Know Your Enemies
Paul was inspired by God to write "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:13) Often enemies are thought of only in a military sense. However, an enemy is a foe or a personal adversary. Satan is our enemy. He is seeking our destruction. Peter wrote, "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.' (1 Peter 5:8) A part of Paul's inspired writings and much of what Peter wrote was designed to stir the minds of Christian to a greater level of spirituality and to fortify them against the danger of certain spiritual enemies that threatened their salvation.
Along with the words of 2 Corinthians 11:13 Peter also wrote words to warn us that we must know our spiritual enemies. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1) There are many things that the Devil puts before us that will cause us to deny "the Lord that bought us." Know and beware of your enemies.
Know how your enemy uses worldly and fleshly things to destroy: Satan, your enemy, uses alcohol and other drugs to destroy. The evil fruits of alcohol and other drugs continue to be reaped in our society as more people continue to drink and use other drugs. The use of these evil things continues to worsen in our society. "Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise." (Proverbs 20:1) Drinking and using other drugs is just too costly and harmful -- physically, mentally, socially, economically, morally and especially spiritually. Satan is the enemy and he has surely found ways to destroy. Alcohol and other drugs are enemies of righteousness.
Sexual immorality is also used by your enemy to destroy. Adultery, fornication and homosexuality have become a way of life for many. Our society has become so confused that it calls evil good and good evil. "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20) Immorality is condemned in God's word. Romans 1:18-32 condemns all types of sexual immorality including men with men and women with women. Sexual immorality is a work of the flesh which will condemn one eternally. "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissension's, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21) Some people would like to edit this list and take out those sins of a sexual nature and say "God made us this way so it must be all right to do these things." God did not do it. Satan is the author of this kind of thinking because he wants to destroy people with immorality. Immorality is an enemy that Satan is using to destroy.
Your enemy is also using abortion to destroy and you need to know your enemy. In the United States it is legal for a physician to kill a baby for social reasons at any time prior to birth. There are about 1,350,500 abortions each year in the USA. You can call it abortion but murder by any other name is still murder. The Bible condemns abortion. Although the word "abortion" is not in the scriptures, God's word speaks very clearly about it. God warned Noah's descendants that murder would be punished. "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man." (Genesis 9:6) God hates those who shed innocent blood. (Proverbs 6:16-17) Abortion is murder. Unborn children are "Infants." (Job 3:16) Abortion is an enemy that Satan is using to destroy.
You enemy is also using gambling to destroy and you must know your enemies. Gambling is motivated by characteristics of selfishness, covetousness and greed. (Luke 12:15, Romans 12:10) Gambling involves a trust in chance and a focus on material things rather than a trust in God and His will. (Matthew 6:19-34, Luke 12:13-21) Gambling is contrary to both the first and second greatest commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40) Gambling goes against God's work ethic and is not good stewardship. (Ephesians 4:28, Galatians 6:9-10) Gambling violates the Golden Rule. "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12) Satan uses gambling to destroy because he is your enemy and you had better know your enemy!
Know how your enemy uses religious ignorance to destroy. Satan does not want you to study the Bible for if you do you will find spiritual light and understanding. "The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple." (Psalm 119:130) Satan does not want you to study the Bible for if you do you will acquire spiritual knowledge. "For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6) Satan does not want you to study the Bible for if you do you will be able to abide in God's word. "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) Since Bible study is so important, how could a person be so negligent and indifferent toward it? Religious ignorance is our enemy and we need to know the Bible and encourage our members to study daily.
Know how your enemy uses indifference to destroy. Because God and His work of atonement are so important we cannot afford to be indifferent in our service. By "indifferent" I mean, "of middle quality, having only a moderate degree of excellence, ordinary." Our work for God demands more. Read the words of Matthew 22:34-40. “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” We cannot afford to be indifferent in our work for God. Satan uses indifference to hinder the work of the church.
Let us arise and fight Satan, our enemy. You must become a child of God and stand strong in the faith. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and, be baptized into Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27) After your baptism give Satan a fight! He is your enemy. Know him! Fight against him!
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA