WHEN CHRISTIANS THINK LIKE THE DEVIL
Mt. 16:21-28

21 From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
22 And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid {it,} Lord! This shall never happen to You."    23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."    24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.    25 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.    26 "For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?    27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.   28 "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."  (NAS)

Introduction
A mother told her little son, "Don't go swimming." A few hours late she found her son in the midst of a swimming party with several other boys. She asked her son, "Why did you do that?" He replied, "The devil made me do it." Momma said, "But son, you are supposed to put the devil and temptation behind you." The little lad said, "I did Mom; I did put the devil behind me but he pushed me in and that's why I'm all wet."

In our text Simon was told by Jesus, "Get behind Me, Satan!" Jesus said this because Simon Peter was thinking like the devil. It is possible for all of us to think like Satan so let's identify this kind of thinking so we will be aware if and when we humans think that way.
 
 

I     WHEN CHRISTIANS THINK LIKE THE DEVIL,
THEY SET THEIR MINDS ON EARTHLY CONCERNS. vs 21-23. 


21 From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
22 And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid {it,} Lord! This shall never happen to You."    23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

EXPLANATION
Jesus was a great teacher. He was teaching His disciples about His death. The greatest thought heaven ever had was the plan of salvation. No greater love hath anyone than that they lay down their life for another person. Jesus was God's answer to solve the dilemma of sin. his death was a heavenly thought but Simon had earthly thoughts to stop the plan of God.

Jesus said, "You are not setting your mind on God's interest but man's." Therefore Simon was thinking like the devil. The Lord strongly rebuked him. He would also rebuke us for thinking only in an earthly plane. We need to stretch our thinking out of the earthly into the heavenly. You see, Jesus knew heaven had a resurrection in mind. When you and I focus on the heavenly, God will cause the heavenly to come down.

ILLUSTRATION            IT COULDN'T BE DONE

Someone said that it couldn't be done
But he, with a chuckle replied,
That maybe it couldn't, but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed, "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it."
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.

With the lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quitted,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done", and you'll do it.

APPLICATION

Simon didn't say it couldn't be done as much as he was indicating it shouldn't be done. But the source for the thought would be the same. Would the Lord rebuke you and me for our thoughts that limit or try to limit His redemptive purposes?

It may be that someday the Lord will say to some of us, "You attempted too much, you didn't act by faith but by foolish ambition." But I'd rather be rebuked for trying too much than to have the Lord say, "Oh ye of little faith. Why didn't you trust me so I could have blessed you."

Christians think like the devil when they set their sights on earthly concerns and when they fail to deny themselves.
 
 

II.    WHEN CHRISTIANS THINK LIKE THE DEVIL,
THEY FAIL TO DENY SELF, v. 24 


24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

EXPLANATION

Jesus said, "If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." Our Lord implies that Simon was not denying self but exalting self, and, that conduct is to be rebuked as the devil's inspiration.

How does one deny self?

1.    Let life be regulated by service, not pleasure

2.    Renounce evil and all of its work.

3.    Don't be proud of our good works.

4.    Be a steward of possessions ". . .and those who buy, as though they did not possess;" I Cor, 7:30.

5.    Seek the walk with the Lord.

6.    Take up our cross.
    a     Take it, not seek it.
            (1) Carry it, don't drag it.
    b.    Our cross
 

ILLUSTRATION
Livingstone was told not to go to Africa by some well meaning friends. He was told of dangers and lack of civilization. He went to Africa and the rest is a great story in the annals of Christian history. But first he denied self.
 

APPLICATION

Jesus' life was an example of how one should deny self. In all of life we could ask "What would Jesus do" and in most cases we would get a recipe for the denial of self.

When Christians think like the devil they fail to deny self and they neglect a life of discipleship.
 
 

III.    WHEN CHRISTIANS THINK LIKE THE DEVIL,
THEY NEGLECT A LIFE OF DISCIPLESHIP. v. 25. 


25 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.
 

EXPLANATION
Jesus said, "But whosoever loses his life for My sake, shall find it." How can you find something by losing it? That is a puzzle to the world but the Lord is saying, "Give up what you call life and you'll really find out what life is in Me."

ILLUSTRATION
This week one of our members said, "I really appreciated what the men who spoke last week had to say." As we continued to talk, I used the term "sold out to the Lord." This person said, "That's what I am not doing. I'm not sold out to the Lord."

APPLICATION

This person is very honest. I did not make a judgment about the person, the information was volunteered. But I have to ask the question, "Why would anyone continue to live in a miserable condition and refuse to sell out to Jesus? Why not lose life to find it? Why not become a disciple with total commitment to Jesus?


CONCLUSION

In contrast to the rebuke of Jesus given to Simon in our text, there are many examples where the Lord praised faith and praised His disciples. Would He praise our commitment today? Let's each one individually seek the Holy Spirit's guidance and respond to this invitation.

The Christ life is a life lived by a human who has turned everything over to the Lord. All Christians have done that but all of us tend to want to take back portions of our life and run them ourselves. In the Bible this is called the carnal life. A Christian who neglects the life of discipleship is called carnal. All of us at times are carnal; some linger in this sphere of life.
 
 


 
 


 
 


 

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And Beyond.    Amen?    Amen!