2 Corinthians 4:1-6
We’ve been discussing our Enemy for the last few days as he relates to believers, but now I’d like to talk about his relationship to nonbelievers for a bit. He’s called the “god of this age” in today’s reading, and I’d like to examine what this means.
The passage says that he “has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel.” Of course, all you have to do is look at the world around us, and you can see his deceiving influence everywhere. Over one billion people are trapped in the darkness of Islam, for example. Here in America, it’s perfectly fine for someone to believe that space aliens seeded earth in the distant past in order to produce humanity, and very few people feel comfortable calling their beliefs goofy or foolish. But if someone claims that Jesus is not only the Son of God but the only way into heaven, he’s openly treated as a kook. One of my favorite lines from G. K. Chesterton was that if someone doesn’t believe in God, the result is not that he believes in nothing, it’s that he will fall for anything.
Please keep in mind the last lesson we learned from Joshua: If you aren’t worshiping the God of the Bible, it really doesn’t matter what you worship. The Enemy is perfectly fine with someone bowing before the god of greed just as much as if he gets an addiction to drugs. In fact, the former might be more effective than the latter, because the first is more “hidden” and thus it’s easier to fool the first man into thinking he’s all right.
I’ve actually experienced some things which I strongly suspect were Satanic in origin. I and a friend were witnessing to someone about ten years ago, and she sounded really receptive to what we were saying. Then out of the blue, her phone rings. Her cousin, with whom she hadn’t spoken in several years, suddenly decided to call her for no particular reason. Of course, this ended our efforts to share the Good News with her, so we left. Now, it could've been a mere coincidence, but I don’t think so. If you've never experienced Satanic opposition and would like to see some, start telling lost people about Christ. That'll whack the hornets' nest. I promise you that this will get the Devil's attention like nothing else. You’re invading his personal territory and stealing his property, so what did you think would happen?
Now, does Satan personally get involved with every lost person out there? I really don’t think so. We’ll discuss this further in a few days, but for now I want to point out that he’s only one being, with a certain amount of fallen angels to do his bidding. He’s not omnipotent or omnipresent, so he has limited resources to focus on anyone. But you can see his influence everywhere.
But I want you to take heart. Please read Matthew 16:13-18 and ask some simple questions. Are gates an offensive weapon or a defensive weapon? When was the last time anyone was attacked by a gate? So if the “gates of Hades” (Satan’s kingdom) are not going to withstand Christ’s work through his church, then here are a couple of more questions. In this passage, there are two kingdoms mentioned, Christ’s and Satan’s. Which kingdom is under siege by the other? Which kingdom has its days numbered? Which kingdom is losing souls to the other one every day? I think you already know the answers, but I just thought you could use a pick-me-up.
Lord Jesus, I praise you and thank you. I praise you because it is the enemy’s kingdom, not yours, which is under siege. I thank you because you pulled me out of that darkness, and you want me to have a part in tearing the rest of it down. Show it to me, please.