By Ron Thomas
The forces of Satan are in denial. Those who serve the “god of this world” deny they are serving the “god of this world” because the very idea is repugnant. Yet, they are doing so, though they do so unknowingly. It is unknowingly (or ignorantly) because they do not know the Lord’s will (John 12:48) and they do not know the powerful force of the “god of this world.” “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time" (Revelation 12:10, NKJV). The Scripture also speaks of the devouring force of man’s adversary. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
When people look and consider Satan, the very idea of serving such evil is out of the question; people do not want to be associated with anything like this recognized evil – and they will tell you in strong language. They are unaware, however, that Satan knows this better than they do, so he disguises himself as an angel of light, “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15, ESV). By so disguising himself, people in every community think they are standing for the right when they stand for a fluid morality and a fluid Christianity. What was considered wrong in yesteryear is no longer wrong this year. Such ways of thinking, such a way to approach life makes Satan smile.
It was once considered proper to discipline children with corporal punishment, but now it is considered abuse. It was once wrong to have an adulteress affair, now it is not nearly as wrong as it once was (people still subscribe to it being wrong, but they can’t tell you why it is). It was once wrong to lie, but now it is more accepted (especially if one is in the business world). It was once wrong to have two people of the same gender engage in intimacy, but now in many parts of the community it is not wrong at all. It was once wrong to confuse your identity (transgender), but now all one needs to do is claim he is a she and demand acceptance. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9). When one leans on his own understanding – Satan will win.
Try as we might – the Christian must stand and fight. He knows that his battle is up-hill, but to fail to exert herself in this engagement is not an option. Each Christian is to contend earnestly for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. The manner is which this is done is, first, by the life of holiness lived and, second, by telling others about Jesus and the judgment to come. He does this because it is the bedrock of morality; she does this because the bedrock of morality for the community is the only moral compass that eliminates moral confusion. They do this because without the Lord’s guidance, numerically, the forces of Satan will win the battle of numbers. Right now, the evil force of the “god of this world” clearly has numerical superiority.
It is this way because the Scripture tells as much. “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). It is worth the time for each Christian to stand opposed to the forces of evil as seen in the “god of this world,” but our success won’t be in numerical superiority, it will be in the hope that is laid up for us when this life is over. A huge proportion of humanity walks the wide road that leads to destruction, but while you have life there is opportunity for you to turn someone away from that wide/broad path that leads to destruction.
We do this because, in the end, Satan already lost; be sure he does not take you with him in his descent!
- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website. http://sunrushchurchofchrist.com/