The Church of Jesus Christ is not powerless against the enemy and the great evil he promotes. On the contrary, the Church has been entrusted with power and authority from on high.
In his bestselling book “Destined for the Throne,” author Paul Billheimer confirmed:
The only force in the world that is contesting Satan’s total rule in human affairs is the Church of the living God. If there were nothing to hinder him, Satan would make a hell out of this world here and now. The only saving and healing virtue in the howling deserts of human life flows from the cross of Calvary.
Is the challenge great?
Indeed it is.
But remember that God intends for us to be warriors in the fiercest battle known to mankind. More than a flesh-and-blood conflict, this is a battle “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). It is a spiritual clash that will require that we defend ourselves with “the whole armor of God” (see Ephesians 6:10–18).
This is not a time to grow weary or to let down our guard. It is a time of conquest and victory. It is a time to lift up the banner of the Lord and proclaim the powerful message of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Too often we live as though spiritual victory depends on our strength, ability, and power, but that is not sufficient if we are to survive in this world, much less thrive. When we are empowered with the Holy Spirit, we invade and exploit the areas of darkness and release those who are held captive.
Ravi Zacharias writes:
As the face of evil becomes more hideous and ruthless, the face of the future becomes more fearsome and dreaded. For the gospel message, this may be the most significant moment in history, for the message of Christ provides the only supernatural hope of a changed heart and life.
Most people who point to the weakness and failure of the Church to affect or change culture never consider that the goodness we do find in society is the effect of the Kingdom message. There is no source of goodness other than our good God: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
The enemy would love to convince us that our efforts are meaningless, that we have lost the battle and the only thing that remains is to fold our hands and wait for the return of Christ. Reject such thinking and be bold and active in your faith. Jesus knew that fear could short-circuit faith, so He reminded His disciples of their inheritance as sons and daughters of the Father: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
God has never relied on the majority to accomplish His mission. The power of the Kingdom comes to those who are fully reliant on the Spirit, not to the masses who merely call themselves Christians. It will be the masses who are deceived and lulled into complacency, and already the spirit of the age has had its effect on many. Christianity has become a hobby that is conveniently set aside if something more appealing comes along. I have noticed over the years how many people get serious with God when a crisis occurs, only to fall back into the same complacency when the crisis passes. Maybe those are the ones whom Jesus refers to as being unfit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).
Mike Bickle, the founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, characterizes the Day of the Lord in the following manner:
A theological crisis across the nations will perplex many who will be unable to discern between truth and deception (1 Timothy 4:1–3). Today’s hollow programs, prayerlessness, and preaching of a false gospel of cheap grace in many places will not prepare believers for the coming revival of glory or the encroaching storm of darkness.
As Christ followers, it is essential that we understand our responsibility. We cannot fall back in despair, nor can we give up while we wait for the return of the Lord. As poet and missionary Amy Carmichael stated, “Satan is so much more in earnest than we are—he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost.”
We have been given the assignment from God to transform society with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A clarion call goes out to all who name the name of Christ. Pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer understood the cost of following Christ. His opposition to the Nazi regime cost him his life—a life that he willingly gave to stand for truth. He is certainly qualified to ask the question,
Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God—the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?
Phil Hotsenpiller is a pastor and expert in the field of end-time prophecy. His new book, One Nation without Law, is now available nationwide.