What I mean is that without a strong presence of the Holy Spirit (which most believers do not have because they are unwilling to pay the cost of complete devotion to receive it) gravity is working against Christians. It is much harder to pull an unbeliever up a cliff than it is for the unbeliever to pull a believer down a cliff.Mark Ballenger, Destroying Believers, Pages 67
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Today I present another End Times post.
Have you heard the expression, “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future??” It’s a very famous expression. So famous that I’m not sure who said it first, and researching that does not seem like a good use of my time today.
The Phrase expresses a fundamental truth we also find in Scripture. Be careful who you hang out with, because we become like the people we spend time with. One verse that expresses this is 1 Corinthians 15:33.
(33) Don’t be deceived, bad company corrupts good character.1 Corinthians 15:33 (CEB)
It’s a simple concept: We need to hang out with people doing the kinds of things we want to do. Because we’re going to end up doing the same things as the people we spend the most time with. If we spend our time hanging out with people who smoke pot and play video games, we’ll end up smoking pot and playing video games. But if we spend most of our time with Christians trying to grow in the LORD, we’re going to learn something from them and experience Spiritual growth of our own.
This topic is important at all times. It’s something we need to stay on top of to live the best life we can. But this issue takes on a new and more urgent importance during the End Times. We are really running out of time to be held back by others like this. If worldly friends living worldly lives pull us into a pit of sin, we don’t have much time left to climb out of that pit. When Jesus returns—which will happen very soon—that pit is where He could find us.
It’s always important to hang out with people who can lift us up rather than drag us down. and that metaphor of dragging us down is an appropriate one. You see, not all Christians hang out with dangerous people because they’re tempted by sin. Sometimes Christians get into trouble in this area when they try to “save” a worldly person. So when we talk about being wise in who we hang with, that’s another very important aspect we can’t ignore. We also must understand when trying to “save” people (“save” is in quotes because only Jesus Saves, not us …) that if we reach down to pull someone up a cliff, we’re in great danger of getting pulled down instead.
One of the Best Tools in Satan’s Toolbox
For today’s post I’m referring to a book by Mark Ballenger, one of my favorite YouTube pastors. Although he’s most known for his YouTube channel, he’s also written a few e-books. Today I’ll be referring to the one “fiction” book he’s written. It’s entitled, Destroying Believers: A Demon’s Guide.
I put the word “fiction” in quotes because although the book is written from a fictional perspective, the substance of the book is real Scriptural theology. This book is like The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, if you’re familiar with that work. The book is narrated by a demon writing to other demons about how to destroy Christians. So in other words, it’s a look at everything wrong that we must not do to live a good Christian life. Reading a book like this is interesting, even if CS Lewis did it first.
As we look at some quotes from Destroying Believers remember that the book is written from the evil perspective. It’s written from the perspective of demons.
So first, our fictional demon reminds us of the truth of 2 Corinthians 6:14. “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers,” Paul admonishes us. It goes back to what I said in the intro. If we want to grow in holiness we must hang out with people who are on that same Christian Path. If we hang out with unbelievers, we’ll get knocked off the Path. That’s why the demon in Destroying Believers calls unbelievers tools at a demon’s disposal, used to harm a Christian’s Walk.
You should know that there are really only two groups of people. There is the “church” and the “world”. The church is the body of believers. The world is the body of unbelievers. […] Jesus said that those who are not with him are against him because those who are of the world are actually being directed by us (if we are doing our jobs!). God’s Word says, “. . . the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). If all people who are not saved by Christ are actually being directed by Satan through his direction of you, is it any wonder why Satan’s Counsel has issued attacks contrary to Paul’s words, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). You must learn to use every possible means of destruction at your disposal if you hope to make any kind of name for yourself. And those who are not following Christ are truly at your disposal. In Ephesians 2:1-3 it says:Mark Ballenger, Destroying Believers, Pages 65-66
Ephesians 2:1-3 explains what it is that’s dangerous about unbelievers. Zoom in on verse three. Before being Saved, we all did whatever felt good and whatever we wanted. But this kind of life, which caters to the sinful flesh, leads nowhere but Spiritual death. After being Saved we’re called to something more than that; a Spiritual Walk. But anyone who is not on this Walk can be characterized by Ephesians 2 verses 2-3.
(1) At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. (2) You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. (3) At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.Ephesians 2:1-3 (CEB)
Moving on, the demon explains how people living from their old nature (doing whatever feels good and whatever we want) are following the devil rather than the Holy Spirit. These people will cause sin no matter what their intentions are; they can’t help it. It’s a side effect of living from that old nature.
According to this text, what spirit is at work in those who are disobedient? Answer: the ruler of the kingdom of the air, which is another name for our leader, who Jesus called the “prince of the world” (John 12:31). He is the prince of the world because the people of the world follow him. I would also like to draw your attention to what this text says about people’s old nature. It says that they are by nature objects of wrath. So not only do worldly people (those living from the old nature) follow our directions, but they are also by nature violent, wrathful beings. The Word has even gone as far to say that their “sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God” (Romans 8:7-8 NLT).Mark Ballenger, Destroying Believers, Page 66
After all this set up, the demon gets to the point. Now he explains the value (to Satan’s kingdom) of the people he’s been describing. They’re one of the most valuable assets in the devil’s toolbox, because they will harm a Christians Walk no matter what their intentions are and what they actually do. They can’t help it; it’s an inevitable side effect of living from their unsaved nature.
If there was ever a weapon you would hope to have in this holy war we are engaged in, would it not be one that followed your directions, was hostile towards God, and was forever unable to please God? You have such a tool in those who lack the Spirit of God or who are choosing not to live from the Spirit of God within them. Unsaved people and believers not living out of the new nature may not mean to be harmful to believers, but by their nature they will. You will not have to force a worldly person to be an object of wrath, you will simply have to direct and manipulate him to use his wrath to the fullest potential. Worldly people will be shooting arrows whether you cause them to or not, so you might as well direct their aim at God’s children.Mark Ballenger, Destroying Believers, Page 66
This once again reminds us of all the age-old wisdom to be careful who our friends are and who we associate with. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, because they will knock us off the Path.
But wait a minute!! what about our duty to evangelize the unbelievers, and preach them the Truth?? Well, that’s an important point and Mark Ballenger addresses that too.
Don’t Be a Hero
This point does not escape the fictional demon narrator either. Jesus did command us to “go and make disciples of all the nations.” So as long as that’s our goal, won’t our association with unbelievers be harmful to the devil’s agenda for them??
The answer in most cases is: No.
It’s 100% true that our duty to preach and evangelize is of the utmost importance. But we must always remember that only Jesus Saves; we are not the ones who do the Saving, and we can’t do it. The best we can do is point people in the right direction, which is one of our most important jobs. If we try to do more than that, we place ourselves in Spiritual danger and are taking a risk.
Because the sad fact is that it’s far easier for us to be dragged down and corrupted by unbelievers than it is for us to pull them up. Imagine trying to rescue someone who’s falling off a cliff. This is the metaphor our fictional demon narrator uses. It’s incredibly dangerous to reach our hands down and try to save someone falling off a cliff. It’s much easier for the weight of the person to pull us off the cliff than it is for us to pull the person up to safety. Every time we associate with unbelievers on the level of friendship or anything deeper, this is the kind of risk we take, even when our intention is to evangelize them.
By now I imagine some of you in objection because you know that God wants his people to do what he does, which is to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). You might be remembering his last bit of instructions before he left earth in his physical body, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded” (Matthew 28:19).
If you fear that your target will gain supporters for Christ if you introduce him to worldly people, you should know this–the laws of the spiritual world are in your favor. What I mean is that without a strong presence of the Holy Spirit (which most believers do not have because they are unwilling to pay the cost of complete devotion to receive it) gravity is working against Christians. It is much harder to pull an unbeliever up a cliff than it is for the unbeliever to pull a believer down a cliff. You need to take each scenario and friendship case by case, but if you help the believer enter into the worldly relationship thoughtlessly and naively, then by and large your harvest will be positive.Mark Ballenger, Destroying Believers, Pages 66-67
We do have to make disciples of all the nations, but we also have to be smart about it. We have to “stay safe” to some extent or else we’ll fall off the cliff trying to “save” people. Never forget that only Jesus Saves, not us. Jesus is the one who can pull that person up the cliff to safety.
So the best we can do is point people to the Truth by preaching and evangelizing while also giving an example of a good Christian life through our own behavior. This might convince people to turn to Jesus, and if it does we have performed our Great Commission responsibilities. If we try to do more than this, we place ourselves in spiritual danger when it’s not 100% necessary.
Unbelievers are hanging off a cliff by their own choice. Only Jesus Saves, and the unbeliever has to be willing to turn to Him and accept His help on their own. In other words, unbelievers hanging off the cliff must take Jesus’s help to pull themselves up. That’s really the only way for them to turn their situation around. And if we try to help them, well, gravity is not on our side.
It’s much easier for us to get pulled down by the people we’re trying to “save” than it is for us to pull them up to safety. Jesus commissioned us to make disciples of all the nations, not to get ourselves killed Spiritually, with sin. Our evangelism is of the utmost importance; and at the same time, so is our own Spiritual safety.
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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