The REAL War Unfolding
in Our Nation Today
and Its Implications for Every Jesus Follower
The devil is real. He and I have crossed paths. More than once.
My very first encounter came one night in my freshman year of college, shortly after I found salvation in Christ. In my newly ignited faith, I was eager to start exploring hymns I had never sung before. So one evening, I slipped into a local church sanctuary near campus, sat down at the piano, and in the dim light of one lamp, I began working my way through a hymnal.
Suddenly, I was aware of a “darkness” surrounding me that was not physical—but seemed as real as though it were. A chill ran through my body. Goose bumps formed on my arms. My pulse raced. Something was “there” that felt malignant, evil, oppressive, ominous. It seemed to be hovering, drawing nearer, ready to attack. Ready to devour.
If only I knew then what I know now.
If only at that moment, I had known my Bible more thoroughly. Spiritual combat appears all through it. If only I had read some of the dozens of books I have now consumed on the topic of the “battle of the ages,” which finds its consummation in Jesus’ final, decisive engagement with the “Dark Powers” described in vivid, pictorial language in Revelation 19.
If only way back then, I already had sat under the teachings of biblical scholars, such Dr. David Schroeder (currently president of Pillar College in New Jersey), masterfully captured in his latest book, The Lion, the Church and the Warfare (Master Works/Equip Press).
If only I had known then what I know now about the issues surrounding what Christian leaders often term “engaging” in the battle of the ages. How that would have transformed my whole walk with Christ!
I would have dealt with that night quite differently. Instead, I bolted out of the building in a panic and was unable to sleep for the rest of the night!
For sure, knowing what I know now totally shapes how I interpret all of the conflicts arising in our nation today—and what I know to be the ONLY solution.
Here’s how YOU can start doing your own reconnaissance on the battle of the ages.
Fortunately, you can be more prepared to encounter the powers of darkness than I was. There are many resources to help you grasp what’s going on behind the scenes—far too many to mention here.
To help you, I have created many opportunities for Christians to gain from some of what I’ve discovered over decades of “reconnaissance” on the devil and his deadly schemes.
Here are just a couple of examples:
Check out this five-minute segment of The Christ Institute Video Series on how Christ reigns over the Dark Powers today here.Listen to my 30-minute discussion on “How Christ Reigns Over the Dark Powers” in my CHRIST TODAY podcast, episode 42.
But let me especially encourage you to dig into David Schroeder’s vital “battlefield manual,” designed to equip you to understand and deal with any moment like I experienced—or like what America is experiencing right now. It’s a great book.
I wrote the foreword to The Lion, the Church and the Warfare—so you can be sure I know how helpful it is. (Incidentally, the title is a takeoff of C. S. Lewis’s first volume of the famous Narnia series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe—also about Christians engaged in spiritual warfare).
This 400-page volume is about a conflict of breathtaking cosmic proportions—unfolding at a magnitude no one really can fully grasp.
This book is about the sinister drama that embroils the entire human race—with huge implications for those of us in saving union with the Son of God, the Lion reigning on the Throne of heaven. That’s because the battle rages around him.
That is to say, this warfare—both its visible and invisible dimensions—is not about us. It is all about Christ.
I’ve been a witness to the cosmic conflict!
Since I had my first exposure to the enemy of our souls, I have witnessed many forms of this all-encompassing, life-and-death struggle across decades of worldwide travel into every stream of the Church.
At one end, I’ve seen its very personal manifestations (such as subtle demonic influences). But at another end, I’ve suffered its institutional expressions (such as at the hands of earthly regimes).
In some cases, these “principalities, powers, and rulers” in domains of darkness appear to hold sway territorially (like over a certain city or country). In other cases, they gain obvious footholds in the minds and morals of whole societies (inciting addiction to pornography, for example).
However, most surprising to many Christians are passages like 2 Corinthians 10 and 11 in which the Bible indicates that, more often than not, these deadly onslaughts take their toll inside our churches. This is where Satan erects his most strategic strongholds. They are found among God’s people, designed to diminish for us the glory of God’s Son, to rob us of the “purity of devotion” he deserves.
But here’s the good news: Books like David Schroeder’s make an invaluable contribution to believers by bringing together under one cover a distillation of solid biblical teaching and time-proven practical insights to empower Jesus followers to triumph in the fight. What he’s written is the best, most balanced volume on this critical subject I’ve ever read.
Here’s why this book strengthens me for the battle
To whet your appetite, here are just four of the key characteristics of The Lion, the Church and the Warfare that I’m grateful for.
The following four emphases are crucial to the victory for any of us who find the conflict descending upon us. If you take hold of these four dimensions, then you are on your way toward what Paul predicts in Romans 16—“crushing Satan under your feet.”
- It is HOPEFUL. Its chapters will convince you there’s every reason to be filled with eager anticipation about the glorious outcomes in this fight, both now and later. Right off the bat, in the preface, the author leaves no doubt about the victory awaiting us:
The Commanding Officer, Jesus Christ, has enlisted His people, the Church, to be His infantry, the boots on the ground, provided them with His authority, and has already won the war through His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.
- It is STRATEGIC. You’ll discover that the battle, and our crucial place in it, is part of a much grander eternal plan moving toward triumphant consummation–namely, to bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:10)
Learn how Jesus is equipping his people to directly and effectively engage in the battle as he exercises divine authority through us.
The “End Game” of this plan (as David Schroeder titles his final chapter) is when Satan and all his minions are thoroughly destroyed so that the glory of Christ covers the earth as the waters cover the sea, never to be defied or diminished again.
- It is PRACTICAL. This book provides a treasury of helpful and proven suggestions for every reader, not only to enlighten us more fully to the scope of the cosmic conflict but also to enable us to fully and intelligently engage the enemy right where we live—and in doing so to contribute meaningfully to his ultimate downfall.
In fact, there’s a whole chapter describing the “boot camp” where, you may be surprised to learn, virtually every facet of Christian discipleship, seen from this “wartime” perspective, forms a solid, proactive assault on the devil “who’s like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5).
- Above all, it is CHRISTOLOGICAL. Finally, David Schroeder—out of his decades of ministry in the Church and in academic arenas throughout the world—is determined to make sure the reader understands how and why the combat, both in the heavenly realms and on the earth, is really all about Christ.
It is because of him. It is against him. It is won only through him and only for him.
He who right now leads believers across the globe in his ongoing victory parade (2 Corinthians 2:14) has already been assigned the supremacy in everything, including over all the hosts of evil (Colossians 1:18). He reigns today as our everlasting champion! Devils tremble and flee!
That’s why it’s so critical that all Jesus followers keep coming back to one great biblical doctrine—the ASCENSION of Christ. Schroeder writes:
Get ready to engage!
A number of Christian leaders believe our generation of Christians is being prepared to share in a massive acceleration of the gospel, both in America and among the nations, as a result of a broad-based “Christ Awakening” movement within the churches. They see this awakening as God’s masterstroke for defeating all of the enemy’s skirmishes across our nation right now.
If there’s any substance to this expectation—if the Holy Spirit truly is about to cause the whole Church to become wholly alive to the whole vision of the whole Christ—then we can be certain of this one thing:
Spiritual warfare, both local and cosmic, will unfold in full-throttled counterattacks against the advance of Jesus’ kingdom—assaults more ferocious than anything the Church may have yet known.
Before this battle accelerates any further, therefore, now is the hour for Christians to get ready to engage, for the glory of the supremacy of Christ.
Get this book. Thank God—literally—that he directed David Schroeder to write this guidebook for such a time as this.
Read it. Absorb it. Pray it. Get prepared for what is coming.
Then, stand at attention before our King, ready to fight and win for him. Be a part of the glorious siege of the gospel for the salvation of a generation.
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.
If you enjoyed this blog post, forward it to friends!
|Invite them to sign up for future blog posts here. It’s free!|