Confronting the Prince of Darkness - Luke 4:1-13 - Skip Heitzig
Welcome to Calvary Church with Skip Heitzig. We're so glad you joined us for Dark Room. In this teaching series, Pastor Skip shows how God often develops his children through hardship, the dark times in life. Here's Pastor Skip.
Well I'm glad we're at church today. And I'd like you, if you don't mind, to turn in your Bibles to the book of Luke, the Gospel of Luke, the fourth chapter. We're doing a series called Dark Room, how God takes the negatives and makes positive results from them. And this is our final installment in this series. And I'm calling this "Confronting the Prince of Darkness", Luke chapter 4.
So back in 1961 there was a band called The Tokens. You probably are not familiar with that name but you are familiar with a song they wrote. They probably had no idea this song would be as famous as it became.
Here are some of the lyrics, see if you remember this. "In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. Near the village, the peaceful village, the lion sleeps tonight. Near the village, the quiet village, the lion sleeps tonight." Not much to the song, and then the best part of the song is this, "uyimbube, uyimbube, uyimbube," and they just kind of sing that over and over again and everybody still remembers that.
What happens when the lion isn't sleeping? What about when the lion's on the prowl, on the move, ready to pounce on its prey? That's essentially what Peter announced in his epistle in the New Testament. He said, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." That's a very, very weighty statement.
Imagine if you went to the zoo and over the PA system you heard an announcement, "Ladies and gentlemen, we regret to inform you that our lion has escaped from the enclosure today and is roaming around the zoo. By the way, ladies and gentlemen, he hasn't eaten yet, so please be cautious." You'd be so cautious you'd leave the zoo.
In the chapter we have in front of us, Luke Chapter 4, Satan, the lion, roaming around like a roaring lion, meets the lion tamer, or the greater lion, if you will, the lion of the tribe of Judah. In a confrontation, Jesus, the light of the world, confronts the Prince of Darkness in this classic text of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Now, over the years I've discovered a lot of people don't believe in the devil, really.
They say they do sort of, but they really don't. They Don't believe he's a real, literal personality. Maybe a symbol of evil, maybe representative of bad stuff that happens, but not a real actual person.
I understand why people would have trouble with that if they are not believers in scripture or born again. But what troubles me is that a poll was done, I think it was by Barna Research Group or Gallup, and they looked at people who claim to be born again Christians. And the poll said 32% think that the devil is just a symbol of evil, not a living being, 32%. Another 11% somewhat agree with that statement and 5% don't know. So if you add it all up, you have 48% of people who say they're born again Christians who think the devil is symbolic or they just don't know.
I just want to tell you that I think the biggest mistake a person can make is when they have an enemy that exists but they deny that enemy exists. And I guess the question is how much stock do you place in what Jesus said? Do you place much weight in what his words were? When he referred to the devil he called the devil a him, a he. He said in Luke Chapter 10, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
It sure doesn't sound like he's thinking it's a symbol of evil, but a real person, a real entity. You should know that ever since Satan fell-- and that's recorded, by the way, in Isaiah Chapter 14 and Ezekiel Chapter 28. Ever since Satan fell he's tried to wage war on God, to some extent on the plan of God. And because that has been true, we would expect that once the Messiah comes to the Earth that there would be some kind of confrontation that takes place in this sphere called the Earth. And we have that confrontation before us.
You should also know that Jesus has always been Satan's number one target ever since a promise was given to the Devil in Genesis chapter 3 that the seed of the woman would eventually be born and would crush the head of the serpent. Ever since then, the war was waged. But he also attacks people. And we would say if Jesus is Satan's number one target, then what does he care about people? It's called collateral damage.
So Satan knows his fate, he knows that he will never have what he originally wanted, he'll never be able to overthrow heaven. So he can only cause collateral damage. He can only accuse people who are saved and he can only keep people or unsaved unsaved, distract them, deceive them, and keep them out of heaven. Jesus said in John 10, the thief, a reference to the Devil, "The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy." He tries to plunge the world into disarray, disorder, rebellion, chaos.
He's done a pretty good job. What I want to show you in Luke chapter 4, and we're going to look at verse 1 down to about verse 13, I want to go kind of quickly so we can cover all the material, is I want to give you five words to describe the nature of this confrontation. Five adjectives that will help you understand temptation and how it works. And here's the first word, tactical. The Devil is tactical. In verse 1 it says, "Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan," that is the Jordan River after his baptism, "and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness."
Now, if you're just to read that verse, you think it's a peaceful story, it's going to be a peaceful story. Jesus going to the desert for a little R and R, you might think going to Phoenix or Palm Springs, a Diet Coke by the pool, all is good, and it doesn't last long. The point is that Satan, in his approach, is tactical and often he will attack after a time of blessing, after a time of joy.
So I want you to go back with me to see this. Go back to chapter 3, and what we are looking at is an event that happens immediately before the temptation in the wilderness, and that happens to be in chapter 3 verse 21. Verse 21 and 22 of chapter 3 happened immediately before chapter 4. The rest of chapter 3 is just a genealogy. Luke is catching you up on his background.
So in chapter 3 verse 21, it says when all the people were baptized it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized, and while He prayed the heaven was opened. And get this, the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon him. And a voice came from heaven which said, "You are my beloved son. In you I am well pleased," then chapter 4 happens. So immediately before this, heaven is opened, so now hell is opened.
And that's the relationship I want you to see. That's the spiritual principle. The action of God invites the reaction of the Devil. You know this principle, bright lights attracts nasty bugs. You turn on a light in the summertime on your porch, you wait a little while, and there's all sorts of activity going on around that light. So the more you do business with God the more likely you are to do business with the Devil. Nothing promotes the activity of Satan as much as the proximity of a child of God to God.
You can see that here. In verse 1 of Luke 4, "Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returning from the Jordan, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness being tempted for 40 days by the Devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterwards, when they had ended He was hungry." So you notice the language, filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and tempted by the Devil.
I find this to be a pattern, not just here, but also in other parts of scripture. For example, as soon as the children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt, that's when pharaoh chased them, pursued them to destroy them. As soon as Hezekiah held a Passover in Jerusalem, a renewal back to God, Sennacherib the Assyrian surrounded the city to destroy it. As soon as the disciples of Christ saw the transfiguration of their Lord, they went down the mountain and there was a demonized kid, and his father said your disciples were unable to cast him out, challenged.
Something else, I think it's noteworthy, it seems, as I read not only this account, but Matthew, Mark, and Luke's account, all of them, that Jesus goes out to the wilderness specifically to pray to his father, to be prepared for the next three years. This is the beginning of his earthly ministry, so to prepare for what is inevitable, the sacrifice on the cross. He gets alone with the father to pray, to fast, to seek his father's will, and Satan attacks him.
Have you noticed that whenever you want to have quiet time things you never thought come to your mind? Things you'd forgotten about, and you get these weird phone calls and distractions. It's almost that the devil doesn't want you to have it. Yep, that's true, he hates us to draw near to God because that's where the power is.
You've all heard of Murphy's law, right? If anything bad can happen, it will happen. Did you know there's-- I'm going to call it Lucifer's law? Lucifer's law, anything that Satan can ruin, he will ruin.
So any time you decide to move close to God that's a good thing, and you shouldn't worry about it then go, OK, well then I'll just stay carnal. No, you want to be close to God because greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. God's got you covered.
But just know that when you do that, that is going to shake things up a bit in the kingdom of darkness. I say, good. I'm up for a good fight, especially when I know I'm on the winning side. But JC Ryle said this, "Nowhere perhaps, is the devil so active, as in church." That's an unnerving statement.
But think about it. First of all, I'm convinced the devil doesn't want you to go to church. I think he'll put things in your mind like it's windy today, or it's cold today, or there's snow coming, or there's a good football game on, or whatever it might be. He doesn't want you to get fed, he doesn't want you to get encouraged, he doesn't want you to worship corporately.
And then once you get to church, if God gives you anything and uplifts your spirit and you walk away better for it, then that blessing that God has given to you, Satan wants to steal it as soon as you leave the building. And get in your car and get out on Albuquerque streets, and the chances that you will have your joy stolen are pretty high. A lot of other things go missing around the town, and so you'll have drivers that'll cut in front of you and move into your parking space when you want to park, you know the routine.
I have a question before we move on. Why was Jesus tempted-- this is a good question, I get asked this a lot. If Jesus was the perfect, sinless son of God, if Jesus never sinned, if Jesus, in fact, couldn't sin, the Bible is pretty clear on that, then why is He tempted? Let me give you three quick reasons why. Number one, to validate the father's approval.
The father has just said this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. In other words, my son, Jesus, has never said, thought, or done anything that has ever displeased me. He's perfect, he's sinless. To validate the approval, to show it was deserved approval, He confronts darkness head on in chapter 4.
That's number one, number two, to demonstrate his messianic credentials. To show that He is the promised, one the long anticipated one. And finally, number three, to indicate the tactics of the enemy. To expose Satan, to show people like us what kind of temptations we can expect and how to overcome them.
Now a word about that. The temptations we read about in this chapter are unique to Jesus specifically. Nobody else gets tempted like this, nobody else could be tempted like this. We can't be tempted to turn stone into bread, and you know why? Because we can't turn stone into bread.
It's never a temptation for us. Yeah, I think I need to turn this stone into a Big Mac. You can't do it, not a temptation. Likewise, none of us could ever be tempted to imagine that we are going to rule the kingdoms of the world. Not a temptation to us.
We would never be tempted to jump 450 feet off of a precipice and expect a safe landing. These things don't tempt us. They were given specifically to Jesus because of who He is. But though they are unique to him specifically, they are common categorically. That is, Satan will suggest that we can trust the love of God, the plan of God, the protection of God, and we're going to look at that.
So that's the first word, tactical. This is a tactical temptation. Second word is vulnerable. Jesus is in a very particular kind of state as He is being tempted.
It says in verse 2, "Being tempted for 40 days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, if you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." So we notice He ate nothing, and afterward, He is now hungry. Satan is taking advantage of a weakened physical state. Jesus was more vulnerable.
Yes, He was God in human flesh, but He was in human flesh nonetheless. By the way, fasting in the Bible. What does that mean, why do people fast? And people say to lose weight. Well, in the Bible it was a little bit different.
In the Bible. It's not a sanctified diet. In the Bible, fasting isn't some means of twisting God's arms so you can get from God what you've always wanted but maybe God thought you weren't serious, but now He does because you're fasting. No, in the Bible people fasted as a sign of mourning for the dead, as a sign of personal repentance or national repentance, and as a sign of dependence on God.
So it says Jesus fasted for 40 days. That's a long period of time. Very few people have been ever able to do that. I've read and I've been told that when you stop eating for a short period of time you actually speed up your metabolism. And when you hold off eating for a long period of time you reverse that, it slows down your metabolism.
And you can go for a long period of time without eating. What happens is you start out very hungry and then you lose your appetite, which is helpful if you're trying to fast. But then eventually it comes back. Your body starts feeding on itself. And when your hunger, after a long, prolonged fast begins to return, that's an indication that you are starving to death and if you don't eat soon, you will die.
Jesus was in that condition. Satan comes and attacks Him in that condition. Verse 3, he says, "if you are the Son of God." It's best to see this as a statement of affirmation not supposition. A better translation is since you are the Son of God.
It's first class conditional in the Greek, since you are the Son of God or because you are the Son of God. The Wuest translation of the New Testament, Kenneth Wuest, a Greek scholar, said, "In view of the fact that you are the Son of God." Satan is not questioning the identity of Jesus. By the way, the devil never questioned the deity of Christ ever. No demon ever questioned the deity of Christ.
In fact, in this chapter, chapter 4, verse 34, the demons say, "Let us alone. What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." Every demon in hell knows exactly who Jesus is, that he is God in human flesh.
Satan never questions the deity of Christ, only liberals do. Only liberal theologians do that. Satan knows better. So when Satan says, "Command these stones be made bread," It's not a slam on Jesus' identity. Satan is questioning God the Father's provision, his love.
It's a slam on his love. Hey, since you're the Son of God, why didn't your father feed you? Why would he let you stay out in this godforsaken desert without any food for this long of time? Where is the love? Again, chapter 3 verse 22, God the Father says this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.
Where's the love? And so Satan suggests that Jesus use his own prerogative, His own power, to provide for Himself what the father did not provide for Him. It's sort of like the Garden of Eden. Same tactic in the Garden of Eden, right? All the trees that are in the garden and Satan comes along and says, why don't you eat from this?
Well, we can't eat of these trees. We can eat from all of them except one. It's in the middle of the garden and God said, don't eat that. The devil goes, has God really said that? The suggestion is what kind of a God of love would not allow you to have fruit in the garden he puts you in?
Why would he withhold that from you? And so you know what that's like in a difficult time. You've had that feeling, you might have heard that little whisper. You're a child of God and this is how God treats his kids? And so how does Jesus answer that?
Verse 4, he said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." He's not suggesting you don't need food or bread, He is simply saying you need it, but that's not all you need. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. What sustains life isn't just physical food, but spiritual food. We found this out in the pandemic, didn't we?
We found out when people were locked out and locked down and we were isolated and restricted how that wreaked havoc on the mental health of people all over the world, and the spiritual vibrancy of God's people, missing the mutual encouragement that the Bible says we all must have. Man shall not live by bread alone. We need bread for the body but we also need food for the soul, because the soul is the only part that is eternal.
While we're out busy protecting our body, not realizing it's going to die, our soul will live forever. That needs to be taken care of. So two words, tactical, vulnerable, and let me give you a third word, an adjective to describe temptation, practical. Satan is a pragmatist, he's very, very logical, practical.
So in Verse 5 the devil, taking Him on a high Mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. Now, get this, the devil said to him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory, for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish." What's interesting about this is Jesus never rebutted Satan. He never said, uh-uh, that's not true, it hasn't been delivered to you.
You know why? He knew it had been delivered to him. He knew that in the Garden of Eden, God gave the Earth to mankind. Mankind gave it over to Satan when he followed his suggestion. And that's why Satan is called the God this World, the Prince of the Power of the Air, The One who Works in the Children of Disobedience, and that's why redemption was necessary.
So Satan said, "It has been delivered to me and I give it to whomever I wish." OK, Satan is suggesting that Jesus take a shortcut. The devil knew why Jesus had come. The devil knew that God the Father had promised Jesus the kingdoms of this world.
Listen to this, Psalm 2, a messianic Psalm. God the Father says to God the Son, "Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance and all the ends of the Earth for your possession." So Satan gets Jesus to question God's plan and says, ask me for it instead, I'll give it to you. You don't have to go the way of the cross, you don't have to go the way of suffering, you don't have to become the suffering servant of Isaiah chapter 53.
I know why you're here, I get it, but I'll give you a shortcut. If you will just indulge me for a moment of time and worship me, that's what he's always wanted, his day in the sun, if you just worship me, I'll give it to you. You don't have to die and redeem it, I will give it to you, for it has been delivered to me.
Now you know that if you've had any dealings at all in temptation and with the devil, you know how the devil plays the if only game. If only God would let you do this, if only you would get what you want, if only you had what you deserve, then you'd be happy. God is holding back from you. And God's way is painful. So have it now, I'll give it to you.
I read an article some years ago, it so baffled me that I cut it out of the newspaper, because I just thought I just got to look at this, this is how some people think. It was a teenager in Los Angeles being interviewed by a news outlet, and this kid said he was a Satan worshipper. And the news reporter said, why do you worship the devil? And the kid said, I think of the devil as a cool dude. And that sentence sort of arrested me, because there's a lot of things I think about the devil, cool dude doesn't come to mind.
But I think the devil is a cool dude, because, he said, God restricts you and doesn't give you what you want. The devil lets you have what you want. Satan says, in effect of Jesus, what do you want? I know what you want. You want to redeem people back to God, so I'll give them to you.
So let's see what Jesus says in Verse 7, "Therefore, if you worship before me, all will be Yours." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord, your God, and Him only shall you serve." In other words, no thanks, I'd rather wait for the promise of my father. I know one day I'm going to rule the world, and I'm not going to depend on you to give that to me. I'm going to depend on my father in his own time.
"Get behind me Satan, you shall worship the Lord, your God, and Him only shall you serve." You need to know something. There are no shortcuts to the Christian life. There's no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. There's no easy victory. There's no just do this and do that and awesomeness happens. There's no shortcuts.
If Jesus, your Savior, had to hang on a tree before he could sit on his throne, don't expect easy street. You follow him. Immediate gratification often brings eventual dissatisfaction. I gotta have it now, got to have it now.
Immediate gratification often brings eventual dissatisfaction. But also, delayed satisfaction, waiting for God in his own time to give you what he knows his best, will bring both immediate and eventual satisfaction. Immediate because you're pleasing God, eventual because you have what you've asked him for and waited for.
So three words to describe it so far, tactical, vulnerable, practical, let me give you a fourth adjective, sensational. The third temptation Satan suggests to Jesus is let's put on a show. Let's do something really sensational, Verse 9. Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, if you are the Son of God, or since you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.
For it is written, He will give his angels charge over you, to keep you, and, in their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." Jesus answered and said to him, "It has been said you shall not tempt the Lord your God." You should know something, Alfred Edersheim, the Jewish scholar, said Jewish rabbis believed that when the Messiah came that he would stand on the roof of the temple. And the reason they thought this is because there's a scripture, Malachi Chapter 3, Verse 1 and 2, it says that the Lord will suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the Covenant whom I will send.
And so because of that, they thought, OK, so when the Messiah comes, he's going to show up at the temple, probably on the roof of the temple. So perhaps with that in mind, Satan suggests, jump off the temple. The pinnacle of the temple, by the way, was the tallest point from the roof of the temple down to the lowest spot, called the Kidron Valley, 450, 460 feet.
Several years ago I was in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, and you can stand on the remains of that pinnacle of the Temple Mount and look down. It's this wide valley, way down there, and I happen to have a Frisbee with me. And so I chucked it, and I knew I'd never get it back, but I chucked the Frisbee out into the Kidron Valley from the pinnacle of the temple just to watch it fly. I think I'd probably be shot if I tried that today.
But anyway, that has nothing to do with this text, I just thought I should let you know that I did that, confess my sin once and for all. So the suggestion is that Jesus jumps. But you notice that Satan alters his approach a little bit this time? This time, how does he tempt Jesus, what does he say to Jesus? Scripture, he quotes scripture this time.
Jesus has been quoting scripture twice to Satan, so Satan pulls out a scripture of his own, and it happens to be Psalm 91. And he quotes it, "It is written, he will give his angels charge over you to keep you," that's Psalm 91. "And in their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone," that's the following verse. But here's what you need to know. Satan left something out when he quoted scripture, he always does.
So in Psalm 91, this is what it actually says in verse 11, "He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone." And then he also leaves the verse out right before that, which is the context, which says, "Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the most high your habitation." So that's what Satan does when he quotes scripture. He takes it out of context and only quote certain things he wants to quote.
Cults do this all the time. You can make the Bible say anything you want to, and people do it all the time. Now, it shouldn't surprise you that the devil quotes scripture. The devil knows of the Bible inside and out, and that shouldn't surprise you. Did you know that the devil is a very shrewd theologian?
He's been trained in the world's best seminary, the very throne room of God itself. But again, it was a misquote. And the whole context suggest that a child of God, in the will of God, doing the ways of God are protected. Satan quotes it out of context.
So why the suggestion that he jumped? I think the devil hoped that one of two things would happen if Jesus jumped off the pinnacle of the temple. Number one, he'd be killed by the fall. And if he was killed by the fall, he couldn't be the atoning sacrifice, according to Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. Or, number two, he would, by jumping, force God the Father to rescue Him, to deliver Him, which means he will cease to be in submission to the timing and the will of the Father.
So follow these three temptations. The first temptation, stone into bread, is to question God's provision. The second temptation, I'll give you the kingdoms of the world, is to question God's plan. The third temptation, jump off the temple, is to question God's protection. His provision, his plan, his protection.
Verse 12, Jesus answers him, "It has been said, you shall not tempt the Lord, your God." In other words, you can't deliberately place yourself in temptation and then expect God to deliver you. If you go over the speed limit while, at the same time, pray that God will keep you from getting a citation, duh. You don't walk into a bar and ask God to help you not drink, you get out of the bar. You don't feed on pornography and ask God to deliver you from lust.
You don't walk into temptation saying, deliver us from evil. God gave you two legs, like he gave Joseph, who ran the other direction. Go the other direction. So he says, "It has been said, you will not tempt the Lord, your God."
So we have four words that describe this temptation. Technical, vulnerable, practical, sensation, and I'll give you a fifth, and we'll close with this, seasonal. Temptations are seasonal. Just when you go, whew, it's over, hallelujah. Yeah, Let's see what happens. Verse 13, "Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time."
Satan wasn't done, this Is just round one. Like the former governor of California, he'll be back. And he'll be back, he'll be back through Peter suggesting that Jesus not go to the cross, to which Jesus will reply, get behind me Satan. He'll be back when he prompts Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. The Bible says Satan entered him.
He'll be back in the Garden of Gethsemane when the soldiers arrest Christ, and Jesus will say to them, this is your hour and the power of darkness. So when you successfully deal with the temptation that comes to you and you have the victory, awesome. You've learned a great lesson, you made a great step, you're making great strides, but just know, Satan doesn't go, OK, well I'm done now, you're just too strong for me. He'll just get tactical all over again, he'll observe, he'll find vulnerabilities, he'll wait till your week, and he'll look for an opportune time.
That's why Andrew Bonar said, "Let us be as watchful after the victory as before the battle." so let me offer you a quick three things to walk away with in fighting temptation. Very simple to remember, all begin with an S. Stand your ground. It is time, if ever there was a time for Christians to stand up and stand their ground, it's right now.
Stand your ground. The Bible says, submit, therefore, to God. James chapter 4, submit therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. It's a military term, standing immovable, resist.
So that's number one, stand your ground. Number two, study your Bible. Each temptation is met with a quote from scripture. And it's not that Jesus is just going, oh, I'm going to throw out a scripture to the devil. The idea is I live my life under the submission to the principles of my Father.
Stand your ground, study your Bible. Children of God, there is a great danger in you not knowing the Bible. We can't plead ignorance anymore. Oh, I don't know what it says. Find out what it says, study your Bible, read it. Jesus said to the religious leaders, "You error not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God."
You open yourself up to temptation. So stand your ground, study your Bible, third, stay near your God. Yes, he was tempted by the devil, but at the same time, he was filled with the Spirit, he was led by the Spirit. Stay close to God. Don't make God a once a week, go to church thing, make God a constant companion, your best friend.
Stay near to him-- Jesus called it abide, abide in me. I learned a principle long ago, I forget exactly who said this, but I wrote it down. "Unless there is that which is above us, we will soon yield to that which is about us." if you don't have an authority that you stay close to, a companion that you draw near to, you will succumb to the value system of the world and all its messages in all its social media. You'll think and act and do like them.
So, in the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion is not sleeping tonight. Your enemy, your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but he is no match for our lion tamer. He is no match for the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who has prevailed, as John said. So stay close to Him.
Father, thank you for six great weeks of looking at this incredible principle of how you take hard times, dark times, difficult situations, negatives, and develop in us positive results. And once again, that great, great promise that God causes all things to work together for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. And perhaps you have called people today, according to your purpose, to hear not only this truth but to get close to God's people enough to, in their heart, know that's where they need to be.
It could be that some have never surrendered their life to Christ who are here right now. Or some who have once done that, but are not obeying and following him today. If that describes you I'm going to give you, right now, an opportunity to change that, and to come unto the love, plan, and protection of the very God who created you.
Again, I'm speaking to you, if you have never given your life to Christ. I didn't ask you were you a religious person growing up, do you believe that God exists. Do you have a relationship with the living God, have you surrendered your life to Christ? If you've never come to a moment where you have consciously turned from your past and turned your life over to him, I'm going to give you that opportunity.
Or, if for some reason you've wandered away from him and you need to come back home, I'm going to give you that opportunity. If you want to receive Christ right where you are, right now, I want you to raise your hand up in the air. Just raise it up and keep it up. Our heads are bowed, my eyes are open, but I just want you to hold it up so I can acknowledge you. God bless you, to my right, in the middle.
Yes, ma'am, right up front, right in the middle. Who else just raised that hand up, please? In the back, thank you. To my right. Different parts of the auditorium.
Anyone else? In the family room? In the back, God bless you. Father, thank you for these. Lord, we love this.
We love when people admit they need you, that they're not complete without you. That kind of humility is so heartwarming. Seeing you work in lives is so encouraging to us. Thank you, and we pray, Father, you'd fill them with your Spirit. Fill them with the sense of belonging and purpose and love.
In Jesus' name, Amen. Let's stand to our feet. We're closing with this song.
If you raise your hand, I want you to get up from where you are standing now, find the nearest aisle, please, and come right up here. I'm going to lead you in a prayer to make Jesus your Lord and Savior once you get up here. If you raised your hand, please come and stand right up here.
Come on, right up here. Just make your way through. Yeah! I Come on.
This won't take much time, but it's very important that you make this choice. Jesus called people publicly. And it does something in the heart of an individual who makes that public stand, and you're making a stand in front of a cheering crowd. You get out in the world and they're are jeering crowd.
I admire that. Quickly, anybody else? OK, those of you have come forward-- come on up, come on up. I'm going to lead you in a prayer, and I'm going to ask you to say this prayer out loud after me. Just mean these words from your heart.
Say, "Lord, I give you my life. I admit I'm a sinner. Please, forgive me. I believe in Jesus. I believe He died on a cross.
I believe He shed his blood for me. I believe He rose again. I turn from my past. I turn to Jesus as my Savior. I want to follow Him as Lord.
Help me, in Jesus' name. Amen. All right. Now begins the Greatest Journey of your life.
Thank you so much for joining us for this message from Calvary Church with Skip Heitzig. We would love to know how this message impacted you. Share your story with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you'd like to support this Bible teaching ministry with a financial gift, visit calverynm.church/give.