Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Ephesians 6:12 which reads: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Our soul winning quote today is from C. T. Studd. He said: "I pray that when I die, all of hell will rejoice that I am no longer in the fight."

Our soul winning devotional is part 33 of our series titled "What Evangelism Is" from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is...Spiritual Warfare

As an infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal being, God is a more formidable foe than can be imagined. As a warrior God is invincible. Yet surprisingly, God has a chosen "limitation" in this battle. He loves people. The only way to get at God is to attack those whom He loves, people. People are His weakness. Of course, Satan knows this, so Satan attacks people. Therefore, when it comes to spiritual warfare, we are the battleground.

Spiritual warfare begins at birth. At the time everyone on planet Earth is born, they have an enemy whose goal is to keep them from God.

Regarding the plan of Satan, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:4: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

If you think that once a person gives his or her life to Jesus the battle is over, you are mistaken. In some ways it only intensifies. Once people are saved, the enemy works against them to keep them from telling others how to be free. The war continues.

For example, the apostle Paul had hoped to visit the Thessalonians in order to continue helping them mature in the Lord, in ministry, and in mission. Yet the enemy attacked. 1 Thessalonians 2:18 reads: "Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us."

In Ephesians 6, Paul gave the most detailed explanation of spiritual warfare found in the Bible: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

In this passage Paul tells us that the nature of the war is not primarily physical, political, financial, legal, or educational. It is spiritual.

He also tells us that the proximity of the war is that it is here and now. It is not something involving someone else far away or long ago. It involves us today. It is our struggle.

Further in chapter 6, Paul tells us that the purpose of the war is to advance or stop the preaching of the gospel. If Paul had not given his life to take the gospel to people far from God, the enemy would have had no reason to attack him.

We also see that the intensity of the war is a life-or-death battle. The word "wrestle" used in verse 12 denotes "hand-to-hand combat to the death" in the original language. Paul wrote these words from a jail cell where he was imprisoned because of this warfare and eventually executed as a result of it!

In our next broadcast, we will continue to look at why evangelism is...spiritual warfare.

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