Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Make no mistake, we are at war. Wicked people have obtained control in high places and are under the influence of satanic forces. Yes, Satan is real and so are the angels that fell from heaven with him - they are called demons. He seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. Yes, he is big and scary and powerful. He is referred to as "a roaring lion" - "the accuser of the brethren" - "the father of lies" - "the prince of the air." And he hates you. If you think you can face him on your own, you are racing headlong into the jaws of death. Satan and his demonic minions bring with them sickness, confusion, death, discord, grief, depression, and destruction. Open the door and they will wreak havoc. But there is one greater than all the hosts of hell and he has already won the victory. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He holds the keys of hell and of death and his kingdom is forever. One of the key prophetic signs of the true Messiah was that he would have authority over demons. And when Jesus came, he wielded absolute authority over them. He healed the sick, brought sight to blinded eyes, opened deaf ears, and even raised the dead… all clear signs that he was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God. And he gave this power to cast out demons to his disciples. Matthew 10:1 tells us “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” And in the book of acts, we see multiple accounts of these men who had been given this authority moving into a position of offense rather than defense, taking the fight to the enemy. They are not cowering in fear, praying that these demons would leave them alone. No, they moved into their territories. They sought out those who were under the control of the enemy, preached the gospel, healed the sick, and yes… they cast out demons.
Today, we face the same enemy. And so, you may be asking yourself “what about us? What can we do against the demonic forces at work in our county, our state, our city, our homes, our lives and the lives of our children.. even our churches?” (Yes, they are there). What authority do I have? In Mark 16 we read Jesus’ words to the disciples… “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons”… the very first sign he mentions is “they will drive out demons.” Yes, I know, you’ve probably encountered the charismatic weirdos who go around claiming to cast demons out of everything and everyone. Their car won't start, so they open the hood and try to cast the demons out of the battery. Personally, I'd tend to group them with the flat-earthers. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. These demonic strongholds are very real and they are increasing their authority and territory every day. Many in the church - many pastors - aren’t even born again. They are inviting the very demonic strongholds I am speaking of into their own lives and homes. Listening to ungodly relationship advise, aligning yourself with philosophies and theologies that are contrary to Scripture, dabbling in witchcraft, fortune telling, pornography, unholy images and ideas - these are treacherous territory. My friends, if you said some “sinner’s prayer” at some time and maybe even got dunked in a baptism pool or sprinkled by a preacher somewhere, don’t be deceived into thinking you are going to cavalierly stride across the pearly gates. Jesus calls us to “believe” in him… Look up that word (believe) in the original Greek some time. It means to commit to… completely, with fidelity. Satan and the very demons we are talking about “believe” in Jesus. They believe he exists… and they tremble. To be born again is to repent of your sin… that means turn away from it with godly sorrow and a contrite heart. And it means to lay your life down and say to Jesus “You are Lord of my life.” Ask yourself honestly... Is he Lord of your life? Or have you merely said a token prayer and continued on as lord of your own life? My dear friends, there is a very real devil and very real demons who want to lead you to a very real hell. If you have never truly surrendered your life to the Lordship of Jesus, please do so now - I beg you. He loves you. He died for you. And He is offering eternal life and freedom from the bondage of sin. Romans 10:9 tells us “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” And the first act of obedience in this life of surrender to the Lordship of Jesus is to be baptized. If you make this confession of faith, go find a follower of Jesus and ask them to baptize you. And finally, Jesus promises us that if we make this confession of faith, and follow in obedience, he will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Living God will come and dwell within us. And it is with that authority that we are empowered to face all the forces of hell. We can – yes, you and me – we can cast out demons. We can demolish strongholds, we can destroy arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we will take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. This is where we find the bloody trenches of spiritual warfare… the thoughts, ideas, and arguments that are contrary to God’s word. This demonic ideology says “whatever you want to do in the bedroom is ok” but God says to “keep the marriage bed pure." This demonic ideology says “get more stuff – you’ll be happy if you just have this or that” but God says “you shall not covet.” This demonic ideology says “it’s ok to kill a baby in the womb – it’s a woman’s right to choose” but God says “you shall not commit murder.” This demonic ideology says “homosexuality is ok – in fact, let’s celebrate it” but God says “homosexuals will NOT enter the kingdom of heaven.” This demonic ideology says “there are many paths to God” but Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me.” Indeed, many of these demonic ideas have slithered into the church. 1 Timothy 4:1 tells us clearly that “in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” I have met with many pastors who are unwilling to speak out against sin. They endorse abortion. They allow homosexuals, fornicators, and adulterers to attend their congregations unchecked - when Scripture clearly says to expel such unrepentant people from among you. If you believe you can be a Christians and live an adulterous life… you have embraced the doctrine of demons. If you believe you can defile the very nature of God's creation with the perversion of homosexuality and be a follower of Christ… you have embraced the doctrine of demons. If you believe a woman has the right to murder a baby inside her womb… in the sacred place where God knits that life together… if you believe this is anything other than murder… you have embraced the doctrine of demons. If you have allowed these demonic ideas into your life, you must repent. Brothers and sisters in Christ, I beg of you to take this seriously. Chose this day whom you will serve. Renounce these doctrines of demons. Proclaim the Lordship of Jesus in your life. Fall on your knees and worship the one who formed you in your mother’s womb, the one who knit you together, and numbered your days. He will lift you up, empower you to fight, and equip you for the work ahead. There is no neutral ground - We are at war and there are no rusty swords on this battle field. God is raising up an army to assault the gates of hell… and the gates of hell will NOT prevail against us. This is the time to walk in holiness and purity, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Confess your sins… daily. Let repentance be like a cleansing rain in your life, keeping your faith clear and fresh and strong. Renew your mind with the Word of God. Search out and spend time with fellow fallowers of Christ - not token Christians - People who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. And He will fill you with His Holy Spirit. He will lead you and guide you. He will give you words to speak from a wealth of wisdom you do not possess. He will put a song in your heart that will tear down strongholds. He will empower you to pray according to his will. Oh, my dear brothers and sisters. This is not the time to lay down and give up. Yes, the darkness is closing in. But we are the light of the world. Don't hide your light - let it shine! This is the time to rise up. This is the time to lay aside every sin that so easily besets us. This is the time to surrender all to Jesus and run the race as one who intends to win! This is the time to declare JESUS IS LORD! He is returning to judge the living and the dead. And He shall reign with justice and mercy. He will make all things new. And he will wipe away every tear from our eyes.
May it be so in your life and in mine. Lord, may your Kingdom come and your will be done, in Jesus’ name.