August 2017  
SMTWTFS
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
     
This Week's Events
AUG

20

SUN
Adults/Children Sunday School
9:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sunday Worship
10:30 AM to 11:55 AM
Bible Search
Who Are We Celebrating?

Who Are We Celebrating?

The culture in which we live challenges a Christian lifestyle daily. As Christians, we often face tough choices of how we engage the culture with the Truth of Jesus Christ. October 31 will be no exception. I never intend for this message to be divisive, but it always exposes angry spirits that lie hidden. In one church, a sister in Christ got in my face and said, “You ruined my Halloween!” That Halloween night our house was pelted with eggs and our mailbox was smashed with a ball bat. Regardless of how you react to this message, if I love you, I must tell you the truth.

Halloween is a major-moneymaking celebration that captures our lives this time of the year. Every store is filled with Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations. Television, radio, schools, and communities give a lot of attention to October 31. Halloween is rooted deeply in our culture. As Christians, we have to ask, “Does celebrating Halloween honor Christ, or is it an opportunity to reach others with the Gospel?” (Ans. is “no” & “yes”)

I will share some facts for you to consider as you ponder what to do on October 31. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you. Whatever you conclude, let us have this attitude among ourselves.

Rom 14:4-8 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Before Christianity came to the area of Ireland and Great Britain, the Celtic people had their own pagan (Druid) beliefs, called Wicca today. Wicca is one of the fastest growing cults in America. Modern witches (wiccans) celebrate eight main holidays, the most important of these is Samhain (Halloween). Other important celebrations are the winter solstice and Easter (the spring equinox). The Catholic Church tried to change these traditional celebrations with All Hallows Eve, Christmas, and the Resurrection of Christ. Isn’t it interesting that the Christian symbols for these holidays cannot be publicly displayed while the satanic symbols of these holidays are approved?

 The Celtic Vigil of Samhain, named after their god Samhain, the lord of the dead, is the source of the present day Halloween celebration. Their new year begins on November 1. They believe that Samhain gathers all the souls of those who had died in the past year to the land of the living. These wandering souls are given bodies of animals to inhabit for the atonement of their sins. These animals are sacrificed on October 31. Black cats are one of their favorite animals to sacrifice.

Although the Church has tried to substitute Samhain with Halloween or All Saints Day, neither God nor saints are honored on Halloween. Satan, witches, and demons are honored while people dress in horrible, satanic costumes.

Ephesians 5:8-12 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.

Halloween does not have a tradition and history that is in any way, shape or form, in line with Scripture or the Christian faith. The history of Halloween and Wicca represent paganism and evil. It is not something to consider harmless or to celebrate.

Satan is not a joke. Satan is real and he wants us to believe Halloween is simply childish fun and games, a time for kids to dress in costumes and get candy. Popular entertainment and books make occult themes and witchcraft seem fun and acceptable. At the same time, horror movies are promoted to frighten people, but Satan wants us to believe it is all harmless make-believe.

There are two dangerous extremes to avoid with regard to Satan.

1. Dismissing him as a myth. One Satanist, who had confessed to murdering several people, said he did it to gain power over 10,000 souls in hell. He said this was promised to him by the devil. I know a girl who is currently in prison because demons told her to kill a family and burn their home. She was a minor at the time of her crime and she was influenced by adults involved in the occult. Fortunately, she has repented and become a believer in Christ. However, the same deception can happen to you or your children if you dabble with the occult.

1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

2. Glorifying Satan is the second extreme. He is not equal in power with God. In fact, he is not a god at all. He is a fallen angel. Throughout Scripture Satan is described as “the god of this world” who blinds men’s minds.

2 Cor. 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

This is why the apostle Paul said, Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

So the acceptance of Halloween is dangerous for many reasons. Children and adults are conditioned to be receptive to occult doctrines and practices, and are desensitized by the violence and death associated with its celebration.

Not only does Halloween desensitize children to the occult, it glorifies it! Adults and children line up to buy tickets for haunted houses. Inside there are sadistic, demonic, bloody, violent themes with ghosts, goblins, and other vile images. Exposure to these types of things can have long-lasting negative effects on children, which run the spectrum from nightmares to emotional damage.

In fact, Dr. Grace Ketterman, says in her book, You and Your Child’s Problems: “A tragic by-product of fear, in the lives of children as early as pre-adolescence, is the interest and involvement in supernatural occult phenomena.”

I remember, as a youth, being with friends who wanted to play “games” to “summon the spirits.” Just as many of you, I dressed up in scary costumes to “trick-or-treat” and went to haunted houses. As a teenager, I thought I was too “old” for such childish things, so I participated in evil crimes, vandalizing the neighborhood.

Despite my past, I am not a Wiccan. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I was very scared at times, and the spirit of fear nearly overcame me later in life. The only relief I got from that demon was when I called on the Name of Jesus.

Fear is the emotion still invoked at Halloween. Adults think it is fun to frighten children and the children are taught not to cry because it is fun to get scared.

However, fear is NOT of God. 2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

All Halloween celebrations glorify Satan because they come from paganism and witchcraft. When we celebrate Halloween, we are offering our bodies and children as living sacrifices unto Satan instead of Jesus Christ. This is sin.

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

1 Corinthians 10:19-22 Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

A person cannot be a guest of the Lord at His table and a guest at the table of demons. God will not tolerate it. Such hypocrisy provokes the Lord. God does not hate mankind, but He hates man’s evil ways. He nearly destroyed mankind once for all the evil man did, and He will cast the devil and all who follow him into the eternal lake of fire.

Rev 20:10-25 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Instead of providing "an acceptable" opportunity for witches and other occultists to promote pagan beliefs, we can use every opportunity to share the Gospel with those who are caught up in all the activity of Halloween. Let’s “turn on the light” of God’s Word to take people one step closer to a relationship with Jesus.

For instance, at our house we welcome “trick or treaters”. Instead of candy, we give them Gospel tracts or tracts about the truth of Halloween. They may be disappointed, but they are given the sweetest treat possible—the Truth that will set them free.

There are so many other things to celebrate in the fall instead of Halloween. It’s important that our children know that God is almighty, that He loves and protects them, and that they are part of something much greater and more beautiful than what Halloween represents. We can praise God for the bountiful harvest He supplies and enjoy the beauty of His creation. Psalm 65 and 104 are excellent passages to read together as a family.

Celebrate the Savior, especially His victory over Satan. Satan has the power of deception and corruption, but he is no match for Jesus!

John 12:31 “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out”.

When Jesus shows up demons start crying. The first thing they cry is: You are the Son of God, you are the Holy One–please don’t hurt us. Are you going to torment us before the time? (Matt. 8:29) Every demon, every satanic force, knows that Jesus will cast them all into the lake of fire.

When Jesus takes possession of a life, the devil, demon possession, tormenting spirits, the spirit of fear, spirits of addiction, all have to go. The devil has no say. What Jesus says will happen.

The devil and every demon are no match for the Word. With power and authority, Jesus commands the demons and they obey Him. They tremble at the Name of Jesus. The disciples returning from ministry said, even the demons are subject to us through your Name. And they still are, as we take the Name of Jesus with us and use It to rebuke Satan and his demons.

Luke 10:17-20 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Halloween glorifies demons, witches, and warlocks. They are promoted as powerful, but Jesus will ruin Halloween as the Holy Spirit rises up in each believer’s life and takes authority over every spirit that does not confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

Remember our commission, Matt 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Christians are not to fear demons and the devil, for we have all authority given to us through Jesus name. We are to do what Jesus would do—loving people, ruining Satan’s holidays, ruining demon’s possession, and taking authority over every evil thing. The Church advances and grows when people see the power Jesus has over demons and they are set free from bondage to Satan.

The day is coming when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. People need to be ready for that day. They need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and confess Him as Lord now, before it is too late.

During this dark celebration of Samhain, we need to shine with the glory of Christ. As one man said years ago, there isn’t enough darkness in the entire world to put out the light of one who shines for Jesus Christ. Therefore, sanctify the season by overcoming evil with good.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I don’t know what your plans are for this Halloween. I don’t really want to know. I am more concerned whether or not Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. If He is, He will lead you into all Truth, including the truth about Halloween. If He is not your Savior, then by all means, celebrate Halloween, for you are doomed to spend eternity with Satan and his demons. Now, I am very concerned about that, but only you can choose where you spend eternity.

So, we want to give you an opportunity to make Jesus your Lord and Savior. He died on the Cross to atone for your sin and offer you forgiveness for everything you have done and ever will do. Therefore, confess your sin to Him and repent of it. Quit rebelling against God and accept Jesus as your Lord and give your life to Him. The first thing He wants you to do is be baptized so you can be born again of the Holy Spirit. You can come forward and profess your faith during our next hymn.