Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Is Satan real?

http://alturl.com/fg6dq
I've been a Christian for 17 years and I've only heard a sermon on demons twice. I've never heard a sermon on hell or Satan. Never heard a sermon on the true consequences of sin beyond this world.  Yes, I've heard plenty of sermons on God's love, faithfulness, salvation, mercy and grace. All great things! For which I'm eternally thankful! But why aren't Christians taught more about demons and Satan?   This recent Barna survey may give you some clue

The majority of American Christians do not believe that Satan is a real being or that the Holy Spirit is a living entity. Nearly six out of ten Christians surveyed either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement that Satan "is not a living being but is a symbol of evil", the survey found. Forty per cent strongly agreed with the statement while 19 per cent of American Christians somewhat agreed.

Likewise, most Christians in the United States do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living force. Fifty-eight percent strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that the Holy Spirit is "a symbol of God's power or presence but is not a living entity."
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/most.us.christians.dont.believe.satan.holy.spirit.really.exist/23071.htm

Say What? Are you as shocked as I am?  How can a Christian call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat an enemy if they don't believe either of them actually exists??  And more importantly, how can people call themselves Christians if they don't believe the Bible?

http://alturl.com/pnwy6
The Bible is full of stories of Satan, his demons, and visions of hell. Jesus dealt more with demons than with healing. He mentioned hell more than he did heaven. Was he just  trying to frighten us? If we don't believe in hell or Satan  then what is the point of the Gospel? What did Jesus die to save us from?

How are we to be equipped against an enemy if we don't know what we are up against? Why don't pastor's preach sermons on hell and Satan? Are they afraid of offending their parishioners or maybe scaring them off? Isn't it better to just talk about happy things like God's grace?  But see what happens? People aren't informed and they stop believing and they are left defenseless against a ruthless enemy.

Your thoughts?

19 comments:

  1. Wow! I am truly shocked at those statistics :O What DO these "Christians" believe then? I'm sorry to put that in quotations, but I don't think they can really be Christians if they don't believe what the Bible says... That's crazy. I'm sure I have heard sermons on this topic, but you're right, not very often. And yes, I've definitely heard of pastors not teaching certain things so as not to offend anyone... How can you offend someone if you're teaching what you believe?! If the people you're preaching to don't believe and get offended by what you're saying, then why are they coming to your church? :/

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  2. Those numbers are so shocking! I had heard about people denying the devil's existence, but the Holy Spirit's, too?! I am glad the pastors I have had have not been afraid to preach about the devil, hell, and the consequences of sin. I think all pastors should be willing to preach about these things because they make hearing the gospel all the sweeter.

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  3. Tues May 1st,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Like the two comments above, I am totally shocked with those statistics ! Not to sound at all smug, but I am MOST thankful I am NOT a part of those numbers ... I totally believe that Satan exists, and his demons. And I MOST definitely believe in the Holy Spirit's existence ... third Person of the Trinity.
    Well, I for one have NO idea why more Churches are not speaking about the existence of Satan and his demons. It is all part-in-parcel with the entire Gospel message ... you either accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour, asking for forgiveness of sins, and believing upon Him ... or ... you choose the other option ... being condemned to Hell with Satan and his demons. Sounds MEGA important to me .... to be telling/sharing the truth with "everyone" !!! Too bad 'if' people are offended. In being 'offended' ... it could very well be the saving of their souls/lives !!!
    What point is there in "sugar-coating" the Gospel message, and not being honest/informative/truthful enough to tell people the message in its "entirety" ???
    Exactly ... this is why Jesus died for each and everyone of us ... He wants us to spend Eternity with Him.
    Wow ... Church leaders had better "wake up" ... before it is too late !
    Startling statistics MaryLu ... very disturbing. Boy ... does our World ever "need" prayer !!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

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  4. If you look closely at what most churches are preaching these days it wouldn't be all that surprising. We have had difficulty finding a church since we moved. Most are preaching what can God give me and bless me more. We need to equip christians with the tools to fight and defeat the devil and his demons. They are real and active everyday. Just look at our world, how corrupt and evil it is. I was raised and still am Pentecostal- spirit filled believer. Yet we visit churches that our "pentecostal" and never see a move of the Holy Spirit. ??? Are we trying to fill the pews but not equip the warriors? Are we trying to hard to make everyone feel comfortable at church that we forget to tell the truth and what the bible really says about sin..It truly makes you wonder how much longer can this world go on this way...I think it's time we went back to the basics of the bible and not this people pleasing type of religion. This is something that has been on my heart for awhile now. I miss the long hours at the alter with the Holy Spirit in complete control of the service. I guess living here in the world the way it is makes our longing for our true home even greater. " What a day that will, when my Jesus I shall see. When I look up on His face, the one who saved me by His grace...."

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  5. I am blessed to be in a church that speaks frequently of the awesome wrath of God...that hell is real and very forever. Makes God's grace and mercy oh-so-much more glorious in comparison.

    So, there are actually churches out there, but they're tough to find.

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  6. MaryLu, another really good and thought-provoking post. The spiritual realm is VERY real, and satan and his minions are on the prowl 24/7. As a Christian, it's hard for me NOT to believe. There have been times when I've gone into a place and immediately felt a presence that I knew wasn't from God. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but you could just feel it. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. If He's there, you will know it. You will feel Him. And if you ask, HE will make Himself real to you. I know you have addressed this topic in your books, and I for one, really appreciate it. Thank you! Have a blessed day! :)

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  7. Wow. My thoughts echo those above as well. Believers need to get into the Word of God ... really delve into it and let God reveal things to us. It is very clear on this topic. It's so sad that so much of today's church is teaching and preaching fluff, intead of reality. Our church experience in the past 5 years has been turmoil because of this stuff and we've been led to leave; I long for the community of the church - the true church (the body of Christ) - but I don't want to compromise the truth, which sadly is not being taught in many church buildings any more. This such a burden on my heart too, and those scary stats are unsettling. That being said, I am encourged when I read the comments left here by the other ladies, as well as yourself, MaryLu, and there is comfort in knowing that there are still some who stand for truth -all of it! May the Holy Spirit continue to move the church of God and stir up more of us to stand for truth, hope, love, without living blindly and in ignorance to the evil that seeks to devour and destroy. It's real, baby. But "greater is He that is in you [believers], than he that is in the world."

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  8. I feel the same way, Sarah.. how can a true Christian not believe in Satan and hell. But I've also heard some people say that Satan and hell were just metaphors representing God's displeasure and not real things. Weird.

    Cortney, yes.. I found the denial of the Holy Spirit absolutely crazy. I don't see how you can give the true gospel without mentioning the Spirit and Hell.

    Brenda, you preach it, girl! And yes, our World needs prayer.

    Debbie, I think you're right. Most churches are trying to fill pews and offering plates and not equip warriors anymore. I envy your experience in Pentecostal churches. I've attended a few where the Spirit really moved. We need to get back to that.

    Michelle.. you're very lucky, yes. Those churches are hard to find here in California.

    My hubby is just like you, Angi. He has a real gift of discernment. He can sense evil in different places very quickly.

    Amen, Caroline! I couldn't have said it better. I do believe there are some Christians waking up and getting back to the way God intended for us to have church...

    Bless you, Ladies!

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  9. I am not surprised. I see it all the time. Some who call themselves Christians believe in God, but they never truly read their Bibles and they don't give a second thought about Satan, Hell or the Holy Spirit. The word Christian means nothing today. I consider myself a Born-Again Christian. You can't be a Born-Again Christian unless you believe that there is a God, that Jesus died and rose again for our sins, that the Holy Spirit is within you guiding your every step and protecting you from Satan and his demons. Great post. I shared it.

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  10. Whoa I am very shocked by those statistics!!! I never would have guessed that. I am very glad that my church teaches about the Holy Spirit and Satan correctly as it says in the Bible.

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  11. Excellent points, Chaplain! And, Heather I'm glad you're in a good church too. :-) Also glad to know there are still some out there!

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  12. I've met a few "Christians" who don't believe in hell or Satan either, but I'm still shocked to see quite how many believe that! My personal theory as to why they don't believe is the "I can't see you, you can't see me" idea - that they think that if they don't acknowledge Satan's and the demons' existence, they can't hurt them. :-/

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  13. I knew that. Last year Rob Bell published his book "Love Wins" which says that there isn't a hell, and I was shocked then by my fellow Christian friends who believed him! Francis Chan wrote a book "Erasing Hell" to combat the damage "Love wins" was doing and I bring it up in conversations whenever I can. It's a pretty good ploy on Satan's part, to make people believe he's not real, because if he's not real, he's not a threat.

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  14. Problem with that theory, Sapphire, is that what they can't see can do them more harm than anything. Autumn is right.. it's a great trick of Satan to make us believe he doesn't exist. Then we won't fight him and he can destroy us much easier. I didn't realize Francis Chan's book Erasing Hell was a rebuttal to Rob Bells. Now I really want to read it!

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  15. Oh dear. Those statistics are shocking. I don't even understand why any church would not preach things that are clearly in the Bible. If you care for people, then you tell them the truth, no matter how difficult it is to swallow. No wonder the church is in the state it is currently in! They are filling the pews with people who don't believe the Bible, and then telling them that is fine, and that you don't need to believe core doctrine to be a Christian. Madness!

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  16. That's what I meant - that they *think* Satan can't hurt them if they pretend he's not there. My theory wasn't that it was true, but that that is their motivation. :-)

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  17. Oh, yes, I knew what you meant, Sapphire.. sorry if I wasn't clear.. I was speaking to them... It's too bad so many well-meaning Christians are being completely duped. :-(

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  18. Oh, okay, sorry for the confusion! Just didn't want you to think I was one of the duped ones. :-) :-) :-)

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  19. Is it a wonder that Jesus asks if He's going to find anyone truly of the faith when He returns? These statistics both shock me and break my heart.

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