"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6). Can you imagine fighting a war and not knowing who the enemy is?
It reminds me of a bullfight I attended. Talk about a bewildered bull! He didn't know why he was there ... he had no idea what the issues were ... and he spent the whole evening charging everything without contacting the real enemy.
But the matador was very real... and very responsible for his misery. And while the bull may have wished the matador did not exist, or that he would go away ... he didn't. The poor bull had to face reality. Matadors do exist.
Have you ever heard anyone say, "There is no devil... our fight is against ignorance ... against poverty ... against hunger ... against social injustice? That is like the bull saying: "There is no matador. My fight is against bullrings ... against fences ... against elusive capes ... against deadly darts."
Let's not fool ourselves. The devil does exist. The enemy is a living reality. "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."
Now don't get me wrong. No follower of Christ worth his salt can remain unmoved by the ignorance, the poverty ... the hunger ... or the social injustice that he sees all around him. Jesus taught His disciples by example and by word to respond to need ... to be moved with compassion ... and to express love through action.
But social ills are not the enemy.
We must do more than fight ignorance, poverty, hunger, and social injustice. We must do more than bind the wounds of the afflicted. We must do more than repair the broken walls of society. These are the evidences of an enemy presence. But fighting evidences is not the answer. We must address the cause. The real enemy is the devil, and the battleground is the minds of men. Ours is spiritual warfare ... a conflict between the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God.
Satan has made men his prisoners. He builds his strongholds around their minds.
The target, then, of our attack must be the minds of men. Our objective is to bring into captivity the thoughts of men into the obedience of Christ.
Let me repeat what I have just said. It is important. Our struggle is spiritual... our weapons not carnal. We battle to tear down strongholds of unbelief... to save men's souls ... to convert men's minds ... to take captives ... and to transfer men's allegiance from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God. Our task is to go into all the world proclaiming that there is no other name given among men whereby they may be saved except the Name of Jesus ... that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no man can come unto the Father except through Him.
The weapons for this kind of warfare are not guns and politics. Neither will this war be won by social action. This is a spiritual war that can only be won by spiritual means.
Let's not beat around the bush. Let's not pretend we are no threat to other persuasions. We are a threat... because we are out to convince ... to convert... to change men's minds. Our objective is to free all captives ... to turn Muslims to Christ... Hindus to Christ... Animists to Christ... Agnostics to Christ... Buddhists to Christ... Communists to Christ. Let's say it as it is. We proselyte. We seek to enter every stronghold of Satan and take captives.
And why do we attack these strongholds? Why don't we let them alone? Why do we "impose" our religion on them? Why do we proselyte? Why do we seek to convert people of other religions to Christ? Why do we say that men without Christ are lost, and that only followers of Jesus can be saved?
Why? Because it's true and we believe it. Why do the Communists seek to conquer the world and subject all peoples to their belief? Because they believe in Communism! Why do the Muslims spread Islam with coercion and violence? Because they believe what they preach! We also believe what we preach. Out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths speak. We make no apologies. We are convinced that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. We believe that Jesus is the only Savior. So ... we fight. Ours is a fight of faith. We fight because we believe that men without Christ are eternally lost. We fight in obedience to Christ's command. Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. "We are committed to worldwide conquest... to bringing every man into the kingdom of God!
What am I saying? I'm saying that the church should give priority to evangelism. I'm saying that our resources in strength, time, personnel and money should be applied to getting lost men saved and into the kingdom of God. I'm saying that our job is not done when we have fed a starving child. I'm saying it is not enough to clothe a shivering sinner. I'm saying it is not enough to physically free the socially oppressed. I'm saying men are not "liberated" until we have broken through the stronghold that Satan has built around their minds and have brought every thought into obedience to Christ.
Clothe a sinner, and he is still a sinner. Feed a sinner and he is still a lost soul. Free unbelievers from political tyranny, and they are still in bondage. Though we improve the environment... though we secure the vote for every man ... we still haven't addressed the real issue.
The enemy is Satan.
The battleground is the mind of man.
Unless Satan's strongholds are broken down ... unless the walls of imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God are cast down ... men will be eternally lost... and that is what the battle is all about! Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh!