Monday, May 24, 2010

Why I Believe in Satan

The belief in the existence of Satan has come under quite a bit of scrutiny in the last several decades. Barna Research has found that nearly 60% of the people who identify themselves as Christians believe that Satan is not real but merely symbolic of evil in this world. Nearly another 10% are not sure who Satan is... these would be Beelzebub Agnostics :)

Ephesians 6:12 states that we are in a spiritual battle. You have lost the battle already if you do not even believe that the enemy camp exist in reality. Denial is not victory for your side it is defeat.

I believe in a literal Devil and the spirit world of his minions:
1) Jesus believed in the existence of a literal Satan.
2) The parables that Jesus told were stories that do not need to be literally true. The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness is not a parable but told as a literal historic event.
3) Satan is dealt with in scripture with such specificity that we must take note of the intention of the text with his existence. Why waste our time on a fictional symbolic character when we have such detail and he has such a key role in the story of God?

Ok that is my top 3. I am not to saying that there is a demon under every rock but I am encouraging Christians to wake up to the spiritual realities of the world around them. The world you live in is about more than Starbucks, big box stores and your weekly dose of American Idol, The Office and 24! Reread Ephesians 6:12... just for the fun of it!

For the sake of space I will leave you with the main text that deal with "the old pitch fork and horned man". Enjoy your study of the Great Dragon!
Be diligent in your study. Be prayerful in your study.
The more you know the stronger your faith will be in the Word of God.

Biblical descriptions of Satan:

1. Lying spirit (1 Kings 22:22)

2. The adversary (1 Peter 5:8)

3. Evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14)

4. Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15)

5. Kingdom of, to be destroyed (2 Samuel 23:6,7)

6. The power of darkness (Colossians 1:13)

7. The father of all lies ( John 8:44)

8. The liar ( John 8:44)

9. The murderer ( John 8:44)

10. Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15)

11. With the context of (Matthew 12:29;13:30; Luke 11:21,22; 1 John 3:8)

12. Our common enemy (Matthew 13:39)

13. The prince » Of this world ( John 12:31;14:30;16:11)

14. The prince » Of demons (Matthew 12:24)

15. The prince » Of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)

16. The prince » Ruler of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12)

17. The prince » Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 1:6; John 13:27; Acts 5:3;26:18; Romans 1)

18. The prince » The serpent (Genesis 3:4,14; 2 Corinthians 11:3)

19. The prince » The spirit that works in all disobedient people (Ephesians 2:2)

20. The prince » The Tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5)

21. The prince » The god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)

22. The prince » Unclean spirit (Matthew 12:43)

23. The prince » The wicked one (Matthew 13:19,38)

24. The ancient serpent (Rev. 12:9 and 20:2) the Dragon (Rev.20:2) and The Accuser of the brothers (Rev. 12:10)

History: Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:14-17

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Will They Survive? Yes… With Your Help!

I was so excited… I usually am about this time of year…the days are warmer and that means we can work outside, play outside, just be outside! So I went to the local big box store and bought seeds and plants for my soon to be bountiful garden. I brought it all home and threw it in the ground. The new seeds did great but within one week my tomato plants were hit by frost. They didn’t make it.

This reminds me about the parable that Jesus told of the sower. In this story seed was sown on 4 different types of soil (Matthew 13). Some made it some did not make it. Some of the plants in my garden are going to make it and some have died already. Jesus was making a point with this illustration of how some come to faith and fall away and some come and follow and grow and continue on the journey even through the bumps and the bruises of life.

Did you know that many people who become a Christian fall away in the first 3 months? Just like my tomato plants… the first frost comes and they are not prepared. Did you know I could have given my plants the chance to survive if I had covered them properly? If I had watched for the signs of a coming frost and taken action to help them make it through those early nights of being in this new garden space they would have made it. Pastor Grant Edwards, founder of First Steps ministries, asked the question, “Do you know exactly what to do to maximize the chances that a new believer will reach maturity in Christ?”

Well,… how about it? Do you know exactly what to do?

Most Christian (and many pastors) would say “No”.

We have an opportunity to learn a proven method that has worked well for 2000 years! It’s called discipleship. Discipleship is intentional on the early days of this new faith. Discipleship is one-on-one relationship. Discipleship is focused on the basics of the faith. Discipleship helps new and young Christians overcome temptations that they have not been used to resisting.

Orange Friends Church is committed to seeing people come to know Christ. But “conversion” is not enough! Making disciples is what we desire! (Matthew 28:18-20)

Because of this passion for discipleship we are training disciplers in a six week class starting Sunday, June 6th in the Courtyard room at 9:30am. We will be learning a specific and effective discipling process called “First Steps” ( It is based on a 10 week one-on-one discipling curriculum. Don’t worry… we will give you all the training. You do not have to be a Bible Scholar or Theologian! You just have to love Jesus, love people and have a willing heart to help others move along towards maturity in Christ.

So, will you join me? Will you come along side those who need our help to make it through the first few days in a new garden? The door is open… walk through it!

If you have any questions or want more info… e-mail me.

Pastor David

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Wrath and The Mercy

The Wrath of God is awesome and complete. Some do not like to deal with this aspect of God because it seems ugly and cruel. We don't mind the big flood because we didn’t know any of those people. In our ideal world everybody makes God’s mercy list except for people like Hitler, bin Laden and maybe people like Hugh Hefner or Paris Hilton. But there a key themes that go through the whole bible and God’s wrath is one of them. It is important for us to understand His wrath so that we can understand His sovereignty, his disdain for sin and His mercy and love.

My work in the yard (aka- David's wrath and mercy in his quarter acre kingdom!):

Things I hate and deserve my wrath: Poison Ivy, crab grass, dandelions, plants that have out-grown usefulness, black spots/aphids/grubs, hornets, wasp, bees, mosquitoes, snakes that bite, skunks, ground hogs, coyotes, bunnies (it’s ok… I am talking evil bunnies not cute fluffy bunnies!), deer, neighborhood dogs that tear up my flower beds.

Things I love and get my mercy: the smell of fresh dirt and fresh cut grass, rose plants in bloom, seeds popping up and the bounty that comes from them, the golf course look, humming, red, blue, song (birds), Chainsaws, relaxing in a comfortable chair with a cold drink after a hard day of wrath and mercy!

The Wrath and Mercy of God in His Kingdom:

Things God Hates and deserve His Wrath: Sin and all its by-products.

Things God Loves and get His Mercy: His Creation, the World, you, preserving you, protecting you, making a place for you in eternity after a short time of wrath and mercy.

For more good reading on the wrath and mercy of God see the book of Revelation. To hear the message this blog is based on go to "Why does it end this way? Seals and Trumpets of the Book of Revelation"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Simple Observations

Lord, through all the generations
you have been our home!
Before the mountains were born,
before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
from beginning to end, you are God.
Psalm 90:1-2
  1. He is Lord.
  2. I represent one generation. He has been here through ALL generations... what do I know?!
  3. Home according to the great "Wiki" : "A home is a place of residence or refuge comfort. It is usually a place in which an individual or a family can rest and be able to store personal property. Most modern-day households contain sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food. Animals have their own homes as well, either living in the wild or in a domesticated environment. As an alternative to the definition of "home" as a physical locale, home may be perceived to have no physical definition--instead, home may relate instead to a mental or emotional state of refuge or comfort.There are certain cultures in which members lack permanent homes, such as with nomadic" What else can I say about that...He is our "home" and we are not "nomadic".
  4. I was thinking that Mountains were pretty big but then the Psalm had to throw in Earth and World! WOW!
  5. He is Eternal.
  6. He is big but in His "big-ness" I am His. His thoughts are on me.
  7. He is God. In all my victories. In all of my defeats. In all my manic days. In all my depressed days.
  8. He is never surprised even when I am.