Thursday, September 22, 2011

"How to Meet the Enemy" (Excerpt) By John MacArthur

C.S. Lewis wrote:

There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or magician with the same delight (The Screwtape Letters [New York: Macmillan, 1961], p. 3).

Lewis was right. Unfortunately, strands of both errors exist in today’s church. On the one hand, some Christians are materialists who fail to understand that the Christian life is a fierce spiritual battle.

One reason for a materialistic attitude is indifference. When your world is an easy place to live in, it’s easy to forget that a spiritual war is going on. It’s easy to forget that millions of souls in the world are in the grasp of Satan. And it’s easy to forget that Satan always takes advantage of Christians who are lethargic, indolent, or spiritually stagnant. He loves it when Christians try to hole up in a sanctified environment instead of fighting the battle. Yet that is precisely the agenda of many churches today. People are trying desperately to enjoy fellowship while remaining indifferent to the battle.

Another reason for being materialistic is worldliness. Too many Christians crave earthly, temporal pleasures instead of the rigors of warfare. They seek a life of ease—a life of entertainment and activities, never realizing their role in the battle of the ages. A believer who invests his or her time and resources in mundane things won’t understand spiritual warfare.

A Christian who had a deficient view of God’s grace said to me, “The wonderful thing about the Christian life is that basically you can do whatever you want.” Believers are not handed a free pass to do what they want. They are called to obey Christ, the Commander-in-Chief. In Matthew 16:24–25, Jesus raised this call: “If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”

MacArthur, J. (1996). How to meet the enemy (7–8). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
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