You are hearing today part two of a series of messages. The series is called THE CHRISTIAN IN COMPLETE ARMOR.
We are talking about spiritual warfare.
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 6:12)
There is a kingdom of darkness, and in that kingdom there are evil spirits, fallen angels. These are called demons, and they march in ranks under their commander the devil. They are not symbolic. They are no metaphors for or personifications of evil. The devil is a literal person with a personality and a name. So are the demons.
Their ranks are listed here in Ephesians chapter six. They are mentioned throughout all of Scripture.
Demons in the Bible are named fifty-five times. Unclean spirits are named twenty-two times. Familiar spirits, sixteen times. Spirits referring to demons, fifteen times. Evil spirits, fourteen times. Principalities and powers, twelve times. A lying spirit, four times. A foul spirit, two times. A jealous spirit, two times. A spirit of divination, spirit of infirmity, and spirit of error, the angels who sinned, the devil's angels, one time each.
God has revealed something the human eye cannot see, but the human heart knows all too well. This fallen world is a morally broken pain machine. And this is because there is a war going on. On one side there is a kingdom of light, and godliness, and goodness ruled over by Jesus our Lord. On the other side there is a vast domain of darkness and evil presided over by Satan, by fallen Lucifer and his fallen angels.
And both of those realms are at war in this earth and in us.
There is a ruthlessness win-at-any-costs mentality that galvanizes the side of evil that does not exist in the Christian mind.
Evil plays to win, and to destroy the opposition. Christians generally play just not to lose.
As Christians, we can never be malicious and mean. We are not called to any violence whatsoever against any individual or group.
I am advocating and pleading and preaching that you first and foremost embrace the reality that you live in a spiritual world engaged in a spiritual war. And that you embrace the idea that the most cherished things in life are at stake. Your children are at stake. Your grandchildren are at stake. Your marriage. Your dating. Your finances and retirement. Your mission and purpose in life. Whether or not Christianity survives in our culture is at stake.