**On Sunday, September 17, 2023, Central Baptist Church held its worship service as well as its church picnic off-campus, under the pavilion at Sherwood Forest in Sherwood, Arkansas. After a wonderful time of singing and a number of testimonies, I shared the following ten reasons why I thought the devil hated our “Love, Central” weekend of mission and celebration. The ten reasons and supporting passages are listed below, but you can hear the actual message in the last 15-ish minutes of this audio clip.**
- Because a church on mission is a threat to the devil’s mission.
17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
- Because the devil delights in an inactive church.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
- Because the devil delights in a fractured church.
1 Peter 3
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
- Because the devil loves a lie and detests the truth.
44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
- Because by going and proclaiming you are telling the devil that he cannot have you.
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
- Because it is very possible that the population of heaven increased yesterday.
7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
- Because a Christian on mission has not been paralyzed by the devil’s accusations.
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
- Because the devil loves the ugliness of sin and hates the beauty of obedience.
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
- Because the devil hates joy.
17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
- Because the church never looks more like Jesus than when it reaches in love to a lost world.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.