God’s Word is under attack! The foundations of Scripture are being shaken by the world’s philosophical atheism, continually being stirred by the Arch Enemy and the ”rulers of the darkness”. What is Satan’s strategy?
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV)
But a more insidious attack is rising—friendly fire from within Christianity!
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: . . . who set their mind on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19 NKJV)
How do we fight a war on two fronts?
What is Satan’s Strategy?
Satan’s strategy attempts to ensnare all of humanity in the same trap. The Devil’s tactics certainly change with time and culture, but the strategy remains the same. One of the first rules in warfare is to know your enemy! The Bible makes our Enemy’s strategy very clear.
First, Satan always attempts to make us doubt the Word of God (Genesis 3:1). Once we question the accuracy, the meaning, the authenticity, the historicity, or any other aspect of the inspiration of “all scripture” (2 Timothy 3:16), then we begin edging onto a slippery slope that will absolutely lead to the next stage.
Second, Satan always follows doubt with denial of the Word of God (Genesis 3:4). When one begins to suspect that God does not have the authority, the capability, or the will to carry out His Word, the slide into the final phase is inevitable.
Third, Satan ultimately denigrates the Person of God Himself (Genesis 3:5). Once the thought that the Word of God is not trustworthy takes root, and the belief that God will not or cannot do what He says He will do, it absolutely follows that God is either a liar, a hypocrite, or a capricious and whimsical tyrant.
Combating Friendly Fire
Satan’s most effective tactic is to insert his threefold strategy into the leadership and teaching of the church. If the shepherds of the flock deny the inerrancy of the Scriptures, then the sheep will fall prey to “false teachers among you.”
The Lord Jesus insisted that His message is exclusive of all others (John 14:6). Either His Word must be embraced in its entirety, or it must be rejected in its entirety. Picking and choosing the portions that we like, sets human authority over God’s authority. If Bible-believing Christians truly affirm that Jesus is God incarnate and that His gospel is the only remedy for a sin-dead and fallen world, then we are also under heaven’s authority to confirm and endorse Christ’s message—to the exclusion of all others.
Godly leadership carries the obligation to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3) and sometimes to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort” (2 Timothy 4:2) those who would doubt, deny, or denigrate the words of God. Identifying false teachers and false prophets is part of that mantle of responsibility (e.g., Titus 2:15).
Even so, when it is necessary to identify a false matter, that challenge must “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). And when confronting another who claims to share faith in the Lord Jesus we are to “admonish him as a brother” (2 Thessalonians 3:15), always seeking to “restore” rather than to remove. However, once a “Bible authority” insists that the words of Scripture are not to be taken as clearly stated or that God’s revealed message is subject to sinful man’s editing and opinion, then it is necessary for godly leaders to resist those who would dare to raise their voice against “the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).
May the God of all Creation encourage you to “have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Ephesians 3:12).
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