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Previous Message From Virtual Church

The Real War

Where does Satan live? In a sanitized version of Christianity, where God and Satan do not do battle over our heart, in our heart, then Satan lives in some underground cave like Osama Bin Laden (pun intended) and pops up occasionally to see who he can devour.

In an un-sanitized version of Christianity, Satan lives in the human heart at birth but can be booted out. Once booted out, Satan will try to come back in to our heart. Our heart is like a rental house and we are the landlord. We determine, by our free will, who will live inside our heart and soul. In the case of a person who is possessed, the free will has been taken over or the free will has been surrendered.

(Disclaimer: In speaking of Satan and evil we are speaking of the supernatural. To speak about where Satan lives we are speaking in supernatural terms. Therefore, Satan may not actually live in the human heart that pumps our blood, but he certainly may live in the other human heart that connects to, or is, our soul or spirit. Since Satan is a supernatural entity then he can manifest himself in various ways, in various forms, at various times in persons all across the globe.)

In working with homeless persons, I have seen many people who have given up trying to be righteous or moral by essentially letting go of their free will. These persons can make a decision to forego sin but sin is paying too many dividends in pleasure. To these persons, when Satan will pay the rent in pleasure, plus provide a lot of cocaine to get stoned on, then the landlord (the human heart) is more than willing to let Satan live in the heart. I am not sure whether it truly makes any difference where Satan lives physically, spiritually, or theologically. The result is the same…moral, physical, and spiritual death within the physical body and a continual dying of the soul in this life and later when the physical body dies and the soul goes to hell.

In deciding to rent out space in your heart, you can rent space to Satan who will pay you handsomely in pleasure but Satan will tear up your heart and damage you for life. When you decide to let Christ come into your heart He will require you to pay a price in self-control and self-discipline. However, in the end your reward is peace, joy, and happiness in this life and eternal peace and joy in Heaven.

In a sanitized version of Christianity, we want and believe Satan to exist somewhere else, and certainly not in our immediate environs. What we are facing in the world today is the greatest manifestation of evil, in all of evil's forms, in history. People do not want to come to grips with this reality about Satan. People are indeed like sheep. People want to be told that everything is fine, go back to sleep, don't worry, be happy. The United States not only faces numerous domestic terrorists who want to do us harm, we also face domestic sin within the hearts of the citizens of this country and other countries around the world.

Very few Christians believe Satan is a real power exercising real power in this world at this moment. Today, inside and outside the faith, we like to say that evil is not really evil. We like to say that a person is emotionally ill, is mentally sick, had a bad home life, is maladjusted, is or was abused, is a victim, you name it and we come up with a scenario. The fact is that evil is in the world, is in us, and given the opportunity, evil lives within us if we do not invite Christ into our hearts. Evil is a disease. Evil in the form of emotional illness was just as prevalent in Christ's day as it is today. In scripture, we see Christ dealing with emotional illness by treating emotional illness as demon possession (Matthew 8:28) showing us that satanic evil wants to overtake us. Jesus healed a paralyzed man by forgiving the man's sins (Matthew 9:1) showing that sin, that is in all of us, causes physical maladies. A man who was mute because a demon-possessed him (Matthew 9:32).

Jesus performed miracles in cities that did not repent. Jesus proclaimed that these cities that saw so many of His miracles performed yet did not repent were places that were doomed (Matthew 11:20). Obviously, Jesus is not speaking about the streets, roads, and buildings when He refers to cities. Jesus is referring to the people of those cities who witnessed His miracles and who did not repent. The people in these cities who did not repent were given great gifts by Christ. They were direct witnesses to His power, His love, and His divine truth. From these people, the people who witnessed His power, He expected much. Their doom came to them not because they were witnesses. Their doom came because they did not repent and believe.

There are some persons today who lift the United States up as the most generous nation on earth, which it is. The United States is the world's beacon of freedom. However, we, as a nation, have not repented. We have used our freedom to blaspheme God and drive the thought of God out of public gatherings of all kinds. We have used the Lord's gift of freedom in despicable ways. God, indeed, did shed His grace upon us, but what did we do with that grace? What have we done with God's gifts to us? In comparing the United States to other nations there is no comparison because we are the greatest nation on earth. Yet, as great as we are, we have not repented. We have turned away from God as a people.

Our country and our faith must heal the divisions caused by sin and unrepentant hearts. A faith and a people divided will not stand (Matthew 12:25). We must make our nation and our faith strong from within to be able to withstand the attacks of evil that will surely come (Matthew 12:30).

The heart stores up good or evil. What the heart stores up comes out of the mouth (Matthew 12:34).

In our current bio-terror threats, evil will be let loose on us. A disease of any kind is evil. Death visited upon a human being is evil. When a murder is committed we put the murderer in jail or we execute the person because a society cannot stand to have murderous evil exist. Our body will age and eventually our body will die because of the influences of evil upon our physical frame. We do not want to come to grips with the total truth of evil and its power for we are helpless to stop much of evil. We cannot stop the effects of aging. We cannot stop death although we want to stop it. In the foul nature of the human heart, we want to stop death, not because death is evil, not because we want to glorify God and do His will, but because by stopping death we can go on and sin even more.

Life is precious. Life is a gift of God. Life in all its forms is a gift of God. You and your life are a precious gift from God. Terribly, that life has been contaminated and infected with evil, darkness, and sin. This infection by sin began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve had children, Adam and Eve passed their sin infection on to their children. Then their infection has come down to us. The way we must deal with sin is to turn away from sin or repent.

It is highly possible that we literally fell from the Garden of Eden. It is possible that the Garden of Eden physically existed on a higher plane of reality and that when Adam and Eve sinned, they fell downward onto this plane of reality in which we now live. The plane of reality on which we now live is infected with evil. To admit that Satan exists in the here and now is to truly admit we have an adversary that is out to kill us.

When we admit we have an adversary that is out to kill us, then to survive we need a way to deal with that adversary. Without Christ, we have no hope of defeating evil. Think about the ramifications of having no hope. As a nation, the United States now faces massive death by bio-terrorism and nuclear war. There is no cure for smallpox. There is no small pox vaccine (or at least enough of it). There are other weaponized diseases that have been designed to kill us in massive numbers that will be use against us. We are living in a situation of immense evil. We are living in a situation of limited hope. Take Christ out of the world or out of a person's life and there is no hope. Look at regions of the world where Christ is rejected and you see war, famine, plague, diseases running rampant, and sin abounding.

We can no longer afford to live with a sanitized version of Christianity. In the United States, we are (or were) essentially crime free. There are (or were) regions and pockets of major cities where crime exists but for most of the country we have not had to live in a police state because crime did not exist. We no longer live in a country where crime does not threaten us. Now we live in a country where bio-crime threatens our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. When the anti-terrorism legislation was signed by President Bush, because our nation is threatened on such a scale, we have essentially had to give up the freedoms guaranteed us in the Bill of Rights. We have had to essentially give up the guarantee of our liberty, and we no longer pursue what we considered happiness as we once pursued it before 9-11.

What we must come to admit is that evil is real. Satan is real. We must look at what we do, who we are, and repent or turn away from evil in all its forms. In our sanitized Christian view, some evil is really, really bad, but other evil is not so bad. In the real world in which Christ lives, evil is all the same. Sin is sin. We must also come to admit that evil has a consequence. In each person's life, evil is an influence and evil will cause massive damage to the person's life and physical well-being. A drug addict who does not repent will either die of the effects of the addiction, from AIDS contracted from the use of shared needles, or from risking his or her life to get more drugs. As a nation, we must not only go to war with evil on foreign shores, we must go to war with evil within our heart and lives. As a nation, if we do not repent and turn away from evil in every form, then evil will remain. We must repent or turn away from evil. When we repent, we must turn toward Christ, for when we repent we do indeed turn.

We have two basic choices in life. When we are born, we are born with a heart that faces Satan. However, we do have a choice. We can either face Satan and evil or face God. When we face God, we must come to understand that God gave His Son to us so we would have someone to turn too when we turn away from evil. As long as we deny evil exists whether the evil is personal immorality or immorality in terrorists, then we deny that evil has power over us. In the Muslim world, we are seeing evil people actively killing others in the name of God. Evil is rampaging through the Muslim faith. These Muslim persons are being deceived and are deceiving others about God.

When we do not confront the reality of evil and Satan we let ourselves be deceived. In the Christian faith, we have built a substantial theology about God's protection. The truth is that when we confront evil in our lives, in our family, in our society, and in our world, there are going to be casualties. Our faith is a faith that stands upon the blood of the martyrs both past and present. The martyrs, both past and present, were and are the casualties of the war between God and Satan. Persecution of Christians in all its forms is a result of the war between God and Satan.

Broken hearts abound today in many forms. Evil seeks to break the heart of every person no matter who the person might be. Evil seeks to break the heart, for the broken heart that is not a Christian heart, has no hope. The broken heart that is not a Christian heart is then open and vulnerable to Satan's attacks. Revenge and hatred based upon past wrongs is a broken heart being slammed and hammered by Satan's voice…a voice saying "get even" with the wrong doer.

Christ died a horrible death. The horrible death of Christ was a result of His coming onto the field of battle between God and Satan. When Christ died, it appeared that Satan had won. When Christ died, it appeared that the world could go on about its business of reviling in sin and evil. When Christ died, it appeared that as Christ gave up His life for us that God's most precious gift to the world had been done away with. After all, death is final. After someone dies, they are no more. Satan scored an initial victory with Christ dead in the tomb. However, praise God, angels came down. Praise God, the stone started rolling away from the door of the tomb. God sent a burst of energy into the body of Christ and Christ was alive again! Christ walked out of the tomb. At that moment, when Christ walked out of the tomb, evil had a problem. With Christ alive, evil had and still has a big problem. The battle Christ waged was a bloody and gruesome thing. The battle the faith has waged in His name down through the centuries is be a bloody and gruesome thing. Make no mistake about this! Christians have paid a heavy price for their faith ever since Christ came back from being dead.

Generally, in the United States, God has shed His grace upon the United States and protected us from attack by foreign entities. It has been the American tradition to fight evil both at home and abroad. In standing up for what is right and moral our nation has paid a heavy price in human lives in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and numerous other conflicts involving our military. These conflicts were the result of our standing up for our Judeo-Christian way of life and the definite morality that serves as the foundation of our way of life. In these wars, our men and women shed their blood to keep us free. They shed their blood to keep us a free nation that permits us to worship our God, our Christ, our Savior as we see fit or to not worship our God. The battle for righteousness is now upon our shores as never before. Evil has come into our land and that evil now wants to destroy all that is good and great about our Judeo-Christian faith and ideals.

What does evil want? Evil wants us to turn away from Christ. Evil wants us to not do the right thing. Evil wants us to look askance at evil, to discount it, to diminish it, to minimize it, to say that good and evil can exist together and that being a patriotic American is all that matters. Evil wants us to live our life in a selfish way. Evil wants us to commit every deadly sin and adopt every deadly sin as a way of life. However, evil is not satisfied with taking us down individually. Evil wants America dead. Evil wants America to be no more. Evil wants our churches destroyed and our freedom to worship taken away. Evil wants us to slide into debauchery and immorality in all its forms. Evil wants our country to rot from within and to die from attacks from without.

What will happen next? We will be attacked again as we were attacked on Sept. 11, 20001. The next attack will probably be more horrific. If the heart of America was broken on 9-11 the heart will be broken further when we are attacked again. What are we supposed to do? As a nation, at this instant, we are supposed to repent and turn away from every evil, not just the evil of Muslim extremists. What will we do? Will we repent and turn toward our God? When we are attacked again, will we cry, wave the flag, and refuse to repent and come to God on our knees in godly sorrow?

In the sanitized version of Christianity, we will all be protected. The truth is that we will not be protected whether there is another terrorist attack or not. The truth is that we will all physically die no matter what kind of Christianity or Christian theology we adopt. The truth is we do not live in a sanitized world. We live in a dirty world of sin and in a dirty world where God and Satan are at war. Your heart and the heart of every person is the battlefield in the war between God's love and Satan's evil. The life and existence of the United States is at stake in this war between God and Satan. Who will win? In the end, at the end of all things, Christ will return and claim His own. In the intermediate wars, there will be casualties. There will be death and destruction in the United States. There will be grieving and there will be mourning. However, in the end, for every soul that calls upon Christ in this life, there is victory. Every soul that repents and accepts Christ in this life will not taste death, but will inherit eternal life.

Prior to the 1960's and the great moral decline of our nation, the world was thought to be a definite possibility. In the late 1940's through the 1960's, a full-scale nuclear war was considered to be the way the world was to end. During those years the end of the world was considered to be a definite event that would definitely happen at some point in the future. However, in the last fifty years, we have tried to sanitize the world through political correctness and the disarming of our nuclear arsenal. We, as a nation, no longer truly believe there will be an end of the world, for to believe there will be a literal end of the world, without a Christian hope, is to have no hope. Instead of admitting there will be a literal end to the world, we have pushed the thought of an end of the world out of our minds. We have pushed this thought out of our minds by telling ourselves evil does not exist in a form that truly threatens us.

There will be a final conflict or a final battle between good and evil. This battle has been raging since the world was created and may soon come to an ultimate conclusion. At some point, all things as we know them now will end. For you, if you have accepted Christ, then eternal life, eternal joy, eternal peace, eternal happiness beyond words awaits you in heaven.

If you are not sure about your future, then turn away from the sin and darkness of this life. Pray to Christ, "Lord Jesus, take me as I am a sinner. I turn away from my sins. I accept that you died for me on the Cross. I accept you into my heart and life as personal savior and Lord. Amen." When you pray this prayer in your heart and really mean it, then you have a future in glory with Christ, with God the Father, and with the Holy Spirit.

 

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