CAN UNBELIEVERS USE SPIRITUAL WARFARE? (2 Corinthians – 3)
The immature believers at Corinth thought they were wise and all knowing. That allowed them to justify their sin and stay ignorant of God’s truth. Paul writes his epistles to them to enlighten them.
LESSON FOR TODAY 1: Satan blinds unbelievers so they don’t see the truth of the Gospel. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Satan does all he can to keep men from leaving his kingdom/army and joining God’s kingdom/army.
LESSON FOR TODAY 2: All unbelievers are children of Satan (Matthew 13:37-39; John 8:44; 1 John 3:3-10) and are in Satan’s kingdom (Colossians 1:12-14). All are bound by Satan (Acts 26:18) and blinded by him (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 3:14-15) and are under Satan’s power (1 John 5:19). They belong to him (Matthew 12:22-29) and are enslaved in a world system controlled by Satan (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 1 John 5:19). Believers are a small minority, living in enemy-occupied territory, seeking to free some of those bound in darkness so they can find freedom in Christ. Meanwhile those who oppose us do all they can to dim our light and render us ineffective in our battle against them. That is where we find ourselves. That is our battle. We do not live in a neutral world nor are people nonaligned until they decide who they will follow. Everyone who has not committed their lives to Jesus is under the power of darkness and under judgment (John 3:16-21). Every one of them needs rescuing by us!
LESSON FOR TODAY 3: Since all unbelievers are in Satan’s possession, does that mean that all of them are demonized? Not all have had their lives invaded to the greatest extent, but without Jesus’ protection and God’s power they are potentially open to demonizing to one degree or another. They still have the image of God in them which we all have, and they have a free will to use to make wise choices, and that can limit the amount of influence demons can have over them. But we must always be aware of the demonic when we witness to or counsel someone who is not a believer. That is why Paul’s strong works about being ‘unequally yoked’ carry so much weight today (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” This isn’t just about marriage, but about business partnerships, close friendships, and the like. As believers we cannot be closely bound to those who are closely bound to demons.
LESSON FOR TODAY 4: When a blind person does not see the sun shining, that is no reflection on the brightness of the sun but rather on the inability of the person to see it. The same is true of spiritual things. Satan is the ruler of the kingdom of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and in authority over it (Luke 4:6). Naturally he wants to keep his subjects in darkness, which he does. In addition, our sin nature keeps us from coming to God for salvation. It is only as His Spirit works in us to draw us to Him that we come (John 6:37-46; 15:16, 19; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11; Romans 9:23; Acts 16:13-15). Still, man has a free will to choose or reject salvation (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Acts 2:21; John 3:14-16; Exodus 8:15, 32). Somehow, even though our brains are not great enough to understand how it can be, both are true (John 6:37, 44, 47; Romans 9:1-23). It should not bother us that there are some things about God and His working that we are unable to understand for He is God (Daniel 4:35; Isaiah 55:8; Romans 11:34; 9:14-16; Isaiah 40:13, 2 Corinthians 2:16). Both are true, and when we get to heaven we will see how that can be (1 Corinthians 13:12). Our purpose is not to reconcile the two, for they are mutually exclusive, two truths which cannot be put together, but each must be believed by faith. What concerns us in this study is that at least part of the reason why it is necessary for God to work in someone for salvation is that Satan does all he can to blind them to the truth.
Therefore, it is imperative that we pray for those who are blinded. How should we pray? Pray that God would roll back the blindness for a time so they can clearly see the claims of the Gospel and make a free will choice to accept or reject Jesus. We can’t pray for God to make them believe, for God will not violate a person’s free will choice, but we can pray they can unmistakably see the issues so they can make their own choice. Now having said that, we must acknowledge that sovereign God will make sure every person who ever lived understands the issues and makes his or her own choice. No one will stand before Him in judgment and say they didn’t know or didn’t have a chance. Everyone will acknowledge God is just in condemning them for they had a chance to turn to Him but, of their own free will choice, turned it down. This whole issue takes great wisdom and none of us can really understand all of it. What we do understand is that God is fair and just, He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, and the proof of that is that He paid for our sins voluntarily when He wouldn’t have had to. His love and justice have been proven and we cannot question that. Just because we cannot understand all He understands is no reason to doubt His goodness.
Pray for friends and relatives who aren’t believers and are therefore blinded by Satan. Ask God to mercifully set aside that blindness so they can see the truth of the claims of Jesus Christ and freely accept His gift of salvation. Don’t just pray this one time, make it a part of your daily prayer life.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
Copyright © 2021