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Yeah, the devil is real.

Yeah, the devil is real.

JUNE 14, 2023

/ Programs / Key Life / Yeah, the devil is real.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, the devil is real. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious clich├ęs. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. If you were listening yesterday, we dug into this particular text and it’s the 19th chapter of Acts. And it starts at the 11th verse and goes through the 20th verse. I’m not going to read it to you. If I had my way, I wouldn’t even teach it. One of the problems with being a Bible teacher like me is that I go line upon line and precept upon precept. And everybody knows if I skip a text. And they’ll call me on it, so I don’t want your letters. We left Acts right before this text and I thought, listen, we’re going to look at themes from my book, Laughter and Lament, then we’ll come back to this and I hope that you would forget where we were, when I came back and I wouldn’t have to teach this text. But that dog won’t hunt. So, we’re spending some time, it’s a weird text and it’s a funny one, and as I said yesterday, I think Luke, when he was writing this history of the early church, thought, you know, maybe I’ll leave that out. And then he said, no, it’s too funny to leave out. And it’s not only funny, it’ll teach some things. This incident that really happened, teach some things that Christians ought to know. And if you were listening yesterday, I started as we dug into the text by saying that Satan is real and he’s dangerous, Acts 19:11 through 12b, Acts 19:16, and Acts 19:18. The Bible teaches that the battle in which Christians are engaged isn’t a battle against flesh and blood, but a spiritual battle. And the Christian who isn’t aware of that fact has lost the battle already. Ephesians 6:11 through 12 says. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against those liberals. No, it doesn’t say that. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against those Republicans, or those Democrats. No, it doesn’t say that. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against all those pagans. No, it doesn’t say that.

Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

In John 12:31 and 16:11, Jesus twice called Satan the ruler of this present world. In I Peter 5:8, Peter says.

Be sober, be watchful, your adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him.

One night, Thomas Carlisle took Ralph Waldo Emerson through the dark streets of London, some of the worst sections, ghetto, poor people, prostitution, a lot of drunks, a lot of violence. Took him, Thomas Carlisle through one of those places, and then he said to him, Ralph, do you believe in the devil now? Does Satan exist as a real, personal, evil force. Do demons exist and do they oppress and possess real live people? Absolutely. How do I know, Jesus said so, and he’s my King, and whatever he says is true and I believe it. He was either a liar, a fool, or he knew what he was talking about. And a long time ago, I decided Jesus knew what he was talking about, and he talked a good deal about Satan himself. And I’ve seen Satan, in a drunk who had fallen asleep on a park bench in Boston Common, I’ve seen him in a needle dripping with heroin, I’ve seen him in the lines of people waiting to see an adult movie. You can see his work in a dead soldier, an empty stomach, a racial slur. Satan is alive and well. And listen to me, he cares about you. Now, don’t go neurotic on me. Don’t get obsessive about it. Don’t go crazy because that’s true. Satan is a defeated foe. Satan is God’s lackey. Satan is not going to win this battle. Satan can’t do anything to you, but that it first passed through the nailed scarred hands of Jesus in Nazareth. But these admonishments that are given in Scripture are not given just for the fun of it. They’re given because there is real evil in this world and in many cases that evil is personal. You ought to be aware of it. You ought to see it. I remember one time when I was in the Philippines and we worshiped in a church that was absolutely packed up in the mountains. And I asked the pastor, is it always this way. And he said, oh no, we only had a few. And there was a man who was demon possessed. And witch doctors had tried to get rid of the demon and they failed repeatedly, and so with no other place to go, they came to us and I, and the elders went to this man and we put oil on him, and we prayed in the name of Jesus Christ that the demon come out. And the man was healed and made whole, and everybody in this village knew it, and now they’re going to church. It’s real. Be aware of that, but don’t go neurotic about it. If you belong to Christ, you’ve got a power bigger than him. You think about that. Amen.

Well, it’s Wednesday and sometimes when I have time, I take the time to answer one or two questions. Pete will be in on Friday as always, and we’ll spend the entire broadcast answering questions. And we love to get your questions. We take you and your questions seriously. If you have a question, it is easy to ask and nobody will make fun of you. You can pick up the phone and call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, and that’s open 24 7, and follow the instructions and record your question and sometimes we put your voice on the air. Or you can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

or you can e-mail your question to [email protected] and you know I’m going to say this, all of those places are where if you should decide to send a gift to this ministry, you know where to do it. And I realize that most of you can’t and or don’t feel called to do that, I understand that. But pray about it and if you have some extra, I promise we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God and rise up and call you blessed. If you can’t, say a prayer for this ministry. All right, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. This is an e-mail. How can we determine God’s calling on our lives? Well, there are number, first, don’t worry about it. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians.

This is the will of God for you, your sanctification.

In other words, don’t worry so much about the girl you date, the college you attend. Don’t worry so much about the job you think you ought to get or the place where you ought to live. Those are concerns and they ought to be a part of anybody’s life, I guess. But don’t be neurotic about that. What you should be really focused on is being set aside, and that’s what the word sanctification means to Jesus. Now, that sounds really religious, and I don’t mean it to be that. It means walk with him. Make that the center of your life. Love him, because he loved you first. Find the joy and the laughter that is a part of that. And then the other stuff will mostly take care of itself.

This is the will of God for you, your sanctification.

Now, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about it. Determining the calling of God on your life, and I assume that’s your vocation or the place where you’re called into ministry and you’re called particularly to serve. Check on your gifts. I mean, if you can’t sing, the calling on your life is not to sing in the choir. If you have a speech impediment, you’re probably not called to preach or to be a teacher at a college or a high school. If you have a passion for the poor, it could be that the commission on your life is to work in the poor areas of your city and to make a difference in that place. Find out what you do, what you like and what you do and like well. And then that will be a part of it. Secondly, make sure you’re a part of a church that has leadership where they care about you. God, I believe, annoints leadership in a church to find the gifts that are there and to help others find what God has for the lives of the members in the church. And so, listen to the leadership, that’s why in most denominations, when a young man or a young woman feels called into the pastorate, the first place they go is to the leadership of the church. And then thirdly, don’t forget your friends. Now, I’m not talking about friends who will never offend and never speak truth, and always smile and be nice, but find a friend who will tell you the truth. And if you have friends like that, listen to what they say about you because they will tell you. And then, finally, circumstances have a lot to do with it. And that goes back to the original statement.

This is the will of God for you, your sanctification.

Hey, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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