Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY recently delivered an outstanding chapel message that needs to be heard. The message I link to in this post is the third in a series of messages dealing with Jesus' wilderness temptation. It deals with Satan's offer to hand over to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. It is a temptation to possess power in a way that God has not intended.
Here's an excerpt from the transcript:
The temptation is, "I will give you power," and usually the issue is using that power for good. That is always what you will say to yourself, and what will be said to you: if you can build a power base and work it to where you can have the means to do what you want to do then you will be successful.Read more of Moore HERE.
That is why we have a denomination where we say we have 16 million Southern Baptists. There are not 16 million Southern Baptists. So why do we claim this? Because it gives us a sense of power. But it is not the kind of power that only comes to the powerful.
Satan says, "Lust after this power, quest after this power: I will give you the kingdoms of the earth." Why is Satan willing to give up his power over all the kingdoms of the earth? Because Satan does not fear Christianity. Satan's authority is in the power to accuse. The power to hold humanity captive to the fear of death and judgment.
Satan is not scared by external conformity to moral values. Satan does not mind family values as long as your ultimate goal is a focus on the family. Satan does not mind social justice, as long as you see justice as primarily social. Satan is willing to give up the kingdoms of the world, apart from the shedding of blood on the cross. If Satan can just bypass the cross, then he will have everything that he wants.
Pastor, Satan does not mind if you preach the decrees of God, if you do not preach the Gospel of the cross. Homeschooling mom, Satan does not mind if you thoroughly catechize your children, if you never teach them about a bloody cross.
Satan will give orphan care, environmental protection, or whatever such issue is important to you provided you do not preach and proclaim and live the power of a cross that cancels his power of condemnation.