Many choose to live in a state of blissful ignorance to the fact that there is a daily battle for the possession of their eternal souls. No apologies for the heaviness of this topic. In fact, I long for the days when preachers would work a little fire and brimstone into their sermons. Today most […]
Many choose to live in a state of blissful ignorance to the fact that there is a daily battle for the possession of their eternal souls.
No apologies for the heaviness of this topic. In fact, I long for the days when preachers would work a little fire and brimstone into their sermons. Today most churches only deliver feel-good messages that are as fluffy as marshmallows and the faith that it produces is equally soft.
Our time on this planet may be running out quicker than we realize and there is little time left to not consider what scripture makes plain.
I remember overhearing a conversation from a friend following the death of a loved one. He was asked what he thought happened when people died. I will never forget his response. He said, “Nothing. You turn into dirt. That’s it.” I was a bit surprised because he came from a religious family. But should I have been surprised? Nearly 40% of adults do not believe hell exists. Research shows the current belief in both heaven and hell.
Verbal Kint in the 1995 movie The Usual Suspects hits the nail on the head about the devil and his scheme when he said, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Why does all this matter?
If people stop believing in the devil and the eternal reality of hell, then the devil has already won the unseen battle for their souls. French philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “If God does not exist, one loses nothing by believing in him anyway, while if he does exist, one stands to lose everything by not believing.”
My question is, what side would you rather risk? I’d much rather risk believing that God is real and that He has a wonderful reality waiting for me in heaven one day after I die. If you agree with me then there are certain realities in this lifetime that must be taken very seriously as it will determine the eternal destination of all those we care for and those we should care for!
No doubt you’ve seen the classic struggle between an angel and a demon sitting on a person’s shoulders in either a movie or a cartoon. Even Hollywood acknowledges the existence of unseen forces at play in our lives. While these depictions are often made to look cute, they are anything but cute. The Bible makes this clear.
Jesus warns his disciples against the very real battle in Matthew 10:28 when he says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, warns them of the unseen battle for their souls in Ephesians 6:12. “Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities, and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.”
The daily unseen battle for your soul is very real.
So, what does it all mean?
It means that you have a few choices to make. The first choice you must make is to decide which side you are on. Are you going to side with God or the devil? I hope you will make the choice to side with God. He has made a way for you to be saved. This choice is only made possible because of what Jesus has done for you.
Romans 6:23 says, “When you sin, the pay you get is death. But God gives you the gift of eternal life. That’s because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.”
The gift of eternal life is yours and mine, but we still must claim it! How do we do that? Romans 10:9 gives us the answer. “Say with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord.” Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Acts 2:38 gives us more direction in our decision to choose God. “All of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then your sins will be forgiven. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
That is the first decision we must all make. Pick sides!
What comes next?
Second, we must make the choice to prepare for battle daily. Why? Because when we choose God, we gain an enemy. The devil hates God and is on a mission to steal as many souls from Him as he can. If we love God, then the devil will hate us. Jesus promises that there will be struggles in this world.
We hear these words from Jesus in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that you can have peace because of me. In this world, you will have trouble. But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world.”
Yes, it is good news that Jesus has won the ultimate battle, but the fighting isn’t over so gear up!
Ephesians 6:13 tells us how we can withstand the attacks of the enemy in this unseen battle. “So put on all of God’s armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing.” For more information on the armor of God continue reading in Ephesians chapter 6.
Finally, we must choose to go on the offensive and fight for other souls. God does not want us to punch our ticket to heaven and go into hiding waiting for our day in glory. God wants us to join the battle for lost souls.
The final command of Jesus that he gave his followers before ascending to heaven confirms this.
Matthew 28:18-20 says, “Then Jesus came to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.’”
What choice will you make? Will you join the unseen battle? Will you rescue people who are lost? I love the powerful words of Jude in Jude 1:23 when he says, “Rescue those who are living in danger of hell’s fire.” Is that not a powerful picture?
The thought of sharing the good news of Jesus with someone else may be frightening to you. You may fear what they may think of you. You may not know what exactly to say. You can come up with a million reasons why not to must up the courage and try. But know this all those reasons why not are coming from the devil in the unseen world. He is the father of lies and will be very convincing as to why not to share the good news of Jesus with others.
Be brave! Join the unseen battle. Share the good news of Jesus with others. If you do, you may just rescue those who are living in danger of hell’s fire. Remember there are only two destinations for souls, heaven or hell. Imagine yourself for a moment with a rope snatching people from the grasp of the devil as you pull them from the flames of hell. That is exactly what you are doing when you join the unseen battle.
It is my prayer that this has been both an encouragement and a challenge for you. I want you to be encouraged because you can make the choice to be on the winning side of this unseen battle. I want you to be challenged to not be an idle participant, but rather a warrior for God. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
It is Ryan's passion to equip and empower churches, organizations, and individuals to reach their disability communities for Jesus. Ryan comes to Ability Ministry with 15+ years of ministry experience. He previously worked at First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio as their full-time Disability Pastor. He also worked as a Church Consultant for Key Ministry. Micah 6:8 and Proverbs 31:8 best describe Ryan's commitment to life and ministry.