Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, â€œNow 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.
Jesus is the constant mediator. Jesus is the constant advocate.
Satan is the constant accuser.
The law of God also accuses our conscience. And the grace of God in the Gospel, Jesus himself, answers the law’s thunderings.
Satan has plenty to work with in the law, and in my life and yours. It is no wonder he accuses us “day and night” before God.
Have you thought what the devil would do if he took to the pulpit of a church?
Of course, there are dozens of possible manifestations of his schemes we could imagine in the pulpit. (Ephesians 6:11, II Corinthians 2:11) It would make an interesting series of messages.
But if Satan were true to his nature, he would be the “accuser” of the family of God.
He would accuse us of not being the children of God; of not being worthy or righteous; of having no right to call upon the Lord and no hope of standing before him in judgment. If he followed the script in the book of Job, he would say God has bribed us, and that we are really nothing more than self-centered mercenaries. If he followed the script he used with Jesus (and Adam/Eve), he would question what God had said and explore our doubts that God is worthy of trust and obedience.
In the end, he would accuse us of not loving God as we should, of loving other things more than God, of being false professors, of needing to examine ourselves to see what sin and hypocrisy are in us.
He would torment us with our inadequacies, torture us with our disobedience and trounce us with our sins.
Satan would, if true to his nature, revel in announcing that we are unjust, unholy, unloving, ungracious, uncaring, unworthy in every way.
Doesn’t that sound a lot like the message many Christians hear all the time? From….other Christians?
Examine yourselves and see what fruit you see. A-ha! Not enough.
Look at your record this week. The prayerlessness. The sloth and the disobedience. How dare you call yourself a Christian. (Sound familiar?)
Here’s bound to be a Satanic favorite: What do you love more than God? Do you love ANYTHING or ANYONE more than God? Your family? Your children? Didn’t Jesus even say “if you love anything more than me- even family- you aren’t worthy of me?”
Didn’t God say give him first place in everything? All the time? Do you give God first place? In everything? All the time?
What do you take more joy in than God? Annnnything? Anyone? Does anything ever make you more happy than your salvation?
Why aren’t you happier and more joyous in church right now than you are any time of the week? Look at you at that football game…cheering for your team. You aren’t 10% that excited in the house of God.
Look how dull and insensitive you are to holy things. How much have you prayed? Or even wanted to pray? How much time have you spent with God this week? Was it more time than you spent in meaningless worldly pursuits?
When God looks at you, just think what he sees. Think of all the vile and dirty thoughts, the petty selfish thoughts, the unholy thoughts and feelings that have filled you this week. And then you come into the house of God, sitting there like you are a Christian.
Just who do you think you are? You are an embarrassment to God and the church. Only if you repent, and show your repentance by brokenness, is there any hope that God can change you from what you are to what he desires for you to be.
OK. Thanks Satan. Fine sermon. And yes, I know all those lines not because I have access to the devil’s sermon notebook, but because I know what Gospel-less preaching sounds like.
I remember several years ago a young preacher came to our school and literally was shouting this stuff from the moment he entered the door. He went after everything: music, drinking, porn, sleeping in church, not having Bibles, modesty, purity and on and on. He had the room full of students shaking in their shoes in 15 minutes. He then commanded everyone down to the altar to get saved, or resaved or really repentant or whatever it took.
He was violent in his methods, cruel in his message and utterly GOSPEL-LESS in his ministry. Of course, he’s a successful full-time evangelist these days. A lot of people love the devil’s sermons.
I want you to imagine the sheep who grow up with this, whether it’s in church, in their home or in some ministry group. These will be beaten, cowering sheep. Or they will be sheep who run away, and good for them in doing so.
They are sheep who only know the Good Shepherd as the lesser of two evils; the enforcer of the devil’s accusations.
When Satan would engage Luther with this kind of inner voice, Luther would say, “Let’s write it all down. All of my sins. And then at then end, write, PAID FOR, by the blood of Jesus Christ.”
The Holy Spirit convicts. Satan revels in torment of the conscience. The Spirit exposes our need of Christ. The accuser comes up with various comparisons and tests to brutalize us with personal applications of the law. (“If God said I can only save the world if one of your children is damned forever, would you still love God?”)
Jesus gives us the truth. Satan distorts the truth so that the Gospel is lost in the noise. Christ wants to bring the wandering sheep home. Satan wants the sheep to despair and jump off the cliff.
The Gospel is news that is too good for accusers. The law is exact and in the hand of the enemy of our souls, it is a brutal, soul-killing weapon. In the hands of the Spirit, it is a schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. Leads. Not beats us to despair.
So this week, you may want to say. “You know pastor, I think I heard that sermon before. I believe I know where you got it.”