(Marsha West – Christian Research Network) For years I’ve been saying that America is in an all-out spiritual battle. Kids vs. Parents…Sexual deviancy vs. Virtue…Hollywood vs. Family values…Filth vs. Decency…Pro-death vs. Pro-life…Moral relativism vs. Absolute truth…Christian liberalism vs. Christian orthodoxy…Atheism vs. Theism…Evolution vs. Creation…Big government vs. Free enterprise.
You’d think that because of the downright wickedness we’re dealing with in our morally bankrupt culture, Christ followers would wear the whole armor of God 24/7. What I’m referring to is the spiritual armor Paul advises believers to “put on.” Based on this admonition it would seem only a fool would fail to heed Paul’s advice. In Ephesians 6:1-19, he lays out how to arm ourselves to fight the unseen forces of evil. If we yield for a second, we give them the advantage.
This world is engulfed in an ongoing battle between the spiritual forces of good and evil, evil being Satan and his demons. Our enemy’s goal is “to deface the heavenly image in our hearts.” Therefore, we must be prepared to “stand firm” against them. Paul wants God’s people to understand that our enemy is not flesh and blood, we’re wrestling with the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Even though the battle will be ongoing for as long as we remain on this planet, Paul offers hope:
…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37)
Demons are under the power of Satan (Mat. 12:24). They have the ability to possess and control those who are unsaved. (Mat. 8:28-34) They can cause sickness (Mat. 12:22); insanity (Luke 8:26-36); bodily injury (Mark 9:14-26); long term infirmities (Luke 13:11-13). Yes, God has allowed Satan some powers; nonetheless, turncoat angels remain servants of God and can only work within the boundaries that God defines.
For those who are doubtful that demons exist, let me ask you a simple question. Why did the Son of God give the apostles power over evil spirits if they’re not real? According to Scripture, the apostles had the authority to cast out demons. (Mark 16:17,18; Luke 10:17; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 16:16-18; 19:12) Likewise, the existence of cosmic powers is testified to in the account of Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness.
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. (Mark 1:12-13)
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness. For forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. (Luke 4:1-2)
As you can see, the Son of God was fully prepared before facing down the enemy. Clearly, Satan isn’t imaginary!
Jesus is the ultimate authority on how to deal with demons. How did He respond to Satan’s temptation? His weapon was the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God! Here’s what happened, in part:
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4:2-6)
Derek Thomas observes:
Christ, in his resurrection, proclaims his triumph, not only over death, but over Satan too. From the moment he began his public ministry, his intention to defeat Satan is announced by the Spirit’s (yes, the Spirit’s) driving of him into the wilderness to face Satan in three successive assaults. These temptations, whilst they may have something to say too us as we face temptations, must be understood primarily as a declaration of war by Jesus against the forces of darkness. pp 51, Praying the Savior’s Way.
The account of Jesus facing Satan in the wilderness was a declaration of war!
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)
What sort of things do demons teach us? Lies combined with truth. Evil spirits have convinced those who profess to know Christ to believe wolves in sheep’s clothing! (Slow-witted demons are superior in intelligence to a human “genius” because angles, even fallen angels, were created as an order of creatures higher than humans, which means they possess greater knowledge.)
It is clear from Scripture that a spiritual battle has been ongoing from the beginning of Creation – and most humans are unaware that a battle’s taking place. Because we can’t see what’s going on with the naked eye, we don’t take it seriously. So I have a few questions…
Who’s the mastermind behind removing God from the public square? You guessed it.
Who’s the mastermind behind the moral cesspool in America and Western Europe? Is there any doubt?
Who’s the mastermind behind seeing that Christianity is irrelevant? None other.
For satanic forces to accomplish the cultural decay we’re currently observing they must control the minds of individuals who hold positions of power — and it is apparent that even some highly regarded leaders in the visible Church are under Satan’s control.
You may be thinking, “Rubbish!” That’s because even professing Christians cannot accept the reality that angels and demons are battling it out. Which is fine. However, if my understanding of Scripture is rubbish, you’re welcome to share your view of what’s behind the moral collapse that is unlike anything our nation has experienced in the past.
Socialism In America
If progressive-liberals (including Christian Progressives) have their way, this country will soon be a socialist state. So I ask you brethren, how will a godless government that controls businesses, education and our healthcare system–and the minds of the masses—benefit future generations? Under totalitarian rule, and that’s what socialism leads to, what will our country look like 50 years from now?
Under the guise of “fairness” a bunch of Robin Hood do-gooders think they have the right to rob the “haves” and give what’s been stolen from them to the “have-nots.” This is commonly called redistribution of wealth. Redistributing wealth is unbiblical and it is out right theft!
Big Government is hell-bent on controlling our lives and our hard-earned money. Big Government is taxing Americans to death — and unelected bureaucrats, not our elected representatives, determine where a great deal of our money is spent. I for one prefer to decide where my money is spent, especially when it comes to the arts, charities and healthcare.
Political Correctness On Steroids
America, Canada, and Western European countries are dealing with political correctness on steroids. Woe to anyone who offends their fellow man’s sensibilities. Correction! Fellow person’s sensibilities.
Ever notice how individuals who utter a politically incorrect word or phrase are attacked and not given the benefit of the doubt? Critics will set aside a rational and brilliant argument and go all out to destroy the offending individual’s reputation and credibility! It matters not if it’s just a slip of the tongue, which often happens. The offender will be labeled a bigot, racist, homophobe, hateful or worse. From then on Joe Blow is known as the guy who said____ You fill in the blank. Both the Left and the Right are guilty of this, by the way. And the “PC police” bully anyone—anyone—who refuses to conform.
A growing number of professing Christians see themselves as social justice warriors. These folks embrace religious pluralism, the belief that each religion is equally valid, and that all roads lead to God (universalism). For over 2,000 years biblical Christianity has held that there’s one way to God, through Jesus Christ. (John 3:16) Let’s be clear. These people are progressive-liberals who say they’re Christians even though they reject historic Christianity’s long-held traditions, doctrines and creeds. Moreover, Progressive (Social Justice) “Christians” celebrate unbiblical practices and ungodly behavior in the name of tolerance and unity. In our postmodern, moral relativistic, anything goes, live and let live houses of worship, even those shepherds who are supposed to guard the sheep are too cowardly to teach what the Bible says about heaven and hell. So, if all religions lead to God, does that mean unrepentant tyrants, mass murderers, serial rapists, pedophiles, prostitutes, drug dealers and animal abusers will go to heaven? What about atheists and those who say they’d rather go to hell than heaven because that’s where their friends are? Will God-haters go to heaven, too? Is Judas there?
No. Unrepentant sinners will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If there’s one thing Christianity is not known for, it’s all-inclusiveness. What irks people the most about the Christian religion is its claim that it has the only truth. Christianity also makes the claim that Jehovah is the One true God and that all other gods–and all other religions–are counterfeit. “He who has the Son has the life” said the Apostle John. “He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” (1 John 5:12) According to Holy Writ, anyone (including good people) who do not believe that Jesus paid the penalty for their sins on the cross are going to remain separated from the Father in heaven – permanently. “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience…” (Ephesians 2:1-2) Sin separates us from God, Christ reconciles us to Himself.
Religious pluralism is an oxymoron, brethren! Diversity is not tolerant, in fact it’s just the opposite. It’s glaringly hypocritical. Is it possible to have a personal God (Christianity) and an impersonal God (Islam) at the same time? No. Can a person “die once and after that face the judgment” (Christianity) and also die and be reincarnated (Hinduism)? No. Can Jesus Christ be the Son of God (Christianity) and a mere prophet (Islam)? No. Either Jesus Christ is God incarnate and rules the universe as Christians believe, or He was just a man. And if he was just a man, he was a liar and a nut job!
C. S. Lewis made the following argument in his bestselling book Mere Christianity:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing commonsense about his being a great human teacher. (pp 55-56)
The point I’m making is that this is “doublethink.” Doublethink causes a person to simultaneously believes in two contradictory ideas. For example: same difference, spendthrift, perfect idiot, and my personal favorite, Southern Baptist Buddhist.
For the sake of diversity virtually everything society once thought of as perverted behavior is now seen by many as normal and acceptable. Not surprisingly Christians are expected to go along with these societal changes. If they choose not to, they’re ridiculed and bullied.
The Bible is the roadmap that shows followers of Jesus how to live their lives. Believers are not to embrace the world’s wicked ways. We’re called to be holy, not to mimic society. We shouldn’t even want to fit in. But, sadly, ministers of God desire to be relevant. They want to be hip and trendy like Hollywood celebrities, so they get their body parts pierced and inked, wear ripped jeans, even use foul language. If the Apostles were alive today, would they care about being relevant? Um…no. Being viewed as relevant isn’t God’s plan for a shepherd’s life.
God’s people are not to conform to the world – we are to be the light of the world! (Mat. 5:14-15) We are here to glorify God in all we say and do. So, Christian, how are you doing right now?
Copyright by Marsha West 2019.