Scripture Passage: Acts 8:5-24
Satan is not against religion; in fact, it is one of his chief tools and most deceptive tricks.
Adrian Rogers says, “When God opens the windows of Heaven to bless us, the devil opens the doors of Hell to blast us. Whenever there is revival, you can expect satanic opposition.”
In Acts 8, on the heels of a great revival, a sorcerer named Simon exhibited a counterfeit Christianity that posed a threat to the Early Church. There are three warnings in this passage to help us spot Satan’s counterfeit religion.
“But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great…” (Acts 8:9). Witchcraft is not mere superstition; it is superficial power from the devil, and it is alive and well today. Don’t be dazzled by the power of false religion; there is something to it, and it is very real and very dangerous.
Not all false religion is in the occult; sometimes it moves right into the church.
“Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done” (Acts 8:13).
Adrian Rogers says, “Simon believed not in the Master; He believed in the miracles.” Simon followed Philip for the miracles’ sake. His shallow faith reminds us that not all belief is saving belief. We can believe the facts of the Gospel without ever truly knowing and believing in Jesus Christ.
Selfishness is what drives false religion; Simon himself claimed he was “the great one” (See Acts 8:9.). He wanted the power of the Holy Spirit for his own glory.
Adrian Rogers says, “There are people who are bitter and in bondage. They have met religion, but they’ve never met Jesus.”
If we want a faith that is real, we must go to the Word of God, lay down our intellectual pride, and call out to Jesus for mercy.
In this day and age of spirituality without true faith in Jesus, we need to get a strong grip on God’s Word and truth, so we are not deceived by counterfeit Christianity.