Open Door to the Devil's Workshop

Speaker: M.Noorhoff

We are at war my brothers and sister. We are at war. These are the words the preacher spoke in a book I have just finished. The words stuck with me at resonated in my heart and I have to repeat them today
Athat we are at war. Now I am not speaking of the world. I am not speaking of Iraq or Afghanistan or Thailand. I am not talking about the war in our schools or the war on drugs or any other war. But I am talking about a war that each of us faces everyday as defenders of the faith. The enemy is everywhere and the enemy is persistent. For we do not fight we he who may kill the body but he who may kill the soul. The enemy is sin and it is something that we must fight against with all our being. We must defend our faith and we must defend our lifestyle. We must fight for our salvation. Now I know that in this day and age it has become unpopular to speak about sin even in the church. The world does not want to hear this message and even many in the church do not want to hear this essential element of our faith. The word sin makes us uncomfortable. In this world of relativity Truth has also become relative and in that morality has also. Surely Einstein never saw this coming when he proposed the theory in the first place. Something that was a scientific theory has moved into our culture and now has taken over as common thought. This thought has even pervaded the church.  Over 30 percent of people in evangelical churches today actually believes that truth is relative. The truth that we know of in the passage.

"I am the way and the truth and the life.

Did you know that truth is mention over 180 times in the new testament but only 41 times in the old testament. And most of those in the new testament attributed to Jesus. Just think how many time he said gI tell you the truthh 28 times in Matthew alone.

For Christians gthe truth with set you freeh refers to Jesus and faith but to many it refers to the relative truth the truth that is freedom from the absolute. But Jesus in talking of an absolute. God the creator is this truth and so is his word, His Logos In John 1 we learn that the word became flesh in the body of Jesus. So Jesus become Logos incarnate. One cannot be separate or different from the other and this is why the bible states so clearly to gBe perfect as your father in heaven is perfect. It is telling us to live our lives by the absolute truth that is only found in the Bible To live like Jesus. But so often it is the world that is guiding us more then our faith and it is time we stop and take a good look at ourselves and re-evaluate what should be in our life and what shouldnft, it is time we look to see where we have compromised. Why? because Ifll say it again we are at war. The most important war of them all. A battle that we must fight and win if all other wars on the world are to end as well. As Os Guiness said g I accept evil in the world but I refuse to let myself be a wellspring of ith But not through me. Before we go on crusades in the outside world let us first as Sun Tsu said in gthe art of warh gknow thy enemy know thyself.h

The bible reminds us to work through our salvation everyday, and I believe too many of us have forgotten that. That we talk of two salvations. The Salvation that comes when we believe, through faith alone, in solo fide and the Salvation the must be worked through each day. This is why I selected this passage because it leads us to two clear examples of someone who stayed faithful and saved his entire family and another were compromises were made and in that act sin entered and family was lost. How many have we lost? How many will we continue to let be lost only because we refuse to work through our Salvation. How many have turned away from the church because they see no difference from the rest of the world. How many times has our division lost a soul our lack of love for each other made someone to search somewhere else?

This is happening all over and in many churches as well where the world is leading the church instead of the church leading the world. Or maybe it is better I say the Word of God leading the world. But isnft that backward thinking. Ifm not saying we shouldnft use the tools of the world but we are allowing world ethic, sense of morality, relativism, into our churches and homes and we are dying because of it. Now I am going to make a bold statement and try to back it up. Often the only way to move forward in by moving back. What I mean is that the only way we are going to move forward in our lives and as the church of God is to move back to Gods word and Gods way of living. My example is the reformation. Now many of you may not know exactly what Martin Luther dis but I will tell you that he is one of the most important men in the history of the human race. Most of us think of him as a dissident some Catholics think of him as a rabble rouser but Martin Luther changed to world. He freed the slave, He created the modern education system He enabled the creation of modern science. He was a powerful force in the creation of democracy as we know it and helped write the US constitution and even enabled a strange dialect called English to be a language. Now he didnft do all these himself. But he was the father of Literacy and he did promote mandatory education. But you see all of this and more was enabled by returning us to the word of God and returning the word of God to all the people. People now knew the could approach God with no intermediary and so began the fall of kings. We discovered we are all equal in Godfs sight and so the emancipation of the slaves. A new spirit swept across Europe as people study the universe, nature like never before spurring on the scientific and experimental methods. He promoted the transcription of the bible into everyonefs language one of the first being Tyndalefs English bible setting English above Englandfs national languages of French and Latin.  There is a lot I have no time to embellish on but find out for yourselves put the pieces together and you will see

Have we forgotten all this? So this is why I say to move forward we need to move back into Godfs word we need a new reformation in our hearts

To get back to the scripture for today

From Luke 17

26  "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.

27  People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

28  "It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.

29  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

30  "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

31  On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.

32  Remember Lot's wife!

And from Mathew 24

37  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

38  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;

39  and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

40  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.

41  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42  "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

43  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

44  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

 We are living in those times now in the day of Noah and in the Days of Lot. You do not have to look far. Perhaps no farther than a around you or maybe even inside you.

I want us to look today at these two men and what the did differently. Noah with the Flood and Lot with Sodom and Gomorrah. Both men were warned of disaster both were told to prepare but the results were tragically different.

Noah had 100 years – Lot had a day

Noah saved his entire family – Lot lost 7 of ten

Why the difference lets look at the mistakes made by Lot

Genesis 19:1-9

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

"My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."

But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.

They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him

and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.

Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

 Lot essentially tried to make a deal with the devil, he offered up his two daughters to the crowd but surely he knew the men were of God. Did he not trust in God? Did he not know and trust Gods power? He opened the door he tried to compromise he was willing to give in to wickedness. He didnft take a stand and rebuke then. Did he even think they were wickedness or was it just the way things were done in Sodom. Surely not just at this point but he had before as well because he called them his friends. And because of this he was not believed the crowd outside thought he would eventually give in and they could take both the men and the daughters. And this is also why he probably lost influence over his family

Gesesis 19:14

14       So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

And this is were he lost family. Abraham had hoped his ten relatives had remained pure and faithful. But compromise opened the door and faith was lost and Sodom destroyed

Noah on the other hand kept his family busy and he kept his family close. While all around them was wickedness and immorality it never affected  Noahfs family for they were chopping down tress hewing logs, mixing tar preparing an enormous boat. Today that boat we are to be preparing is our faith and the body of Christ as known through the church.

They say Idle hands are the devils workshop. It certainly was true in this case What we must ask ourselves is are we also living in the devilfs workshop are we too idle for our own good. Should we be more diligent and watchful? Those are all questions you must ask yourself.

 Moreover have we left the door open to bad influences in our lives

6        Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him

9 "Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

 Noah and Lot both had family members behind the doors and a closed door is a barrier to the outside world. The difference was that Noah kept the door closed while Lot opened it to try to talk to the men to try to come to a compromise. It the end he had to be pulled back into the house by the Lordfs servants. Why did he do this, was it fear was it culturalization- becoming similar to the culture around us. But clearly it was a lack of faith. If it was fear them we must ask ourselves do we also fear the pressures of the secular world. If it was culturalization then we must ask ourselves if we too have left any doors or windows open. It is said we have three doors to the inner man: our eyes, our ears, and are mouths. What are we allowing into our eyes and ears and what are we allowing out of our mouth. Do we have the screen of biblical truth the word of god protecting the entrance way to our souls?

If you think what I am saying is difficult I ask you to look at the Hebrew nation. 400 hundred years of captivity in Egypt but they did not allow themselves to follow the ways of Egypt. It would have been simple It would have kept them from a lot of pain, pressure but the kept their ways they kept their faith. Then almost 1900 years they are scattered around to world to the four corners they have no homeland but are mixed amongst other cultures other ways, ways very different to to Jewish way of life but still they did not waver despite the persecution despite the genocide the kept their faith they kept the nation alive until the day they were all gathered back together. I hope we to can say the same thing that we too kept the faith that we did not let fear or peer pressure let us stray form the way God laid out for us to live our lives. Will we be able to hold of the waves of modern culture that threaten to ebb away at our faith at the truth. How we left a door open to the devilfs workshop

1 Peter 2: 11,12

 11  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

12  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.