Evangelistic Apologetics: The Church Under Attack (Part 4)
by Mark McGee
“Nearly 1,000 Christians have been killed and over 450,000 of them displaced in Syria due to the crisis plaguing the country.” (News Headline)
“Pakistan church bomb: Christians mourn 85 killed in Peshawar suicide attack. Pakistan’s worst-ever attack on beleaguered Christians prompts warning by bishop for future of minority in Muslim countries.” (News Headline)
“The more atheists who come out of the closet and admit publicly what they stand for, the more difficult it will be for the fanatically religious to impose their bronze-aged morality upon the rest of us.” (Atheist organization website)
“We are so sick of hearing those ignorant and self-righteous Christians complain about the problems in our society. Boo stinkin’ hoo.” (Atheist blog)
“Christians are a hateful, mean and nasty bunch of losers.” (Facebook comment)
Why is the Church under physical and verbal attack around the world today? What or who is behind the attacks? Before you name someone or some group, think about an important insight the Apostle Paul gave us.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:11-12
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As easy as it is to get caught up in viewing attacks on the Church as coming from people (“flesh and blood”), we must grasp what’s really going on. It’s the only way we can possibly comprehend the work God has given us to do during our time on earth and how to do it with the right attitude toward our fellow humans.
One of the main things God wants us to do during this lifetime is “stand against the wiles of the devil.” Why? Because the devil’s “wiles” (methodeia – craft, deceit, cunning device, trickery) are what we really face as followers of Jesus Christ.
To say that Satan is crafty, deceitful, and cunning would be an accurate statement. Jesus called the devil “the enemy” (Matthew 13:39), “murderer” and “a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). But wait a minute – didn’t Jesus create Satan? The apostles wrote that Jesus created everything, including angels, and Satan is an angel (John 1:1-3, 10; Colossians 1:16-17), so why would Jesus call the devil the enemy, a murderer and the father of lies if He created him?
Jesus shared an important insight into Satan’s history in Luke 10. The Lord sent 70 of His disciples out with the command to heal the sick and tell them that the Kingdom had come near to them. The 70 returned with joy and told Jesus that even the demons were subject to them in His Name. Jesus said to them – “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18) That may seem a strange thing for Jesus to say to His disciples, but it makes perfect sense when we understand He was addressing the supernatural realm of His authority.