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Who Rules the World?

Who’s winning the struggle for supremacy, Satan or Christ? It depends on how far back you go. If we measure from the time of Christ to now, Christ is far ahead. If we look at the last century or so, particularly in the Western World, Satan is rapidly regaining lost ground. Why? Why after so many centuries of progress is Christianity now in regress? Is it God’s inscrutable decision or is it something His people have done or failed to do? Have we failed to fulfill our responsibilities? What are our responsibilities as Christians? Most Christians seem to think that Satan is the god of this world and that conditions will get worse and worse until Jesus’ physical return. They seem believe that this is what the Bible teaches and that there is nothing anyone can do about it.

The only reference to Satan as the god of this world is 2 Cor. 4:4 which refers to his blinding of unbelievers and their making him, in effect, their god. We read in Matthew 28:18 that all power in heaven and earth was given to Christ. Was this rescinded? Certainly not! Immediately after asserting His authority, Jesus told His disciples (all Christians) to teach the nations to obey all His commandments. Have we done this? Well we did somewhat, up until a century or so ago when most of the evangelical churches basically gave up. The Great Commission was redefined and limited to just the preaching of the gospel and the nations were left to govern themselves without God’s law. They retained the Scriptural teaching of salvation in Christ and the need for living godly lives but virtually dropped the idea that Christians are also responsible for the world at large.

The earlier goal of converting the world to the Christian faith was first ignored and then denied. Authority for the world outside the church was transferred from Christ to Satan. This change was a consequence of two new theologies, Dispensationalism and Amillennialism, both devised in the 19th century. The Scofield Bible and a number of works of fiction that dramatized Christ’s return popularized the former. The latter gained acceptance in the more conservative seminaries and churches but both reflect a strongly pessimistic attitude toward the idea that the Great Commission of our Lord (Matt. 28:18-20) could ever be fulfilled. In effect, Satan was given control over everything in the world outside of the individual, the family and the church. He became, by default, the god of this world.

These ideas gained so much support that today God’s law no longer governs politics, the legal profession, civil government, medical care, entertainment, education, the sciences and more. America, with a high percentage of Christians, can hardly be called a Christian nation. Why? It is because Christians have focused almost exclusively on personal salvation and heaven, and have pretty much neglected the outside world. They may have kept Satan out of their lives but they certainly have given him free-reign everywhere else. The Christian community bemoans each new advance of the humanist agenda and, while Christians may pray for God to do something, they rarely take direct action to halt or reverse the trend. They feel little or no responsibility to do more than possibly provide an evangelical witness to unbelievers.

So America’s Christians stand on the sidelines as Satan forces take over one aspect after another of our once solidly Christian culture. There was a time when the slightest disparagement of Christians or Christian principles would bring a barrage of letters to the editor or to congressmen and other officials. Today, the Supreme Court can legislate in favor of abortion or homosexual marriage or any number of other godless causes without much more than a whimper from Christians. We are losing our once strongly Christian nation to the humanists. They are very alert and active in promoting their godless programs while we sit back and do nothing.

Christian, are you concerned about this situation? Do you see that the struggle for the world amounts to total warfare and cannot be restricted to personal life and evangelism? Do you see that home and family are in jeopardy and cannot be preserved as Satan’s forces approach complete control? Do you see that even before then, Christianity will be outlawed and forced underground? Today’s Christians are doing next to nothing about the spiritual condition of the nation because (a) they don’t see it as their business and (b) they don’t believe anything can be done. But it is their business (Matt. 5:13-16; 6:33; 28:18-20; Luke 19:13) and most definitely something can be done. There are millions of Christians in America. If just a small percentage were to take an interest in public affairs and begin to speak out and send letters to their representatives on these issues, we would see change. Most of these men and women in public office are truly concerned with only one thing, their reelection. As their mail shifts in favor of Christianity, they will be forced to act, even if against their wishes, and will soon begin to sound like sincere believers. This truly is a government of the people, but only of those people that are serious about it and take an interest in it. We need to shake-off our lethargy and start taking action; the situation is growing more and more critical as time passes.

A word to those of you that are pastors: It is especially important that you, you that carry the greater responsibility, begin teaching your congregations that being a Christian isn’t just a free ride to heaven but that Christians have work to do in this world. It may be difficult or even painful to go against the advice of your peers and seminary professors but it is God we must obey and to whom we must answer one day. This generation may fail to obey their God and there may be hard times ahead but we can be confident that God’s word is sure. A faithful generation will arise, the nations will learn to obey all Christ’s commandments, and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14).