Over the past month, the world has started to resemble a war zone. Not one of human actions but in the form of natural disasters. The western US is on fire, the eastern half of the country was slammed by two category 4 hurricanes in less than two weeks. Island nations like the Dominican Republic and Cuba were laid waste in their fury. Earthquakes, monsoons, and mudslides in other countries.
I began thinking about the Fall of man, angels, and creation.
In The Beginning
God created everything and it was good (Genesis 1). All was well until there was a rebellion and an attempted coup in Heaven. A civil war broke out and the rebels were cast out.
Unable to defeat God, their leader set his eyes on a different, much more vulnerable target. I have a question for you. How do you hurt someone that you can’t touch?
You go after who they love.
That’s what the Devil did. He began a destructive espionage campaign on earth with half-truths and propaganda (Genesis 3). It worked so well he got humanity on his side. An impurity spread throughout creation and earth began to feel the effects of the war.
At one point nearly everyone is wiped out. God had stepped in, preserving the righteous and destroying the evil. Then He set aside a people, a group of nobody nomads called Hebrews, as a part of His plan to get even more involved.
Throughout the centuries there is a rumble of a savior coming. Then he arrives and evil is met head on. The world isn’t meant to be like this, but it’s corrupted by sin and its effects. Death is pushed back, sickness is healed, people restored, and destructive storms stopped by a firm command.
The espionage campaign was continuing but meeting resistance. Demons were using people as their playthings and God the Son was stopping them. He even gave authority to do so to his followers.
Jesus had to be stopped. So through the people that God had set aside, their pagan conquerors, and a friend who betrayed him, Jesus was arrested, tortured, and killed. It looked like evil and death had won.
Hope Was Lost
Until death was defeated. This man, Jesus, came back to life. God had used man and the Devil’s evil schemes for good. God plays the long game. Centuries before He had instituted a system for man to reconcile with Him. It involved purity laws and blood sacrifices for sins.
Mankind was so corrupt, it wasn’t enough (Hebrews 10:4). The debt was too high, and justice eventually had to be served. It was in the form of a pure animal dying in your place because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Jesus was the once and forever sacrifice, defeating sin’s grip on humanity (Hebrews 10:8-14). God provided the ultimate sacrifice, Himself, for us, His enemies. Then Jesus rose, having paid the sin debt, death no longer had a grip on him.
Then he began an interesting guerilla/espionage campaign himself (Matthew 28:19-20). This unit he commands is called ‘the church’, and it started with 120 people in it. He tells them to wait, and returns to Heaven, promising to send help (Acts 1:1-10).
Days later, God, the Holy Spirit makes His Presence, equipping this odd little unit. In a day the 120 grew to over 3,000 (Acts 2). They run around fighting moral and natural evil with good while telling people about the Jesus whose authority they were under. It continues to this day.
The goal of the campaign isn’t to kill the enemy. God wants them to surrender and come to His side to be reconciled and restored. The war continues, though it has been won. The universal church under Christ has its agents everywhere, in all spheres of life, helping, rescuing, and pushing back against evil to bring as many as we can to Jesus. His earthly army is indeed odd, being filled solely with his former enemies.
When the last one surrenders to him, and it could be you, it’ll come to an end. The war will be over, the war criminals who refused to surrender judged and sentenced to Hell, and everything set right again. No more pain, tears, suffering, or death.
Until then, when you look around, realize that you’re looking at a world at war. You, me, God’s side, the Devil’s side (though many don’t realize it due to his propaganda campaign).
Prepare For Battle
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.