Know Thy Enemy; Destroy
By Nick McDowell
“We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” This was a statement that many attribute to being first said by Richard Nixon in the 70s and has since been echoed by several U.S. presidents. This unofficial policy is brought up when the United States has been faced with some kind of hostage situation involving a terrorist organization. One might ask why you wouldn’t at least try to negotiate in a situation like that. Is there any way we can minimize the suffering by giving into some of their demands? It’s a challenging situation to be in. Ultimately I believe it comes from an understanding that there are certain people and groups in our world that have only one goal…destruction. If you give them what they want, then they will continue to push the boundaries, jumping at the next chance to cause destruction. Only now they would be armed with more resources...the resources you gave them from before. They aren’t interested in peace or getting along. They want power, control, and to cause as much devastation as possible. The difficult truth is that the only way to effectively confront this type of evil is that there must be a line drawn. There must be a stand taken. There is no room for negotiating with evil.
My college degree was in Social Science Education. In short, I wanted to be a history teacher and was employed as one for a couple of years after graduating. There were several characters in history who knew no limits when it came to a quest for power, control, and dominance. Genghis Khan and the Mongols, Napoleon, and of course, Adolf
Hitler to name a few. In all of three of these examples, the only thing that ultimately stopped them was not negotiation, but confrontation and taking a stand. Negotiations were certainly attempted, but it only enriched their forces and temporarily paused their plans for conquest and further destruction. These leaders never knew when to say ‘enough.’ What was required to stop them were people willing to draw a line and say ‘no more’, regardless of the suffering and sacrifice that might be required. There must be a stand taken. There is no room for negotiating with evil.
In this series of blog posts, we have unpacked the different ways the spiritual forces evil attempt to take us down. Through distraction, discouragement, division, and deception, the enemy desires to keep us off balance, disobedient to God, and living in fear. Ultimately there is one purpose behind this: to destroy. Satan, his fallen angels, and all the spiritual forces evil (the enemy) want to destroy us, to tear us down emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually, with the purpose of taking us down to hell along with them.
The overall purpose for this series of blogs is to remind us that we are indeed at war. We have a very real enemy. Maybe that makes you uncomfortable. Maybe you don’t like the idea of being hated as we go along our day-to-day routine, but make no mistake, there is a very real enemy that wants nothing more than to tear our lives apart. The best way they can do that is to separate us from the vine, Jesus Himself (See John 15). As Christians, we often forget that we are at war. The enemy hates us and there are people in the world who have aligned themselves with the enemy. Through the different tactics mentioned in my previous blogs, these people have been led to believe that they are on the side of good and seek to destroy the Christian faith and all who follow Christ. They hate us as well.
In the midst of this we must remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood, as Paul writes in Ephesians 6, but “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” There are people who commit evil deeds in this world. They have been seduced by the enemy. We must keep in mind that even redeemed followers of Christ have a sinful nature and it's a day to day battle to resist temptation and sin. Even the most evil person in the world can still be redeemed while on this earth. If we hope to win some of them over to Christ, we cannot fall prey to the same traps that many have fallen into already.
Listen to the words of Jesus:
9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture.10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
~ John 10:9-10 ~
The thief only comes to steal and kill and destroy. I see the current landscape of the church in the United States and I see many who seem to be “negotiating” with the enemy. They believe that if we just give a little ground here or there, it will help lead more people to Jesus. They are less worried about being holy as God is holy (Lev. 11:44, 1 Peter 1:15, Matthew 5:48), and more concerned about not offending too many people. When we water down the Gospel or completely go away from basic foundational truths (as we see in the Progressive ‘Christianity’ movement), we aren’t making the Gospel more “inclusive.” Instead, it ends up being no Gospel at all.
The enemy isn’t stupid. The enemy knows our weaknesses and knows how afraid we are to lose material things, have our reputation tarnished, or see a relationship experience conflict because of taking a stand for Christ. We can be tempted to fold, bend the knee, and to compromise on a few things in the name of comfort. Let’s just “agree to disagree” on the atonement, homosexuality, abortion, and an array of other areas that should not be negotiable. The enemy wants us to be scared and to buy into the lie that by compromising it will somehow help the Kingdom. But remember, the enemy only wants one thing…to destroy us. He cares nothing for this world. He knows that he has lost the war and wants to take as many of us as he can with him. When we take a few steps away from the Gospel to make certain people more “comfortable”, we just open the doors up for more destruction. It won’t get better. It will only get worse.
Jesus taught His followers this:
24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
~ Matthew 10:24-28 ~
There are a couple things to point out here. The first thing is that all those who commit evil acts and are unrepentant will be held accountable. Jesus says that everything will be made known and disclosed in the end. This should be a warning for those who continually serve the enemy as well as those attempting to ‘negotiate’ with them. Don’t compromise. Remain faithful to God. He sees everything and everyone will have to give an account for their words and deeds. There must be a stand taken. There is no room for negotiating with evil.
The second thing is not to be afraid of the evil that confronts us here. In my mind, the worse thing the enemy can do when we remain faithful is to kill us and/or our loved ones around us. This is obviously an unsettling reality to come to grips with, but we must not allow the enemy to use that to manipulate us or to cause us to cower in fear. It is much worse to be faced with evil, stay true to Christ and be put to death on earth, then to compromise and be faced with our Righteous Judge who has the power and authority to put both body and soul in hell. The enemy wants us afraid of what they can do to us on earth and to ‘negotiate’. He just wants to destroy you. There must be a stand taken. There is no room for negotiating with evil.
No matter the sacrifice and suffering required, stay true to the Lord. Stay true to His holy word. Remain faithful and do not stray to the right or to the left of the narrow path He calls us to (Prov. 4:25-27). There will be heartbreak, loss, tragedy, pain, and death on this earth. The enemy will give you promises that he can take that pain away. That he can minimize it. Just cut a few corners. Just try to get along. It will be ok. He will distract you, divide you, deceive you, and discourage you until he destroys you.
The enemy can’t do that if you stay rooted in Christ. So stand your ground. Don’t ‘negotiate’ with evil. Draw a line and remain firm. Remember that we serve THE ONE AND
ONLY GOD, CONQUEROR OF SIN AND DEATH, redeemer, counselor, and Lord of all creation. He is ALMIGHTY God, THE GREAT I AM, THE ALPHA AND OMEGA and when Jesus returns to earth, He will return on a white horse, eyes blazing, a robe dipped in blood and a sword that will come out of His mouth (Revelation 19:11-21)
…and there will be no negotiating with evil. Christ will be victorious. Amen.