Spiritual Warfare And Evangelism -- By: Gary Dennis

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 11:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: Spiritual Warfare And Evangelism
Author: Gary Dennis

Spiritual Warfare And Evangelism

Gary Dennis

Gary Dennis is Pastor of Old Zion Hill Baptist Church in Independence, Louisiana.

C. S. Lewis boldly asserts, “There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God or counter-claimed by Satan.”1 Scripture and human experience testify to the validity of Lewis’s statement. An invisible battle rages within and around humans that may be described best as war. Humans experience life in contrasts and conflicts: light and darkness, good and evil, peace and war, right and wrong, righteousness and sin, life and death, truth and falsehood, hope and hopelessness, love and hate, order and chaos, heaven and hell. The invisible and inner struggles of humans affect both individuals and society.

An explanation of the conflict within people, within and between societies, and throughout the earth may be found in the Bible. Behind and beyond earthly conflicts is a cosmic struggle between God and Satan for control of humanity and earth. The first eleven chapters of the Bible describe the beginning of human life and the spreading of evil that engulfed the earth after humanity’s fall.2 The last book of the Bible describes the ultimate resolution of the conflict at the end of the ages when evil is banished and followers of Christ inherit a redeemed and restored, “new” earth.3

Spiritual warfare is a spiritual battle that has manifestations and implications in the physical realm. Spiritual warfare as defined by Chuck Lawless and John Franklin is “the conflict of two opposing wills—namely that of God and his followers versus Satan and his followers.”4 Satan has infiltrated all human structures with demonic forces. Although the kingdom of Satan is spiritual, his rule is manifested through political, social, economic, physical, and spiritual entities. Physical battles depicted in Old Testament narratives are the results of deeper spiritual realities in conflict. The lordship of Yahweh is displayed in the Old Testament through power and authority encounters.5 God’s claim upon Israel, His rule over the nations, and the truth of His words were validated by His ability to overcome all opposing powers and fulfill His words.

New Testament accounts of spiritual warfare differ from Old Testament accounts in one important way: authority, power and truth are localized in the person of Jesus Christ. Spir...

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