Introduction (Mt 12:30)
A. Christianity is NOT a “spectator” event
B. Most people in this world are content to just sit idle and “see” what happens in life. Won’t try and find out if there is anything more than just getting up, getting drunk, getting high, and getting a mate, and getting over it all.
C. According to our Lord
1. If someone is not along side Jesus, then they are actually going against Him
2. If someone is not gathering with Jesus, then they are actually scattering
3. EX: My Dad raking up leaves, and me and my sister coming along and jumping in them – Dad couldn’t get the job done!
D. There is a need, a vital need of every person in this room, to take inventory of their own life and see if they are following Jesus, or fighting Him
A. The Work Jesus Does (Mt 12:22,23)
1. He undoes the work of Satan (1Jn 3:8; Heb 2:14) – praise God!
c. No hypnosis, or drugs, or long-term rehabilitation
d. Some of life is spiritual
1) Not every headache is because of lack of sleep
2) Not every argument is because of selfishness
3) Not every problem is material
e. Satan is still alive folks – he is not under every rock, but he is behind a lot of life’s troubles (2Cor 4:3,4)
1) Blinding people – even those who CAN see
2) Binding them in their sin – chained, and they like it!
f. Thank God Jesus can make the difference in any life!!!
2. He unravels the mystery of Scripture
a. All of the Bible is about Himself
1) People are looking for information on the anti-christ
2) And for the end-times
3) And for what’s going to happen in the world tomorrow
4) But the Bible presents all that information in such a way as to make Jesus the centre-piece of all of history!
b. All the promises point to Jesus (2Cor 1:20)
1) People want promises for a new job, or car, or mate
2) If you would accept the promise of God’s Son, all those other things will come as well in time (Mt 6:33)
3. He does it all so freely and naturally
a. Never faked it - Didn’t have to work it up
b. Never failed
4. He does it for a bigger purpose than just the moment – KEY POINT
a. Health and even life itself is quite temporary
b. Jesus came to bring the forgiveness of sins
1) His work on the cross was the whole purpose of His coming
2) All of the healing and miracles was only to prove that He really was the promised Messiah – when proven, it finished
3) That’s why miracles and healings today don’t occur like they did in his day
B. The Division Jesus Creates (Mt 12:23,24; 10:34-38) – Serious Stuff
1. Jesus did not come to unify the world – He came to force people to chose what side they are on (Josh 24:15)
2. People are apathetic about just about everything today
a. About the government
b. About food – don’t care that 50% of it has no nutritional value at all
c. About religion, God
d. Ultimately, about right and wrong
e. That’s why abortion is on the doorstep of Ireland today!
3. Well, the issues were only going to be dealt with by the common man if there was a clear line drawn in the sand – is Jesus who He claims to be?
a. Some were convinced
b. Some where grasping at straws in scepticism
4. Just who was Beelzebub?
a. A demonic power
b. One of Satan’s most powerful dark angels
c. To be associated with Beelzebub is the lowest form of scorn and mockery – like saying you were trained and funded by Osama ben-Laden to sell burgers!
5. Principal truths here:
a. The real Jesus of the Bible is not going to ever be accepted by everybody – especially by most religions – don’t think that strange!
1) Religions have set up THEMSELVES as their god
2) Religious leaders HATE competition, especially if it is Jesus
3) If Jesus really is God, then they would have to follow only Him
b. Division is sometimes good
1) Forces you to make a choice – can’t straddle fences
2) Forces you to decide which side are you on
3) Whether you are following Jesus, or FIGHTING Him (Cf Act 9)
C. The Battle being Fought (Mt 12:25-29)
1. The opponents
a. Jesus elevates the opponent from Beelzebub to whom the real enemy is - Satan
b. Jesus was destroying Satan’s kingdom - it was falling apart – AMEN!
c. If Jesus was a tool of Satan, Satan would be undoing his own work
d. So, how much longer could Satan last?
2. The children
a. Refers to the followers of the Pharisees – not physical children
b. Those people had also been able to exorcise demons
c. So, if THEY are doing it by the power of Satan, the Pharisees would be answering to THEM, and be found out to be working for Satan!
d. You see, it is GOD that has power over Satan
e. Satan puts on “shows” – but can’t RESTORE lives like Jesus did!
3. The Spirit of God
a. The power by which Satan is defeated
b. The same is true then in the life of every believer
1) That’s why you must be born-again
2) Born of God’s SPIRIT (Jn 3:5,6,7)
3) IT is the defeat of Satan in your life – PERIOD!
4. The STRONGER than the strong man
a. The strong man here is Satan – dominating people’s lives
b. The Stronger than the strong man is Jesus – being invited to defeat Satan and change the life
c. Jesus not only was undoing the work of Satan
d. Jesus was binding Satan so that he couldn’t work any longer – at least on that person!
D. The Test of Real Christianity (Mt 12:30) – the main message
1. Christianity is not a “name-only” religion – it is a LIFE that is lived – a lifestyle, a way of living that goes beyond Sundays
2. The CONTEXT - There is a war on!
a. Satan and Christ are complete opposites
b. A person, any person is at any moment on one side or the other
c. And it is not an issue of out and out fighting Jesus, but rather
1) If a person is not purposely following Jesus
2) If a person is not passionately loving Jesus
3) If a person is not deliberately gathering with Jesus – soul-winning
4) Then that person is actually still on the wrong side – the lost side
3. Every person is either following Jesus, or fighting Him – how?
a. Fighting His word – against it being presented AS IS – constantly retranslated, and reinterpreted
b. Fighting His work – stopping people from making decisions to follow Jesus – the pressures these days are still fierce
c. Fighting His way – constantly trying to promote Satan’s agenda instead of a moral one
Application/Invitation (Heb 2:3)
1. Jesus has drawn a line in the sand
2. People who stand by, and neglect so great salvation, so great a Saviour, so great a Friend as Jesus
3. Actually HAVE made a decision (Acts 26:28) – to stay as they are!
4. If we are not actively winning souls, reading our Bibles, giving, being in church, praying with our families, then we are doing damage to the Kingdom of God – we are scattering what God is trying to put together!
5. If a person is not willing to repent, and get saved, then they are only digging for themselves a deeper pit, and it gets harder and harder to get saved as time goes on!
B. What is the work of Christ? To seek and to save the lost – change lives!
C. What division have you faced today? What side has Jesus placed you on?
D. Jesus has already fought the big battle – at the cross. The only battle remaining is whether you will surrender to His word, will, and way
E. Let’s make a firm decision
1. I’m with Jesus - salvation
2. I’m going to live my life gathering with Him - serving