He goes by many names: devil, satan, el Diablo, the enemy, prince of the air, ruler of this world, prince of darkness, or many others, and he has one mission. That mission is to steal, kill, and destroy the body of Christ. Today I want look at how he is succeeding at that mission by sharing with you the three greatest lies satan has succeed at getting Christians to believe.
Over the years since dedicating my life to the Lord I have seen the body of Christ slowly begin to believe the lies of the enemy.
You see, Peter told us straight away,
Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
And prior to that Jesus himself tells us,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. – John 10:10
The enemy is doing this so subtly that many don’t even realize it. He is slowly gaining ground just as a lion would as it stalks it prey.
Lie #1: Church Is A Building
Somewhere along the line followers of Christ changed their way of thinking. We started believing this first lie that church is a building, instead of the people.
We began saying things like, “I’m going to church,” or “my church,” or “I went to church,” instead of understanding you are the church. You simply went to the gathering of the saints.
The cathedrals and sanctuaries that many gather in today are the result of Constantine and his “corporatization” of Christianity to protect believers. Believers first gathered in homes rather than “official buildings.” Our buildings today have really become nothing more than a new representation of the Old Testament temple.
We have labeled them the “house of God,” rather than understanding that the temple has been abolished, and believers themselves now make up that temple. You and I are now the residing home of God in Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit.
In the first century, followers of Christ understood that they embodied a living organism. That living organism was the church, the ekklesia, the body of Christ, or how ever you prefer to label it. The church is not a building made of brick and mortar by hands of men.
The church is made up of living stones being built together into a spiritual house (See 1 Peter 2:4-6). You and I represent those living stones. You and I are the bricks that make His home.
Stop believing this lie, or even perpetuating it by thinking church is a place you go rather than who you are. The assembly of the saints make up the church.
Lie #2: Denominations
In our constant attempt to be right we have chosen to divide ourselves simply because we believe differently from one another. These seperations are tearing us apart from the inside out. It has become as an autoimmune disorder within the body of Christ.
The in-fighting over different interpretations, doctrines, and ways of understanding has split us 20 ways to no where. That’s why there are literally hundreds of different denominations within Christianity.
Jesus warned us,
If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. – Mark 3:25
Yet we continue to divide, and divide, and divide over the most petty issues. The first century church understood the body of Christ to be one unit, one entity, one body made up of many parts. The problem is God is not a God of confusion, but rather a God of order.
Our disorder, in-fighting, and division has caused the gospel message to become weak, especially in America. Our divided house has begun to crumble. Want evidence? Take a look at the American spiritual landscape, and the continual decline of depth within the lives of Christians and their walk with the Lord.
Stop believing this lie of denominations. Stop labeling yourself as a Methodist, Baptist, non-denominational, or any other of the hundred available labels. We are all one in Christ. We are all of one body. The wall of division must be torn down for the gospel message to reach its pinnacle of effectiveness.
Lie #3: There’s More Than Jesus
I have touched on this before, but the enemy has and will continue to do anything to take our eyes off of Jesus alone. He will get us to preach a gospel focused solely on prosperity, miracles, discipleship, grace, suffering, love, following the commandments, or any of a plethora of focal points preached today.
All of these things are important, but they are minors compared to Christ. Satan wants the body of Christ to major in the minors – anything that takes our eyes off the Lord Jesus alone.
The problem is a gospel focused solely on prosperity, miracles, discipleship, healing, or any other topic or area of influence is a cheap gospel. The sole focus of the gospel is Jesus Christ alone, for all things are from him and to him and through him (Colossians 1; Romans 11:36). All things are summed up in Christ (Eph. 1:10).
When we remove our eyes from him and focus on the minor things compared to Christ alone we have cheapened the gospel to our specific own ideals. Those minor things will naturally occur and take place when our sole focus is upon the Lord Jesus.
Do not allow yourself to be carried away by deceitful preaching and teaching that is sweet to the ears and would draw your attention away from Christ.
Discipleship will happen naturally. Healing and miracles will happen naturally, but then they may not (read more on that HERE). Evangelism will happen naturally by way of the Spirit, not by force or manipulation of men.
When we truly live by the indwelling Spirit of the Lord all of these minor aspects of the gospel will naturally occur through God’s people. If we focus solely on them we cheapen the gospel as well as the cross to our own ideals, and lessen the effectiveness of the entire message of Christ.
Choose today to no longer believe these 3 lies that satan has already convinced so many to believe. Focus yourself solely on the Lord, as a member of the assembly of believers not separated by the walls of denominational division. Satan wants nothing more than to steal, kill, and destroy, and he will succeed if believers continue to believe his lies.