Friday, October 30, 2020

Sharing the Gospel with the Gatekeeper and the Key Master

Suggested Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20

The Halloween season is replete with scary stories on TV. One recurring theme in these stories is a friend or family member being possessed by some unruly ghost, which then has to be defeated without harming the person being possessed. Perhaps one of the best examples of this kind of story is the original Ghostbusters movie. Bill Murray's character had been trying to get a date with a particular client who ends up being possessed by an ancient spirit called the "Gatekeeper" and Rick Moranis' goofy character is possessed by the "Key Master" and ends up turning into a demonic dog. The Ghostbusters' job is to somehow defeat the ghosts without harming their friends. The ghosts may have been acting through these possessed people, but the possessed people were never really the enemy.

Often, as Christians, I think we could learn a great deal from the Ghostbusters in how we relate to people of the world. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens (HCSB). Now, while I can't pretend to know all of the things that are meant by things like world powers of this darkness and spiritual forces of evil in the heavens, I'm pretty confident what Paul means when he says that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Essentially, Paul is saying, "No person is our enemy."

Often, as we engage in the battle of daily life, we encounter resistance to the Gospel message or encounter hate and malice from the people around us. In spite of what we may feel, those people are not our enemies. Our enemies are the forces of evil and darkness which influence and teach people to behave in malicious, harmful ways. Our enemies are the forces of Hell as they possess, influence, tempt and seduce the world we live in and the people who live in it.

We are called to love the people around us. We are called to lay down our lives as Jesus did, to love those who act as our enemies and bless those who persecute us. We are called to this because our Heavenly Father loves those who have been raised in this sinful world and been taught by its systems and cultures just as much as He loves those of us who have already been rescued from it.

As we fight daily battles against evil and, sometimes, just for our survival. We must constantly remember that the people who seem to be opposing us are not our enemies. Our battle is not against flesh and blood and we will never reach the lost with the Gospel if we respond to them like enemies.

Only Casting Out the Annoying Demons

Suggested Reading: Acts 16:16-34 There is a sentence in Acts 16 that has always bugged me. Paul and Silas were in Philippi as missionari...