Welcome to November ! It’s the first day of November of 2020, and this is the day that our LORD has made. Let us rejoice. Lets us be glad in it. Let us move forward into a fresh new month on God’s fantastic journey for us.
Back in April and May – during the peak of the pandemic – I wrote a sermon titled “Satan & Hell”. Imagine that – writing a sermon about the devil during a worldwide plague.
I haven’t preached this sermon yet to my church family. I actually skipped over it to preach my last sermon a couple of weeks ago on John – the “Apostle & Elder”.
Although “Satan & Hell” is long done I do plan to review it and enhance it further before I preach it. Here’s how my sermon starts:
Can I preach the Good News here ? Would that be OK ? Check this out:
If the Good News we preach is veiled from anyone – it is a sign that they are perishing. Satan – the god of this evil world – has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don’t understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ – who is the exact likeness of God.
That’s from Paul’s 2ND Letter to the Corinthians – Chapter 4 Verses 3 and 4, and it sets the stage for the message that I want to share with you today.
And let me set the stage even further. The Corinthians referred to the residents of the city of Corinth. It was a thriving coastal city that sat on a narrow piece of land in-between mainland northern Greece and southern Greece. It was a Roman colony, as it was conquered, destroyed, and then rebuilt by the Romans over a period of about 100 years. During the Apostle Paul’s time it was a busy modern city (for that time) where Romans, Greeks, Jews, and other ethnic groups lived and worshiped together in a densely-populated area. It was a port city that visitors from all around spent time in.
The city of Corinth is still there – 2,000 years later. Over 30,000 residents call it home, and over 60,000 live in its metropolitan area. Ancient Corinth sits to the southwest of the modern-day city. You can visit archaeological museums today on the ancient lands of the original city of Corinth.
So in his 2ND Letter to the new Christians of Corinth – the Apostle Paul – AKA “Pastor Paul” – is trying to prove himself as a leader. You see his fellow Christians doubted him. He was criticized constantly. He was accused of many things he did not do. His life was threatened. So he’s writing this letter – some 25 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – to defend himself – and to win back his fellow believers and followers of Christ – by gaining their trust – by spreading encouragement and inspiration – by preaching the Good News of the Lord.
Paul’s 2ND Letter to the Corinthians is almost like a redo of his 1ST Letter which was not received very well by the young church in Corinth. He gets very personal in this 2ND Letter. It’s like a reconciliation between himself and his fellow believers and followers of Christ. It’s really a great read. It’s 13 chapters and 257 verses total. There’s enough material in this letter for a young preacher – such as myself – to write sermons for an entire year or two or three. And Chapter 4 – is all about Paul’s preaching ministry. He felt sincerely privileged of having the God-given ministry of sharing the Good News with all – as do I.
So let’s go back to those two verses (up there).
If you can’t hear the Good News – or if you can’t feel the Good News – then there’s another power that has a hold of your heart and mind. The Good News that’s being preached is veiled. It’s hidden behind a veil. It’s being covered-up. It’s being masked. And you’re perishing – if that’s the case.
What’s “perishing” ? To perish is to be lost, to wither, to waste away, to become nothing, to pass away, to die, to be destroyed. There’s a lot of people that are perishing in this world. They are good people. They are God’s children. Some of them are in our own families. Some of them are our friends, our coworkers, our acquaintances, and our neighbors. But they are perishing. They remain in darkness. But we love them. And we want them to see the glorious light of God.
Satan – the god of this world – has blinded the minds of those who don’t (yet) believe, so they can’t see the light. Satan is at work – doing his dirty deeds done dirt cheap.
You know some preachers and some disciples – believers and followers – (that’s us) – don’t like talking about Satan or darkness or fire and brimstone. I am not one of them. If you’re gonna preach the Truth – then you need to preach the whole Truth. Here’s the Truth about Satan. He exists. He’s real. He’s here on Earth. He’s the top heel on this planet. He’s the darkest dude I know. He’s the god of this world. He’s evil. He’s wicked. He’s a crook. He’s a fraud. He’s a deceiver. He’s a deceptor. He’s a liar. He’s a loser. He’s a murderer. He’s a master manipulator …
All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries