Celebrate Life!

Sermon delivered on October 30th, 2016
Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: Hebrews 2



Tomorrow, it is projected that 158 millions Americans will observe the secular holiday called Halloween. Halloween, has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, second only to Christmas. It is estimated that it will bring in $8 billion dollar this year. Regardless of whether or not this festival is right or wrong, because of the money that is made on Halloween, it will continue to be celebrated. But as Christians we have to ask, what is Halloween all about? To some Halloween is about children, candies, trick or treating and cute costumes. To others, it is about scary costumes, wild parties, thrill of being scared. Still to others, it is a way of escape from reality. "For adults, you can put on a Halloween costume and forget about work, the bad economy, and other pressures," - Kelly David, Spirit Halloween spokesperson in a South University article.


But what is Halloween all about? What is Halloween celebrating? Is it irresponsible for parents to let their children trick-or-treat? What about Christians who refuse any kind of celebration during the season—are they overreacting? How should Christians respond to Halloween? 


We live in a culture where most people who participate in this festival have no idea what it is all about and much less its origin and history. 


But this morning, because of time, I will not talk about Halloween's origin and history, I will leave it up to you, specially parents, to find out its history and origin. 


This morning consider with me the obvious Biblical reasons why born again Christians should not participate in this festival.


I - What is Halloween All About?

1. Halloween Celebrates Death

Halloween is all about death. Halloween at bottom is a celebration and glorification of death. The image of death - coffins, caskets, tombstones, cemetery, skeletons, skulls, mummies, and zombies are popular decorations in the front yards of houses during Halloween.


As born again Christians, we are not supposed to focus on death. Instead of celebrating death, we are to celebrate life. That should be our focus. When we hold memorial service for those who passed on, we do not celebrate their death but instead we celebrate their life. We remember and thank the Lord for the life. 


We live in a society where more and more people are embracing the culture of death. We have to ask, why is our culture obsessed with death? Why is there a preoccupation with death? 


The Bible has some things to say about those who love death.

Proverbs 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. 36: But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.


The Bible teaches that death is the enemy of mankind. 

1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

We are in a battle with an enemy called death. But why is death our enemy? It is because it destroys life, it takes life away, whereas God is the Creator and Author of life. In God's original creation there was no sin nor pain, disease or death, remember man chose to sin. 


John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Satan is the murderer and his message is destruction. Satan is the thief who comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. Satan is great life destroyer. 


2. Halloween Celebrates the Devil 

Halloween today has become strongly associated with a preoccupation with Satan and the Demons, which the Scripture and the church have always warned against.


There is something demonic that underlies Halloween. This is not to say that everyone who participates in any way or any kind of Halloween activity at all is guilty of devil worship. But when we drive around it is plain in the face of it, that God is not glorified on Halloween. Satan and demons are honored. 


The Bible teaches that Satan and demons are our enemies

1 Peter 5:8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 


The Bible teaches that Satan blinds men's minds

2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.


The Bible teaches that Satan is a liar and murderer

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 


Satan is not a joke. He is real and wants us to believe Halloween is simply childish fun and games. But the acceptance of Halloween's devilish schemes is troubling for many reasons. Children and adults are conditioned to be receptive to occult doctrines and practices and are desensitized by the violence and death associated with its celebration.


3. Halloween Celebrates Divination

It is amazing to see little children running around in their little witch outfits, little devil outfits. Oh, how cute! But we need to understand the Bible says some things about witches. The Bible says clear things about what we ought to avoid.


Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination

Divination (occult) is the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means. This is clearly prohibited in the Bible.


... or an observer of times (palm readers, fortune telling, horoscope, astrology), or an enchanter, or a witch

A witch is somebody who conjured up spirits and is under Satanic influence. Witches are real. Witchcraft is condemned in the Bible

Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.


Deuteronomy 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer (someone who brings spirit from the dead and talks to them). 


There shall not be found among you anyone...who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 


Deuteronomy 18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13: Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.


These are things that are clearly forbidden that we should not be participating in. And yet we have Halloween, a day dedicated in celebrating these things.


4. Halloween Celebrates Darkness 

Halloween is a celebration of darkness. In the Bible, darkness symbolizes evil. 

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20: For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21: But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


In many Halloween celebrations, sin and wickedness are promoted. Many people get drunk and take drugs. People dress in horrible, satanic costumes. All of this is sin. 


1 Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 


5. Halloween Celebrates Dread

Halloween celebrates fear and horror. People spend time and money to be scared, to be terrified, to be horrified. People pay people to scare them. People find themselves entertained by Zombies and other scary things.


The Bible teaches that fear is not a Christian value

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.


2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


The Bible teaches that fear is the great enemy 

Fear is an enemy, specially the fear of death.


Why is fear such an enemy? 

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.


Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Fear is such an enemy because it enslaves the person. Fear binds the person so that they are prisoner and a slave to that fear. 


The more I consider what Halloween is about and what it celebrates the more I become convinced to bring this message to you.


What is Halloween all about? What does it celebrate? Halloween celebrates death, the devil, divination, darkness, and dread. The basic problem with Halloween today is that it makes light of serious matters. Death, the devil, darkness, divination, and dread are real and they are serious. Therefore to make light of these things is not the wisest thing to do.


These are serious matters - death, the devil, witchcraft, sin and fear. Our Lord takes these things seriously. He took these matters - death, Satan and sin so seriously that He partook of flesh and blood, that through death He might destroy the devil who has the power of death and deliver from death and the fear of death, and to make reconciliations for the sins of the people. He was made flesh that He might suffer and die for us.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15: And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17: Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18: For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.


Our Lord Jesus Christ defeated our enemies by means of His death. By that death He destroyed the devil. It is true that the devil is still around today. The devil still exists. He still works today. 

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:


The devil still accuses us before our God day and night.

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8: And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 

But the Lord through His death has taken away the devil's power over us. The devil who is the great accuser still accuses day and night. Hus accusation is that we are worthy of death because of our sins. 

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Even though we who are born again Christians still tempted and we still fall into sin. But our sins are all cleansed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.


Not only did Jesus Christ destroy the devil, He also delivered us from the fear of death.

Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17: Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18: For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Again by His death, the Lord Jesus Christ delivered the born again Christians from the fear of death. This fear leads us to bondage. It is true that we still have to die. He delivered us from fear of death not by taking death away, but by changing the nature of our death. The nature of the death of the believers in Jesus Christ is no longer a punishment but a doorway into heaven. That is what death is. The death of your loved ones who fall asleep in the Lord Jesus Christ is not God punishing them for their sins for Christ bore all that punishment. The death of the believer is a gateway into glory. It is a portal into the immediate presence of the Lord. To be absent from the body is to present with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.


What madness, utter madness for the people of God to take that great work, that salvation, that deliverance, to put it away and celebrate the enemies. 


Brothers and sisters in Christ we have been delivered from our great enemies by the great work of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is foolishness to go back and celebrate the enemies.


II - How Should We Respond to Halloween?

As born again Christians what are we to do with this annual festival? How should we respond to Halloween? 


1. Celebration

Celebrate life instead of death. Celebrate our Saviour's victory over death and over everything demonic. Start with Jesus and His victory. 

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14: Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15: And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.


At the cross, Jesus Christ disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Jesus reigns supreme over Satan and every demon.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.


1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56: The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.


2. Compassion

We must understand that the unbelievers are not our enemies. The devil and his demons are the enemies.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

When you see kids, young people and parents running around in their costumes and asking for candies may we look upon them with compassion. 

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest


When we see darkness all around us my counsel is "Don't curse the darkness, light a candle!" My goal in pointing out the problems with Halloween is not that you and I would hate Halloween and condemn those who participate in it. No, that is not my goal, my goal is that as we see and understand the problems with Halloween, we would all be moved to do something positive. Instead of cursing the darkness let us light a candle. The Church and the Christians have been called and commissioned to "let our light to shine before men." When you see the crowd tomorrow evening don't respond with anger and condemnation but respond with compassion and mercy.


This is how the Lord Jesus Christ responded to the crowd ...

Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 

The One who made this decisive victory over our enemies was and is a compassionate Saviour.


My family are seldom home during Halloween, we are normally at our church for alternative activities. By the way if you are going to take away something negative, apply the "Principle of Positive Replacement". If you are to take something negative from your children then replace it with something positive.


But tomorrow we will be home. But I am not going to turn off all the lights pretending there is nobody home. I will turn the lights at our house and wait for the kids and their parents to come to our door. We will be home and will be giving out Gospel tracts. We will take advantage of the opportunity where people knock at our door. Halloween night is the only time people come to our door asking for tract. Normally I have to go to their house but on Halloween these little kids with their parents come and will give them Gospel tracts.


I am done. But I know after this message you still have questions. Should I let my kids go around our neighborhood trick or treating? 


Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.


Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it's a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?