Here’s an understatement – “the Bible is a very interesting Book.” If you believe there is a God and that the Bible is God’s special Revelation to humanity (which I do), then you will find what He reveals about “the” attack on Christ’s Church to … Continue reading Evangelistic Apologetics – The Church Under Attack (Part 10)
“For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
Paul made two important points about Satan:
- Satan can take advantage of Christians
- We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices
Paul was not ignorant of Satan’s devices, but unfortunately the vast majority of Christians today “are ignorant.” We’ve already seen that the majority of Christians in the United States do not believe Satan is a living being. That statistic shows just how ignorant Christians are of Satan’s devices because one of his primary devices is to get Christians to believe he’s not real.
The stage is set, the battle ready, the players on the field, the stakes high – very high. God created, Satan attacked, humanity failed, God loved and sent, Jesus came and died, believers saved and sealed.
This thing we call “Church” is real. Jesus Christ is building His Church, so it’s very real. And what does Satan do now? He doesn’t stop, he attacks again and again. Satan is relentless. Why? Why would a defeated foe keep attacking? Because he knows what’s coming.
What if I told you that more than half of Christians in the United States “strongly agree” or “agree somewhat” that Satan is not a living being but is a symbol of evil? That’s based on a Barna Group study from 2009. Here are the results based on a nationwide survey of adults’ spiritual beliefs (1,871 self-described Christians were surveyed).
40% – strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil”
19% – agreed somewhat that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil”
10% – disagreed somewhat that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil”
26% – disagreed strongly that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil”
8% – not sure what they believed about the existence of Satan
That means less than one-third of Christians strongly believe in the existence of Satan.
So, how does that compare with what the rest of the country thinks about Satan? According to a 2007 Gallup Poll, 70% of Americans believe in the devil, while only 21% don’t believe in Satan and 8% are not sure. That’s up dramatically from 1996 when only 56% of Americans said they believed in the devil.
It’s important to our understanding of why the Church is under attack to understand the “tension” between God and Satan. We saw it first in the Garden of Eden when God said this to the Satan-possessed serpent:
“Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:14-15
Satan is a defeated foe, cursed by God, but that does not mean the devil is not active and powerful in this world. Fortunately, we know what Satan does, how he does it and why he does it.
We come to the question – Why? Why is the Christian Church here in the United States and around the world under such severe attack today? What did we do to make so many people so angry?
Two-thousand years ago this month, Jesus was a teenager in the little town of Nazareth. He was obedient to His earthly parents and “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:51-52).
Jesus was well aware during His teen years about why He was on earth. He went to the Temple in Jerusalem when He was 12 years old to talk with the teachers who were there. Mary, Jesus’ mother, asked Him why He had gone to the Temple instead of going home with her. He said to her – “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’ But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them” (Luke 2:49-50).
That was an interesting statement for many reasons, one being that Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, was standing with Mary in the Temple. Joseph was a carpenter. So, what was the “Father’s business” Jesus mentioned?