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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Robert Jeffress » Robert Jeffress - When The Devil Rings The Doorbell - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - When The Devil Rings The Doorbell - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - When The Devil Rings The Doorbell - Part 2
TOPICS: Reigniting Your Passion For Christ, Devil, Temptation

Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress and welcome again to Pathway to Victory. Every great story has a villain and in Genesis chapter 3, we're introduced to the ultimate foe of God and man, a serpent more crafty than any beast of the field. So who is the power behind the snake? And what is his goal? And how can he be defeated? Today, we're going to look at Satan's temptation of Jesus to discover how we can successfully thwart the devil's plan to ruin our lives. My message is titled "When The Devil Rings The Doorbell" on today's edition of Pathway to Victory.

How did Satan tempt Jesus? Well, he did so in three areas in which he tempts every one of us, and it all has to do with questioning God. I want you to notice the first temptation mentioned in verses 3 and 4 was a questioning of God's care. Look at verse 3. "And the devil said to him, 'if you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread'". Maybe you feel this deep need for companionship, for a relationship with somebody. And Satan is saying to you, you know, God doesn't want your sexual needs to go unmet. Maybe you need a premarital relationship with somebody to satisfy that lead for sex, because if you don't have sex, well, you know what will happen? You'll just explode if you don't have it. Or maybe you need an extra marital affair. Maybe that's what you need. Or maybe you just need a relationship with somebody from the opposite sex to fulfill that need for companionship, somebody not your mate. Further people.

He would say, you know, you're facing some financial pressure right now. Now, God obviously hasn't intervened and provided for you and your family. Maybe you need to pad your expense report. Maybe you need to cheat God and not give to him. You better watch out for you because nobody else is going to be watching out for your need. Obviously God's not. Or maybe he says, you know. God wants you to have success in life. He wants you to have a great career. Maybe you need to just pad your resume a little bit. Maybe inflate a few things to make sure you get that job because things don't look good. And God doesn't seem to be working things out for you.

It's all about questioning God's care. How did Jesus answer? Look at verse 4. Jesus answered him, "It is written", and he quotes from Deuteronomy 8, "Man shall not live on bread alone". What Jesus was saying is we are more than physical beings. Yes, we have a need for significance and for sex and for companionship and money. We have a need for those things, but you can satisfy your craving for all of those things and still be empty on the inside. If you're not connected to God. Man shall not live on bread alone. And so not being successful there, Satan tries another line of attack causing him to question God's wisdom. His wisdom.

Look at verses 5 and 6. "And Satan led him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to him, 'i will give you all of this domain and its glory for it has been handed over to me and I give it to whomever I wish'". Somebody as well pointed out that the reason Satan could offer Jesus the kingdoms of the world was because the kingdoms of the world where Satan's to give in the first place. Did you know this world system, John calls it the cosmos, the world system is definitely under Satan's control. That's why Jesus said in John 12:31, Satan is the prince of this world. Paul called him in second Corinthians 4:4, the God of this age. Satan has temporary control over the political system in this world, the economic system, the entertainment world, the economic world. All of those systems are temporarily under Satan's control. That's why he could offer them to Jesus.

Now remember what Erwin Lutzer said a couple of weeks ago. The devil is still God's devil. Satan is still God's Satan. Doesn't mean God's not ultimately in control, but for his own reason, he has temporarily ceded control of this world to Satan. He's like that junkyard dog on a very long leash. His power to destroy is considerable, but it's also limited by the sovereignty of God. So Satan says just bow down to worship me, and all of these things can be yours. Now what he was saying to Jesus was this. He said, you know, I know God's plan and God's wisdom, Jesus. He came up with this plan where you would in three years, suffered this horrible death and be crucified, then rise again. And then you would go to heaven and you would wait up there for a while and then you would come back to earth. And eventually every knee would bow. And every tongue would confess that Jesus is Lord, and you'd be in charge of everything. But you don't have to go through all of that. Why not bypass all of that suffering and waiting. And right now the kingdoms of the world can be yours. All you'd have to do is just make one little compromise. We're out here in the wilderness. Nobody can see this. Just bow down. Just bow down and worship me. Don't have to be long. Just worship me. It's all yours. Right now.

He was tempting Jesus to compromise his convictions. And he says the same thing today. You want success in the entertainment world? He says to some people, just compromise your convictions. I read an interview with a young woman who was a pop star and claimed to be a Christian, and an interviewer asked her, you know, how do you reconcile your Christianity with some of the lyrics you sing and your skimpy dress? How do you reconcile these two? It doesn't seem to match up. I can tell you the answer before I read her answer. Somewhere, somebody had convinced her that if you want to have this giant entertainment platform, you've got to make a few compromises. But if you'll make a few compromises, you can add this great platform and you can use that platform to share your faith in Jesus. A little compromise now, and you can have a great witness for Christ.

You know, to some who wants success in the sports world. You want to be a successful athlete? Do you want to have one of those multi-million dollar contracts? You want that scholarship to send you to the college of your choice? You just have to compromise a little bit. Go ahead and practice on Sundays instead of coming to church. Get involved in athletics instead of church. A little compromise right now doesn't hurt anybody. You too can have success and use it for God's glory. Or he says to others who desperately want companionship. Satan says, well, I know God's perfect plan is that you be with a growing committed Christian, but gee, God doesn't seem to put anybody into your life that meets that qualification. A little compromise. Maybe it has to be a non-Christian. Maybe you can witness to that person later on. Once you have them hooked. That's the temptation to compromise our faith because we question God's wisdom. How did Jesus respond?

Look at Luke 4:8, and Jesus answered and said to him again from Deuteronomy, "It is written. You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only". Now Jesus, Satan said. You misunderstood what I said. Did I say anything about serving me? I don't expect you to serve me. All I want you to do is just bow down once. That's all. Jesus understood an important principle that you and I better make sure we understand. I want you to write this down. This is the best thing I've come up with all week. Okay? And it's straight from God's word. And here it is. I want you to write this down.

Whatever we prioritize is what we idolize. Whatever we prioritize is what we idolize, and whatever we idolize is what we serve. Whatever we prioritize, we idolize. Whatever we idolize is what we serve. Jesus understood that. Whatever we make first in our life, success, money, companionship, whatever it is. Our priority becomes our idol. And once something becomes our idol, we'll get whatever we need to, to achieve it in our life. And that's why Jesus said no. No compromise. You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only. When Satan didn't succeed there, the final temptation was in regards to questioning God's timing.

Look at verse 9, "And he led Jesus to Jerusalem and had him stand on the pinnacle of the temple". And many of us have been there to the temple. We're going to go again next March. And we'll be right there at the pinnacle of the temple. And you know, the place he's talking about here is probably the southeast corner of the temple. And from the pinnacle, the highest point of that temple down to the bottom of the Kidron Valley, it's a straight drop 450 feet. So Satan takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple. And he says that, "Since you are the Son of God, why not throw yourself down from here," for the Bible says... Isn't it interesting Satan quote scripture? I don't know if he went to Awanas as a little demon or how he knew to do that... No, no, no. He knows the Word of God better than most Christians do. So he quotes from Psalm 91. He says, "For he will give his angels charge concerning you to guard you". And then he quotes another scripture, "And on their hands, they will bear you up. Lest you strike your foot against the stone".

He said Jesus, again, instead of spending three years wandering around this dusty place called Palestine and this ministry and so forth so forth. Why don't you just make everybody worship you now as Messiah? They can know your Messiah. Just jump off of this pinnacle, and you'll put God in spot where he has to come and rescue you because this isn't God's plan for your life to die this way. So he'll have to rescue you. And everybody will say, you're the Son of God. It will be great. You don't need to wait on God. Go ahead and force God's hand: cause him to act right now. He was causing Jesus to question God's timing. And he does the same thing for us. He says, you know what? Aren't you tired of waiting on God? Why not force God's hand? Why not say to God, God I am moving forward and you can either help me or stop me, but I am moving forward. I'm tired of waiting on you. Don't do that. Don't try to put God in a corner where he has to act in a certain way. Don't question God's timing. God has a perfect timetable for your life that may be different than your timetable. And that's why Jesus answered and in Luke 4:12 and Jesus answered and said to him, "It is said, 'you shall not put the Lord your God to the test'".

Don't paint God in a corner. Three times, Satan tempted Jesus. Three times Jesus said no. And so Jesus breathed a breath of relief and said, I'm glad this is over. I never have to deal with Satan again. Is that what happened? Was he through enduring the temptation of Satan? No, look at verse 13. And, "When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time". Jesus had said no three times, but that wasn't the end of it. Satan just retreated and reloaded and came back at a more opportune time. What does this passage say to us? Beyond the fact that Jesus is the sinless Lamb of God who's capable of taking away of our sins.

I'm going to suggest to you two timeless truths about temptation you and I better have written on our hearts if we're going to be successful in avoiding Satan's plan to destroy our life. Number one, we have a real adversary. You and I have a real adversary. Because of some comments a politician made this week, I read where online searches for Lucifer were at an all-time high this week. Who is this Lucifer John Boehner was talking about? Who is he? And people wonder to find out about Lucifer. You know, a lot of people think that Lucifer is just simply a mythological figure or he's a representative figure of evil. No. Lucifer Satan is a real being.

Now think about this. Jesus talked to him in the wilderness. If Satan isn't real, he's just a mythological figure, then Jesus should have been committed to an insane asylum. I mean, having a conversation with an imaginary devil. No, Satan is very real. In First Peter 5:8, we read it a few moments ago. Peter said, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. For your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour". Satan hates you. He has a terrible plan for your life. It is a plan that is custom-made to destroy everything that is important to you. His plan is to drag you to hell when you die and keep you there for all eternity. And those who don't acknowledge the reality of Satan and his plan to destroy us, those people become spiritual roadkill.

You have a real adversary, but secondly, we also have a powerful resource. Fortunately, we don't have to face Satan's attack in our own strength. You know, in Luke 4:1, it says Jesus went into the wilderness full of the Holy Spirit. Now listen to me. When he says full of the Holy Spirit, he doesn't mean that God had poured his spirit into Jesus until it was full and running over. When we talk about being filled with the spirit, we don't mean that God pours his spirit into us. Look, you have all of the Holy Spirit of God the moment you're saved. First Corinthians 12:13 says, for with one spirit, we were all baptized into one body. We are immersed in the Holy Spirit of God.

When the scripture talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit of God, it's not talking about the presence of the Holy Spirit of God, it's talking about the power of the Holy Spirit of God. You see, when you become a Christian, you have all of the Holy Spirit you will ever have. You and i, if we're Christians, we have all of the Holy Spirit. The real question is, does the Holy Spirit have all of us? The word fill here refers to the control of the Holy Spirit. To be filled with the Holy Spirit in the Bible is not just to have the presence of the spirit. It is to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. And that's what we had with Jesus.

When Jesus went into the wilderness and faced that temptation, every part of his life was under the control of the Holy Spirit of God. And that's when, that's why. When the temptation came into his life and Satan kept saying, yes, yes, yes. Jesus didn't respond, well Satan. Let me think about that and pray about that. Or let me search here for a Bible. I know there's a verse in here somewhere about this. No, he responded no, no, no instantaneously because his inner man had been strengthened. It had been disciplined to obey God. I hope you'll never forget this. If you wait until the spiritual bullets start zinging over your head to start training yourself for Godliness to start preparing yourself for spiritual battle, you've waited too long. Once the battle starts, it's too late. No, the way to succeed and say no to Satan's temptation. The way to succeed in spiritual warfare is to strengthen yourself before the battle begins. And that's why God has given us this marvelous resource called the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit works in partnership with us to strengthen our inner man so we can withstand the external pressure of the evil one.

On April the 10th, 1963, the nuclear submarine thresher was doing some deep sea testing 200 miles east of Boston. The sub descended a hundred feet, 200 feet, 300 feet. When it reached 1.000 feet, all of a sudden the radio communication stopped because the submarine experienced a violent implosion. The implosion was so radical that only small pieces of the sub were recovered. 129 seamen lost their lives. What caused the implosion? Very simple. The external pressure on that steel hull was too too much for the sub to withstand. But amazingly at that same 1.000 foot depth, you had little tiny fish swimming around without any difficulty at all. Why is that? Even though these little fish had membrane skins that were only a few micRometers in thickness, God had designed those fish in such a way that their internal pressure perfectly matched the outward pressure.

And so they were able to swim under the greatest pressure with no problem at all. Ladies and gentlemen, God has given you and me a marvelous resource called the Holy Spirit of God. First John 4:4 says, "Greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world". He's given us this resource of the Holy Spirit, but right now is the time for us to be partnering with the Holy Spirit, to strengthen our resolve to obey God. That's why it's important we be here every week in worship. That's why it's important that we immerse ourself in God's word. That's why it's important that we practice saying no to Satan. So when that time comes, that Satan does ring the doorbell of our life, we are able to say, "No, no, no".
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