Are we inclined to shrug off the thought of demons and spirits today, ignoring the great number of references to these evil beings to be found in both Old and New Testaments? The very thought of unseen agents of Satan involves a bizarre concept to which we are unwilling to subscribe. Such things have no place in this age of science and reason—or do they?
The Apostle Paul, writing to the church in Ephesus, speaks of the warfare of the Christian and describes the situation in these words: “We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil” (Eph. 6:12, Phillips). If we are confronted with an “unseen power,” if that power “controls” this world in which we live and sends out “spiritual agents,” are we not being utterly foolish to ignore their reality and the means of defeating them?
Of subjects often mentioned in the Bible, demonology is one of the most infrequently mentioned in sermon or article. Some dismiss the matter of evil spirits as, at the most, a phenomenon of our Lord’s time. Some think the biblical description of these beings is a primitive diagnosis of mental illness. Still others apparently think the subject is too nebulous for serious consideration. And finally, there are some who consider the entire matter ridiculous evidence of childish credulity.
I once received a letter from a minister in a distant state asking whether I thought there might be evil spirits abroad in America today. He cited two cases of blasphemous rejection of Christ in deathbed scenes. Whether there are many people in this country who are possessed of devils in the biblical sense I cannot say for sure, but I think ...1
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