The War for the Souls of Sinners
Published February 7, 2023
Many people were rightly shocked and outraged after a music awards show this past Sunday night produced a Satanic-themed performance for attendees and viewers. While these emotions are right, it should come as no surprise to Christians that demon-filled adulation and worship is becoming more mainstream as our world and society grows more wicked by the hour.
If anything, performances such as the one on Sunday night should bring us full circle to the fact that our earthly lives are defined by what is happening and what has happened in the heavenly places. What happens in this world is but a manifestation of what is happening in an unseen world around us, where spiritual battles are underway for the souls of every human being within every world event around us. No one should be oblivious that there is a spiritual war going on or which side will be victorious in the end.
The Bible exhorts us to walk worthy of our calling, seeking to walk with a renewed mind, in love, in light, in wisdom, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Yet, we are confronted by the stark reality that we have spiritual enemies desperately trying to oppose us, to hinder us, and to destroy us. These spiritual forces of wickedness do not want us to be controlled by the Spirit; they do not want us to walk in light or love; and they do not want us to be a display of God’s wisdom as we live as the unified body of Christ.
Christians must understand the reality of spiritual warfare and its implications for us as believers. Understanding this reality is transformative for how you view everything happening in our world today and all the various people involved.
Here’s the reality: we are all in a spiritual war.
The enemy is real. He is dangerous. And he wants to destroy you. He is operative in the hearts of the ungodly, and we must realize that everything wrong with everything around us is part of the spiritual war.
There are children of light and children of darkness. There are children of God and children of the devil. People are enslaved to sin, or they are enslaved to righteousness. We serve God, or we are held captive by the devil to do the devil’s will.
Once you begin to see the world through spiritual eyes, through the eyes of Jesus and the Apostles, you begin to see that the real problems in our world are not the result of bad political policies or poor education or inequitable income distribution. The problem in our world is that there are forces of wickedness in heavenly places, and sinners are held captive by them to do their will. And that means the single solution to all of the problems in our world is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that human solutions to spiritual problems are utterly useless.
While viewing the situation in England during the middle of the 20th century, Martin Lloyd-Jones wrote: “The world has multiplied its institutions for dealing with the moral and social problems in the present century more than ever before. Clubs, institutions, cultural agencies, have been multiplying one on top of another. Never has the government of any country spent so much in an attempt to deal with moral and social problems as has been done in this country in the present century. And yet here are these men saying one after another that moral standards are deteriorating almost hourly, week by week, and that the problem is becoming appallingly difficult of solution.”
How many billions, even trillions of dollars have been spent around the world since Lloyd-Jones uttered those words to deal with all the moral and social problems in society?
How many more agencies, bureaus, clubs, centers, and institutes have been established for the purpose of trying to solve the human problems we face in our world today? How many new tools of education, psychology, medicine, politics, and communication have been invented, re-invented, imagined, and re-imagined – all in an attempt to improve society and deal with the problems we have in the world?
In fact, it’s gotten so much worse that now we have virtually given up on even calling most of the problems problems. Trillions of dollars, countless hours of research, therapy, study, teaching, and coaching, and what do we have to show for it?
A world that is as broken as it’s ever been, as wicked as it’s ever been, as lost as it’s ever been, as dark as it’s ever been.
Because you cannot fix the problems in our world with any other solution besides the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are engaged in a spiritual war. This is the one battle, the one fight, the one war that really matters – because it is the war for the souls of sinners. Cultures, nations, institutions – all of that will come and go. But what will last are the souls of sinners, either in glory with Christ or in hell under God’s wrath.