War

by Bryant Evans on July 26, 2018

mushroom cloudThere’s a war going on. It’s not in Syria. Our opponent is not Russia, Iran or North Korea. The bombs are not made by Raytheon, and there are no Admirals or Generals leading armies. This war is far more destructive than any conflict humanity has ever witnessed. More will fall than in all the previous wars and conflicts combined.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12).

Christians must stand strong against those forces that would condemn us to eternal damnation. Instead, we befriend culture while knowing that “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4). Those who support and encourage sin and sinful lifestyles are our enemies. They intend us harm!

1. The Christian is a Soldier

Paul uses the word “wrestle” in Ephesians 6:12 (ESV). Other translations have struggle, battle or fight. This is the only time this Greek word appears in the New Testament, but the concept is well known. Christians fight against evil. We prepare ourselves with appropriate armor (Ephesians 6:13-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Romans 13:12).

The life of a soldier is not easy. He is often in physical discomfort and many times lonely as he meets the foe. Still, we stand firm. Timothy is told to “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). He is to “wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18).

In our Christian conflict, there are no positions in the rear echelon. We must all serve on the front lines in this eternal conflict.

2. This War is Different

Paul is clear: Our battle is not against people but powers. The descriptions here are of non-human forces “in heavenly places.” Like so many Bible words, context is always vital. Heaven may be the place where God and the glorious host reside, or it may be the sky and space. Here, it is the celestial realm, the place of spirit beings.

Our battle, with immortal consequences, is waged against immortal enemies. Satan and his minions have long been at work against the Lord. Although their defeat is certain, they continue to wage war against the Christ and his saints. Cruise missiles, smart bombs, and bullets have no effect against these enemies.

3. Our Weapons are Spiritual

Physical combatants often wage war for the “hearts and minds” of the people. In most cases, such battles are secondary to the main event of explosions and destruction. In our case, “hearts and minds” are primary.

We combat the evil forces with the absolute weapon of truth. Satan has been a liar from the beginning in Eden (Genesis 3:4,5). When he speaks, he lies for that is his character (John 8:44). When we speak truth, we oppose him and always do damage to him. Again, truth always hurts the devil. As a soldier carefully loads ammunition into a gun, we load truth into our lives by the study of truth, that is, the word of God. As we live by truth, we reject the devil’s lies, and we defend ourselves against his lies.

Are you a good soldier? Are you prepared? Are you trained? Press against the forces of evil and show yourself a good soldier for Jesus Christ!

 

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