TRICK OR TREAT?

by Jerry Brooks

Opening Scene:
***** Heaven *****

God: To the lowest depths of the pit. You are all cast out!

(All flee from God's presence)

PASTOR:

Friends, the Word of God says … "Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall."

Think of it … Lucifer … this brilliant created angel of God … was so honored in heaven … that he was allowed to stand next to the throne of God.

Many Bible scholars believe that Lucifer was music master and worship leader of heaven.

Scripture tells us however that he became … proud of his beauty … and haughty because of his intelligence!

He began to think to himself … even as heaven's highest angel he wasn’t being honored enough!!!

Though he was loved and adored by the other angels … that was no longer sufficient.

He wanted unlimited power and control of the universe.

Friends … Lucifer was no longer satisfied with leading worship … he wanted to be the object of Heaven’s worship.

Dissatisfied with his role as angel … he wanted to be God!

  • I will ascend into heaven
  • I will exalt my throne above the stars
  • I will place my throne along side God’s
  • I will be like the most High

With this in his heart … he began to spread his discontent among the angels until one - third of them sided with him in his rebellion against God.

The Bible tells us … this festering, cancerous discontent became all-out war in heaven … culminating in Lucifer and his followers being banished from the very heaven of God!

But Lucifer … now called Satan, that old dragon … was not content with his own downfall.

In his insanity and vile hatred of God he desired to destroy others as well … and has done so generation after generation … using his most powerful tools … of lies, trickery and deceit!!!!!

Beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden … Satan launched his lethal subtle attack of lies and trickery.

Using half truths and distortions … Satan destroyed the first of God's creation … Adam and Eve …

Resulting in death and separation from God … for all of mankind.

Yes … through Satan's temptation, and Adam's sinful choice, sin and death entered the world …

And for thousands of years mankind found himself was trapped by Satan's tricks.

All of mankind … sinned and fell short of the glory of God … generation after generation … each one powerless to break the grip of sin …

That's until the coming of Jesus Christ!

“Jesus” … “Immanuel” … God with us.

Jesus was born of a virgin … Breaking the laws of genetics, God Himself broke into time and space.

Just as promised in Genesis 3:15 … Jesus had come to crush the serpent’s head and set the captives free!

Jesus was tempted in all ways like we are … yet He never sinned … even though all of hell assaulted Him.

Satan used every trick in the book … to try to get Jesus to sin … but He always overcame!

Satan attacked our Lord in times when He would have been the most vulnerable:

  • Times of hunger
  • Thirst
  • Weariness of body
  • The Garden of Gethsemane
  • The cross of Calvary

The Bible clearly tells us that … Jesus came into this world on a mission to seek and save the lost.

He came to destroy the works of the evil one.

He went about doing good …

He healed the sick … raised the dead … forgave sin … and cast out evil spirits …

And how did the world respond to God’s son?

At the age of 33 He was put to death on a cruel cross … where He suffered and died for the sins of the world … but it was not to be the end!!!

For on the 3rd day … Easter Sunday to be exact … all Satan's plans came crumbling down!

***** Satan's Throne Room *****

LUCIFER: Ahhh! Never use that kind of language in my presence again. No, the only thing left to do, before we are tormented forever, is to take as many with us as we can. Now Go!

PASTOR:

And friends … that's exactly what his plan is …

By lies, deceit, and trickery of every kind …he plans to take as many of you as he possibly can into eternal torment with him.

I must remind you tonight … Hell never made for mankind … it was made for the Devil and his fallen angels.

Now friends … Satan knows his time is incredibly short … and he is feverishly gathering his own flock … a flock of fools … that will follow him to his own destruction.

Incredibly Satan’s tricks have worked on multitudes … generation after generation. For some it has been the deceit of religion.

Many have been fooled into believing that religion alone is enough to save a man …

However if religion alone had been enough … Jesus would never have had to come and die on the Cross of Calvary for our sins.

Prior to the birth of Jesus Christ religion filled the earth:

  • Pharisees
  • Sadducees
  • Essenes
  • Egyptians
  • Romans
  • Greeks – religion abounded on the earth!

Nicodemus (the man who came to Jesus by night in John chapter 3 was a very religious man) … yet he knew something was missing in his life.

Jesus said to Nicodemus … “you must be born again!”

Religion alone cannot fill the longing of man’s heart!

Someone has said … “Going to church can no more make you a Christian than going into a garage can make you a car.”

There must be a spiritual personal transformation in your life.

The Bible says … “he that hath the son, hath life.”

Others believe in baptism for their salvation.

They were baptized as a child or an adult … and somewhere stuck away with their family records is a baptismal certificate yellow with time.

All their hope of heaven rests on the fact they were baptized … yet they have no ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus said – believe and be baptized – repent and be baptized.

Still others have been tricked into believing that their own good works will merit them a place in God's Heaven.

Jesus said there is only one that is good … and that’s the Father above.

I feel sorry for the people that are attempting to get to heaven on their good works … for they are never sure whether they measure up.

The Bible says salvation is not of works lest any man should boast!

Others believe all roads lead to Heaven … it makes no difference what you believe … as long as you are sincere.

For centuries … sincere people believed the world was flat … as sincere as they were in their belief … they were wrong!

Friends … you can be sincere … but sincerely wrong!

You know, friends … it's simply amazing the lies people will believe and the demonic tricks they will fall for.

Several years ago a “Religious Life” survey was conducted here in southeast Wisconsin …

The question that was asked in this door to door survey was simply … “Why should God let you into His Heaven?”

I want you to listen to some of the actual responses given to the survey here in Southeast Wisconsin.

Watch and listen carefully.

Scene Two:
***** Street Scene *****

A PERSON:

God will let me into Heaven because He's love, and He won't send anyone to hell! Will He?

PASTOR:

Friends … her question deserves as straight answer … and I love you enough tonight to tell you the truth.

Yes, one day God will send people to hell.

Friends … What a sad day for God the Father when bound by the laws of divine justice He must say to the sinners, “Depart from me!”

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the father but by me."

All roads do not lead to heaven … all roads do not lead to Rome … all roads do not lead to California.

Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-23:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Friends … we must not forget … Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.

Sadly not everyone is going to go to Heaven.

In a recent nationwide Gallop poll … 80% of all the people polled said they believed in a coming day of personal judgment.

Deep down inside of your own soul … you to know you will be judged … and only those who have Christ living in their hearts will be allowed into Heaven.

Heaven is a protected city … no sin or sinner will ever be allowed to enter there.

You might ask … “Why is God so hard on sin?”

Let me tell you why … If God were not to protect Heaven … Heaven would quickly become a perverted as the earth.

Now friends … Hell is a place that beggars description in suffering and torment … Yet, somehow Satan has tricked many into believing that hell will be one big party.

***** Biker Party *****

A BIKER:

We don't need Jesus! We're gonna party with our friends in hell.

PASTOR:

Friends … Hell will be anything but a party!

The Bible describes hell as a place of unending torment … and total separation from God … forever.

Hell will be a place of haunting memories:

  • Every service you ever attended
  • Every message you have ever heard
  • Every opportunity you had to get right with God

Hell is the prison and dump ground for the wicked of all time:

  • Murders
  • Thieves
  • Perverts
  • Liars
  • All who have rejected Christ

Because of Hell’s awful inhabitants … it will be a place of no rest … believe me, you won’t dare close your eyes!

Friends … Hell will be anything but a party!

Scene Four:
***** Satan's Lair *****

LUCIFER: Take them all away … to their torment!

PASTOR:

Satan has successfully deceived many about hell…

Convincing them that hell is merely the figment of preacher’s imaginations.

A mere state of mind.

A blast that’s going to last … the party to beat all parties.

A place where every sensual desire is fulfilled for eternity!

Now friends … here is another one of Satan’s big lies …

Satan has convinced untold thousands that they are spiritually "OK" … because in their eyes they are better than someone else.

Scene Five:
***** Living Room *****

ANOTHER PERSON:

Morons!

PASTOR:

One of Satan's greatest tricks is to get us to compare ourselves with others.

If we look long and hard enough … we can probably all find someone who’s messed up so bad … they make us look good!

Jesus told a story of someone just like that in the Bible … it’s found in Luke 18:9-13:

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! (We are all in the same boat in need of a savior.)

Sin will keep you out of heaven … regardless of the quantity! (1 or a billion sins)

Let me illustrate …

Let’s suppose 3 flights were all departing from Los Angeles international airport … all destined for New York JFK.

Plane number one takes off … in every aspect it is a routine flight … once they have reached altitude … the businessmen are working on their laptops … the children are coloring pictures … the stewardesses are serving drinks … when all of a sudden over Denver severe weather turbulence causes the plane to shutter and shake until there is a structural failure and … plane number one crashes in the mountains of Denver, Colorado.

Plane two departs Los Angeles … again it is a routine flight … plane number two passes over Denver the place of plane number one’s crash.

Over Minneapolis plane two develops a catastrophic mechanical failure … and plane two crashes in a suburb of Minneapolis.

Plane number three departs Los Angeles … this flight too is routine in everyway … plane three passes beyond the crash sites of planes one and two … Denver and Minneapolis …

Plane three is now in the environs of New York City … the lights of JFK are directly ahead … they are on a perfect glide slope just 200 feet from the runway when a wind-sheer causes the plane to plummet to the ground … just 200 feet short of a safe landing in New York.

Now let me ask you … which plane is better off … the answer is obvious … all three aircraft have suffered the same fate … all fell short of a safe landing in New York. (The Bible says, all have sinned and come short.)

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Of all of Satan's tricks … there is one so cunning and devious … that all others pale by comparison.

It is Satan's ultimate lie … his greatest deception!

This trick has worked on untold millions.

The trick … the lie … here it is … You have plenty of time … you don't have to get serious about your soul now!!!!

You can live your life your way and make things right on your death bed.

This is the greatest lie … the most deceitful trick of all.

Scene Six:
***** Hospital Room *****

A DOCTOR:

Too late again. By two minutes!

PASTOR:

My friends … don’t fall for the lie … don't delay … get right with God now …

So often over the years I have received a phone call … often its late at night or early morning … “Pastor can you come to the hospital … there has been an awful accident … shooting … heart attack … stroke …

As I arrive at the emergency room or ICU … the faces of the family … tell it all … the look is a look of hopelessness.

Often they are unconscious with no visible sign that they even know their family or pastor is present.

And if they are conscious … they are so busy fighting for their very lives … a conversation about spiritual matters is next to impossible.

Friends … here is what I have discovered about death bed conversions …

Most people die … just the way they live … with or without Christ.

Friend … if you believe Satan's lies and you refuse to get right with God tonight and you die in your sin … Satan knows that the punishment that rightfully awaits him … will be yours as well!

Scene Seven:
***** Judgment *****

GOD: Go!

PASTOR:

CLOSING

What could be more final … than to hear the voice of God say “GO AWAY?”

The decision is final … for all of eternity it cannot be appealed.

Come … Depart.

Religion, baptism, good works, hell’s a party … lots of time.

The Holy Spirit’s call tonight is come.

Satan would use time and your youth against you.


First Call: I know that I know that if I should die tonight I know that Jesus is my savior and that I would go to heaven.

Hands…

Second Call: not sure of where you would spend eternity?

Hands…

Come: Billy Graham form appeal…

Last call