According to Acts 11:19-26, the Christian Church at Antioch began when Christians who were scattered from Jerusalem because of persecution, fled to Antioch. They were joined by Christians from Cyprus and Cyrene who migrated to Antioch. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first referred to as Christians. (Wikipedia)
I’ve been going to church all of my life. My grandparents and parents instilled in me that Jesus Christ was the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). As I’ve grown in the faith, I too know this to be true. You may or may not feel the way I do, but to me Church Is Life and Life Is Church!
I’ve also been a member of different churches. Some due to change in living conditions and some because I didn’t feel that I was growing in the Lord enough. It can take time, but finding a good church home that you can thrive in is key!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a saint. I need Jesus just like you do. But I also know when I’m around a body of believers, Jesus is ever present. Unfortunately, Satan is too… here’s why.
Satan hates Christian Churches with a passion
The Church of Antioch has been on Satan’s radar every since Jesus came, died and arose again from the cross. His goal has always been to destroy God’s people and stop those who desire to become God’s people. So it’s no surprise that he targets Christians in the most sacred place that they worship.
Satan will ask God for permission to sift you out for an attack or temptation. He wants to see how weak or strong you are in the Church.
He’s known to start with something small like, having someone sit in your favorite seat, lead the song in choir that you always led or another giving you a look of disapproval for the way you’re dressed.
Before you know it, those small things add up and anger causes you to stop going all together.
God tells us that there are Christians who don’t appear as they should in the church. They may sing, dance, praise and say Amen to every word, but their hearts are far from God. As soon as a trial or tribulation occurs in their life, they blame God, the church and run.
Unfortunately counterfeit Christians allow Satan to convince them that life is always perfect. They have the “Oh Lord, why me?” attitude and give up on God and faith as soon as life gets hard.
We all have slid back into the world of sin from time to time. Satan will convince you that repenting after a sin is easy. He’ll say, “No problem, God forgives you!” But if Christians continue to knowingly sin, without a true repentant heart, they have no business being in the body of Christ.
Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18, tells us how to deal with unrepentant sinners in the church: they are to be put out of the fellowship and treated as unbelievers.
Satan will use your Pastor
No one is above Satan’s antics, not even our Pastors. There are a number of Pastors who have allowed Satan to use them. As my Pastor says, “Satan will take you further than you want to go!” The mightiest Pastor is defeated by power, greed, pride, temptation, sexual immorality and the like.
Satan will use the power of suggestion to move a Pastor away from Gods will. He’ll convince a Pastor that what he’s doing is for the good of the Church. And Satan will ultimately take the Church down (unto death) following a Pastor.
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. (1 Tim 4:1-3)
Satan has done a good job in many circumstances to tear down Gods Church from the inside. However, God still has a “ram in the bush.” He never allows his people to go down without a fight!
How to push Satan out
Let’s face it, Christians, believers, unbelievers, humans are all here trying to do the best we can. Satan is ever present in all of our lives, if we attend Church or not.
Even though I know this to be true, I still have to believe that Satan could care less about non-believers. Frankly, he’s already conquered their souls.
Satan is still mad (as you know what) at Christians! He knows that he can mess with us, make our lives miserable, even convince us to leave the Church, but he can’t have our souls. Amen
There’s no better way to tell you how to push Satan out other than in Gods word:
- 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
- 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:27)
- 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Armor and Offensive Weapons
Here’s help for protection:
11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:11-18)
Churches will never be perfect
Lastly, some of you believe that Church (the building) is not required to have a relationship with Jesus. You tried it, had a bad experience or decided it wasn’t for you. What ever the reason, you’re right. Jesus does not force us to attend a church building to have a personal relationship. However, he does suggest that we do.
25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25)
We build strength in numbers. Christians love, build up, edify, pray, laugh, praise, cry, educate, teach and even correct together. We use our Godly gifts to edify the Church. God also says, when two or three are gathered in His name, He’s there. (Matthew 18:20)
Churches across this nation will never be perfect. You know why? Because we are not perfect people. Mark 2:17 says, “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Thanks God 🙂