Today in America and around the world there’s much evidence of the presence of evil and the supernatural world–the rise in terrorism, teen suicides, violence and hatred between people groups, the growing acceptance of anything sordid, the sexual gyrations of the entertainment world, the increase of pornography and drug addiction, the demonic looking villains of video games and the general fascination with anything paranormal… Yet many would rather avoid or deny the existence of demons and the growing influence they are having on Americans. Many would attribute these issues to man’s lustful nature, which is true to some extent, but does not explain some of the most heinous crimes taking place that hearken back to centuries past, such as beheading and crucifixions. While not yet an issue in America, it is a growing problem in Europe and the Mid-East. So what can be done?
First, recognize their existence. Jesus did. He never backed off from the subject of demonic activity. He cast out seven demons from a prostitute and from many others. However, the most dramatic is the story of when Jesus cast out a legion from the demoniac. “When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission” (Luke 8: 28-32).
While many Christians know this story, they are not aware that these type of people do exist today. They think this was an example of Jesus’ society and culture of the time. While this may be a dramatic case, it is not something of the past, but present here today, through perhaps to a lesser degree. Many Christians would shy away from that portion of scripture, refute it or turn a deaf ear to its message. After all that’s what Jesus did, not something his followers could do. Yet here is another scripture which illustrates that He wanted His disciples to have this power. “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and cure diseases” ( Luke 9:1). Though that power was given primarily to the Twelve, it doesn’t mean that it is not something that others can posses. It is also part of the Great Commission. “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues” ( Mark 16: 15-17).
Yes, In His name we can have the power to drive out demons. It is a much neglected part of the Great Commission by those who focus only on part of the verse. Though we might not be called to some dramatic deliverance ministry, that is reserved for the few, Christians can indeed do something. They can pray for the binding of spirits and their demonic hordes. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Jesus is referring here to binding the forces of evil, powers and principalities as shown in this verse. ” For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
We would do well to remember that we are not fighting against people, but the spiritual forces that influence them. Christians need to pray against spirits of violence, hatred, destruction, lust, addition, perversion and so forth. We need to recognize that these are what plague much of our society and nation. We don’t need to attack the people influenced by these spirits. Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for them. Hate is not a good tactic for Christians to embrace, though we are told to hate evil. However, we must recognize the source of this evil–Satan and come against his demonic hordes in prayer.Let us stand together united as one front in prayer and not be divided by the enemy of our soul. It is our only hope for the church, this nation and the world!