My response to the Orlando Massacre this week. Part 1.
Part 2 is here: http://www.scottlively.net/2016/06/18/a-time-for-war/
Only Jesus is Stronger than ISIS Demons
Satan had two great victories in Orlando, Florida this week. The first was the slaughter of more than 50 people at a “gay” bar. The second is the continuing failure of the living to properly place the blame. The “gay” Moslem terrorist who pulled the trigger was merely an agent of a far greater power than the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — one that can never be defeated by public vigilance, or police-state technology or lame collective reassurances of our humanity like chanting “Je Suis Charlie.” No human power can defeat the demonic realm. It is subject only to Jesus Christ.
One of the few scriptures still cited by secularized Christians in America these days is the 23rd Psalm, and it is likely that the most favorite portion of this beautiful Song to God will be repeated in many churches this coming Sunday as Americans grapple with the worst terrorist attack in our history.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.
This tiny fragment of the Word of God that we find so comforting when confronting death contains the simple but profound truth that only when “Thou art with me” can we truly be free from fear even in the darkest of valleys. But as America’s most famous preacher of all time said in his most famous sermon:
“But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covenant of grace that are not the children of the covenant, and that don’t believe in any of the promises of the covenant, and have no interest in the Mediator of the covenant. So that whatever some have imagined and pretended about promises made to natural men’s earnest seeking and knocking, ’tis plain and manifest that whatever pains a natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believes in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep him a moment from eternal destruction.”
That plain and simple warning by Jonathan Edwards in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” rings with special significance in the aftermath of the Orlando “gay” on “gay” slaughter. What claim does any person or society have to protection by God if it doesn’t actually belong to Him — or in America‘s case, has pushed Him forcefully from every aspect of public life?
My hope is that every person killed in that massacre had accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, and my prayer is that every person affected by it will cling to Him as a consequence of this incident. Given the hostility of the LGBT community generally to the teachings of the Bible, I fear that most will not. And clearly the vast majority of the media figures, political pundits and social media commentators are also clueless about the spiritual lesson to be learned from this tragedy. Like the French who chanted “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) in response to the Islamic terror attack on the obnoxiously atheistic and profane Charlie Hebdo magazine, American secularists seem to think we should all chant “I am Gay.” Instead of turning back to God and asking for His forgiveness and protection, they would have us add insult to injury.
Yesterday on my current mission trip in Romania I talked with a taxi-driver who drove me to my hotel from the train station. In very broken English he talked about how much he likes studying new age philosophy and dabbling in the occult. Knowing he could probably not follow a more complicated answer I said simply “Don’t wander in the spiritual realm without Jesus or you could be taken by demons.” I realized later that this is the same message that Americans need to hear. The spiritual world is all around us. Demons are real. They can and do influences and possess human hosts to “rob, kill and destroy” according to the satanic agenda, just as Omar Mateen did in Orland. And there is no human power that can defeat them.
But the demonic realm is subject to the authority of Jesus Christ, who delegates that same authority to those who belong to Him. As we are told in Luke 10:17, His disciples “returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.‘”
The power that Jesus gave to the disciples (which incidentally is the same power that can heal people from homosexuality: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), is available to anyone who repents from unbelief and accepts Him as Lord and Savior. If collectively we Americans turn back to God and reclaim the promise that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12), He can protect the entire nation from any form of future demonic aggression as He did in past generations when we were a Christian society.