Glen River Chapel

If the Devil Wrote a Bible

GLEN ROSE, TEXAS
Sunday May 06, 2001

Bible Reading: 

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. 

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Introduction

Remember the Laodicean Period that we live in is when the Church is Lukewarm.

{The quotes in the sermon were taken from article written by Carolyn Curtis,"Why I Sleep in on Sunday", part 5 of the occasional series on people who have no interest in church or His church. "By listening to non Christians talk about what keeps them from the faith, we can identify some of the barriers that we can our churches can strive to dismantle.")

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

He'd say we will all go to heaven. Some teach the final restitution of the devil and all the lost. (Origen)Some believe that all religions lead to the same place. Just be sincere and don't hurt anyone is their mantra.

Jason, 38, economics professor, California single

    "I know you donít like hear this, but I really donít see how Jesus can be the only way to heaven. I definitely believe in God, but there are just too many people on the world to donít believe in Jesus for me think that God doesnít love them too."

Jesus proclaimed that even the religious leaders of the Jews were the children of hell.) What about the heathen in Africa? John 14:6 is still true.

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

He'd say that if it is good, it must be from God. That promotion, that bigger better whatever must be from God. This is not necessarily so.

II Thess. 2:9-10;

9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Rev. 13:11-14

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

He'd say that the Devil isn't as bad as he's made out to be. That this is all just a carry-over from medieval times when people were superstitions. All this has no basis in truth. No intellectua1 21st century person could even believe in a real devil. It is all a part of archaic Christianity.

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

He'd say that if God is so good and loving, why does He allow all the suffering in the world?

George, 57, contractor, Delaware, four grandchildren

    "When my first wife had cancer, I prayed and prayed for God to save her life. People at our church prayed too. It didnít seem fair for a 42-year old woman to die when we were so happy together and one of our kids was still at home. But she died anyway, in fact, God didnít even make her death an easy one. She really suffered. Why didnít he make her passing at least easier, if he wasnít going to heal her? If he could have made it easier, what harm would it have done?

    That made me believe Iíd been prayed to something weíre all making up in our imagination. The notion of God is a nice idea, but I just donít buy it anymore."

(God puts certain things into motion, and we have a free will. We also affect what happens to others. God allows these natural processes to take place. In fact, we count on them. We believe that by doing certain things (like taking out kids to church) it will produce a certain end (like them coming to know Jesus). If God is guilty by allowing, then when someone steps in front of a train and gets killed, is God responsible, or are they? That's the real problem -let's blame God and get out of personal responsibility.

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

He'd say that Christianity is so personal that it should be kept to oneself.

How clever to invent a way to shut people up and keep the message from being heard. We used to pass out tracts in the mall. You can't do that anymore. Secret disciples never win the world to Christ. That has to do with someone not wanting to hear about it and someone else being ashamed about it. (Jesus always made it a matter speak about theses things, both personally and in whole groups.)

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

He'd say that church is just one more commitment in our busy schedule.

Ruth, 44, state home mother of five, Pennsylvania

    "I Ďm activity in scouts with my daughters, and my husband and I both coach teams for kids. I feel if we were involved in a church that would mean other commitments. And I canít say that the activities we have now model anything other than moral, uplifting, behavior. So I donít see how church could add much to our lives."

Besides, is church really worth it?

Keith 62, semi-retired electrical engineer, married, nine grandchildren, New Hampshire

    "I Believe in God and Christ but I donít see much benefit in going to church other than being with some nice people. But theyíre not that much different from the people in our neighborhood or the guys have been working with a for more than 30 years, so what is the real point? To prove I can be disciplined as them by showing up? I just donít need that kind of routine anymore. I like a putter around on Sundays. God knows within my heart."

Richard, 44, physical therapist, divorced, Tennessee

"I was raised in England and was surprised to find that people take region so seriously over here. I donít see any harm in it but neither do I see much need.

    Once when I was a dangerous place I recall asking God for help, and I did get out of the situation. But that could just be luck rather than Godís help. However, Iím just as satisfied to think it was actually God. Itís so, isnít it curious that he helped me even though I donít go to a church to worship him in a formal way?"

Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. It is his body. Do you want to go to heaven? Do you want your kids to go to hell? Scouting won't get that done.

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

He'd say that Sunday is your only day to spend time with your family and rest.

Julianne, 37, store owner, married, mother three, Arizona

"Life is so hectic for us. Sunday morning is the one time my family doesnít have to get up early and rush out the door.

I guess Iím one of those family-values advocates, although I donít believe in spending family time in a religious setting. The five of us need quiet time together more than we need to be with other people, which is where we are every other day of the week. I think our time on Sunday mornings- having brunch, laughing, talking, sharing, maybe even going some where special together- is more important to my familyís well-being than whatever a minister could say to us from a pulpit.

We attend services as a family --mostly Christmas and Easter. So we do want to incorporate the Christian traditions of beliefs, but we feel those occasions are enough."

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

Heíd say that Christianity doesn't really have any answers.

Chad 34, software developer, married, two children, Florida

    "Most Christian I know have a very positive outlook on life. But sometimes they canít talk beneath the surface of their religion.

    I have some pretty deep questions, and-so far--no one has answered them. Like why does God allow innocent to children to suffer and die? Why can criminals who have committed horrible acts profess to believe in Jesus right before they die and then go to heaven? What is heaven like anyway, and why would I want to go there? How can I be sure there is really an afterlife? Does anyone have proof? What heaven and Hell thing is just a scare tactic?

    I will really would really like to explore questions like that with someone intelligent whoís come up with some answers."

He's obviously not looking for answers.

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

He'd say that Christianity is too demanding.

Heather, 30, hair stylist, British Columbia, single

"I was raised to believe you had to go to church every Sunday, confessing your sins reciting your prayers, being faithful. It was just too hard. I couldnít see how a loving God could be so demanding. As soon as I got out on my own I left that behind. And a longer I stay away, the less guilty I feel."

If the Devil Wrote a Bible...

There would be plenty of other verses in the Devil's Bible.

We can't cover them all. The excuses down through the years haven't changed much. They don't hold water and God isn't fooled.

People do pretty much what they want to do and then excuse it.

Christians do the same thing about complete commitment. This is the Laodicean Period we are living in. It is going to get harder and harder before this thing winds up. There is no guarantee that the church won't have to really suffer before Jesus comes. The Bible doesn't say it will, either.

It does say that this lukewarm body makes God sick.

The early Christians thought there was something worth living for and dying for. It was more than just a thought or philosophy. It is the difference between heaven and hell for all eternity.

Our families are in the balance.

Our nation is in the balance.

Thank God we know the end of the story .

Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.

Send questions or comments to  yoke@granbury.com