“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 ESV
We are at war. Yet, we have to remember that our fight is not with other people. Our enemy is much less obvious. Satan has been warring against mankind since the beginning. He wanted to be God and his pride got him cast from heaven. His goal since then has been to take as many people with him to hell as possible. He loves destruction–destruction of the truth, destruction of God’s beloved creation, destruction of God’s church, destruction of God’s people.
He loves evil and he hates anything of God. He has two battle fronts: first, he fights sinners. He works to keep them from coming to Christ and, second, he fights believers who have put their faith in Christ.
He will do anything possible to keep people from accepting the truth and putting their faith in Christ. He will lie to them and tell them the Bible is fantasy, that believers are weak, that God doesn’t exist and if He does exist, then He hates us. He is constantly in every possible way trying to turn us against God because if we are against God then we are for him. There are only two choices–no one is neutral in this war.
If he cannot keep us from accepting Christ, he will plague us with lies, unbelief, pride in ourselves and our sin, hatred, dissension, fear, doubt, anger, and every other sin he can squeeze into our lives. Satan is working overtime to destroy those of us who have faith in God, His Son, and His Word. He does this individually and he does this through the church.
I have known many people who have shunned the church. Some were unbelievers who rejected God, His standards, and His people outright. Some were Christians who were hurt by things that went on in the church. Both are doing exactly what Satan wants them to do.
Satan destroys the church through dilution of the gospel via vain discussion and and shifting the focus of the church to entertainment.
Why is there trouble in the church where God’s people are supposed to be living out His Word? Because we have an enemy who is actively working to destroy us. What better way for him to get us (or sinners observing us) to reject God and/or to hinder our spiritual growth than get us wrapped up entertainment and the pride of our life, our jobs, our family, our goals, our desires and our fights with each other?
Have you noticed that people fight over petty, vain discussions (1 Timothy 1:6) and it’s accepted, but as soon as someone stands up for the truth, for God’s Word and even quotes Jesus’ own words–that person is labeled as a trouble maker and persecution ensues (Think Paul)? This makes perfect sense. It has been happening since God sent His prophets, His Son, His apostles, and it happens today.
Anything to distract us from what God wants us to do or to even get us to reject God– Satan will do it and we go right along with it and play right into his hands like puppets.
The church has become more interested in entertaining people to bring in the numbers than discipling its members. I see dress up days, mardi gras celebration, and churches being flooded with nonsense while lacking strong biblical teaching and we are too busy to go home and study the Bible, so we just accept what fed to us by people who are too busy to study the Bible because they are planning parties instead of worship services. It is heartbreaking that God’s Word is drowning in the sea of entertainment (“amusement or diversion provided by performers” Merrian-Webster).
When will we start seeing through our spiritual eyes? When will we look at the end and understand that this life is temporary? When we will lay ourselves before Christ and stop prioritizing our entertainment or our opinions and put Christ first? When will we cry to God to help us out of the ditch and then fight to enter in to God’s rest (Hebrews 4:11)?
If the church wants to see sinners saved, see the blind eyes opened and experience the peace of God through the trials of life, then it must stop being a victim to Satan’s tactics—saying all the right things while hiding behind what John calls the lusts of the flesh (1 John 2:16) and become a living sacrifice to God.
Only when we die to ourselves will we truly live and make a difference for His eternal kingdom. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ” Philippians 1:21 ESV
“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 ESV