary to be free, that's the question. And that's why point number three is we must move from partial to complete submission, complete submission.

You see it's like an alcoholic, he's not willing to do everything or whatever to be free unless he's bottomed out, unless he's so desperate that finally he says, okay now, whatever and finally when he says that there's hope, now we're getting to hope. So you see what we need to do is to move to complete submission. Number four is of course the armor of God and in this series I will not even be able to comment on it because it is there in Ephesians and it just begs to be preached. But let me point out that putting on the armor of God means yes we accept Christ as the breastplate of our righteousness. We put on the shoes shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We put on the helmet of salvation which is the word of God. We take the sword of the spirit but then also it says above all, if you happen to forget everything, you know, you're running out the door and you say, hey I forgot everything. It says above all, taking the shield of faith. Faith in the fundamental belief that we are really up against a defeated foe who has told us we can never win and we take it from him rather than from God and that's why often we are defeated. And in ancient times when they went forward, you know, with the shield of faith, I'm told that those shields were beveled, that is they were linked together so that when an army marched you basically had a whole wall that was marching in unison to conquer.

That's what we are as a body of Jesus Christ by the way. I have to put my shield into your shield. They have to be linked together. Yours has to be linked to mine and that's the way in which we're going to win this. We can't win this alone.

I can't win it alone. What we need is one another, the strength of the body, the ability of the body to intercede, the ability of the body to pray, the ability of the body to come to those in the deepest hour of need. And then number five, it says praying at all times in the Spirit and of course we can do a lot of different things but we have to pray in the Spirit with the Spirit's promises believing that God is with us trusting and just keep praying and praying and praying.

And we've seen here at the Moody Church God do some wonderful things during prayer meetings, prayer meetings in which there has been faith and trust and belief and commitment. This story comes to us from England. There was a man who was doing a great feat in a circus and the large crowd of thousands watched as a serpent came and wrapped itself around the man and then suddenly in the stillness they could hear bones cracking as the man was crushed by that serpent that he thought he had trained. He had gotten that serpent when it was only about two feet long and he had trained and worked with it and he thought he had it trained. At that time he could have crushed it but he just let the serpent go and the serpent crushed him.

He developed confidence in it. Let's pray together. Father, we ask in Jesus' name that you will come and deliver your people.

Would you come, Father? We have prayed for this. May your blessed Holy Spirit be here to speak a word of deliverance for the truth shall set you free. Oh, Father, we come needy sinners having been bloodied and bruised by the enemy. Some come hopelessly to receive hope. Others come helplessly. We all come helplessly. We pray today, Father, that your people would experience the freedom of the Spirit, the breaking of the strongholds of sin.

We thank you that you do break those cords. We thank you, Father, for the instances when we have almost heard chains fall off of people. And we ask that in these moments you will bring to us the guidance and the leadership of your Spirit. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Well, my friend, this is Pastor Lutzer.

Let me ask you a question. Are you blessed as a result of the ministry of Running to Win? Do the messages touch you, influence you, help you, give you direction? It's because other people have also invested in this ministry. You know, as I was thinking about the conclusion of this message, I was reminded of the way in which our mother, that is, the mother of the Lutzer family, how she prayed for us as children. Frequently she prayed, Oh God, we pray that our children might shake sin off just like Paul shook the viper into the fire. You remember that story there in the book of Acts. What we must do is to recognize that Satan is out to defeat us, to crush us. But God is greater, and Jesus won a victory over him. That's why I've written a book entitled God's Devil. It emphasizes the sovereignty of God in spiritual warfare, and I think it'll be of tremendous help to you. Now for a gift of any amount, this book can be yours.

And as I mentioned a moment ago, the reason that Running to Win can continue is because of people like you who support this ministry. Here's what you can do. Go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Many Christians have given the devil a foothold in their lives, and the result is often tragic. Believers who are burdened by satanic influence need not remain in bondage. This time, some crucial answers for those who've already let the devil gain a foothold. Don't miss A Cure for the Serpent's Poison. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-04 18:32:22 / 2023-06-04 18:40:42 / 8

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