Matthew started off by saying that many people make light of evil, some deny evil and some live in fear and make too much of evil but the important thing to remember is that evil does exist. However what is even more important to know is that the name of Jesus has power and that evil can be rebuked in His name.
Matthew then went on to talk about how sometimes we can lump sin and evil in together, but the two are in fact very different. When we sin we fall short of a goal or target, but evil is more of a force, presence or even something akin to a 'spiritual stench'. Sin needs forgiveness, but evil needs deliverance.
Evil is real and present, inspired by the devil, can affect people but is not confined to people as it can also affect, communities, towns even whole nations; but the most important fact about evil is that it is not to be feared! When we come across evil, our job is simply to pray for deliverance and rebuke it in Jesus name.
Matthew then showed how evil was even at work in the hearts of the crowd that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem and rejoiced as He entered the city, but then five days later were asking for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be crucified. However, God was still in control as three days later Jesus was raised from death; because God always wins!
Matthew finished by saying that evil has the potential to wreck lives but as Christians we have the power to stop evil. If we recognise evil, pray for God to triumph in that situation and simply love people with the same sacrificial love that Jesus showed in forgiving people, serving people and driving out fear; it is then that 'Satan trembles when he sees even the weakest saint on his knees.'
Sophie and Ben led the service excellently and Lisa Cuellar led us in some really great times of sung worship. An all round awesome night at #the7!