When you look at the world around you, it doesn’t take long to discover that you’re in a world of darkness. The bible tells us that because of sin (rebellion or lawlessness), the entire creation and world in which we live have in a sense fallen. It’s not as it once was, and has been corrupted by sin.
The bible tells us that the world is under the sway of Satan (1 John 5:1), that it’s heavily influenced, manipulated and controlled by him and his kingdom. We’re told that Satan is the ‘god of this age’ (2 Corinthians 4:4), and that he has blinded the minds of those that have not put their faith and trust in Jesus. Satan has a certain amount of authority over those in the kingdom of darkness, but we’re not to be confused and place Satan on an equal playing field with God. Satan himself was created, is an angel, and is hopelessly powerless when compared to God. But compared to man, he is an incredibly powerful being, and should not be spoken about flippantly (Jude 1:8, 2 Peter 2:10).
Satan once served God, but through pride, trading, and his lust for wealth and power – he rebelled against God, and took one third of the angels with him (Ezekiel 28:16). Satan’s kingdom has order, probably one mimicked and derived from the order God established in his angels. The kingdom of darkness has rulers, princes, leaders, various degrees and levels of power and authority, and spirits that host wickedness (Ephesians 6:12), and despite what many mistakenly believe, Satan and many of his angels (demons) aren’t in Hell yet, but they roam the earth like a roaring lion – seeking to devour those made in Gods image and likeness (1 Peter 5:8). They also wage war in the heavens against Gods angels. Satan is incredibly intelligent, seductive, manipulative, and deceptive. One of Satan’s titles is the ‘Father of all Lies’ (John 8:44). Satan invented deception.
It’s also important to remember that Gods angels greatly outnumber Satan’s. For every one demon, there are two angels – and God himself created them all. The bible tells us that the ultimate end for those that live in darkness, is judgment. He has set aside a day to administer justice, and those in Satan’s kingdom will be cast into everlasting punishment. God takes no delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:32), he finds no pleasure in it – but wants all people everywhere to repent, and to put their faith and trust in his only Son Jesus so that they will be saved (2 Peter 3:9).
The Only Path to Life
Various religions all across the world make all kinds of claims – but Jesus said that there is only one way that leads to life (Matthew 7:14), one path that leads to the Father (John 14:6), and one name under heaven through which salvation is possible for mankind (Acts 4:12). Today universalism is greatly growing momentum – the idea that many paths lead to God, but Jesus strongly opposed that idea and warned us ahead of time that through him alone can a person be reconciled to God.
He doesn’t just tell us that he is the only way, but he also tells us why. It has to do with the justice of God. Because we’ve committed crimes against God and his kingdom (sinned), because we have broken the law, fines and penalties need to be issued in order that justice is administered.
The bible tells us that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23) – that we deserve to be eternally separated from an eternally Holy and righteous God. This grieves God greatly because he is the very essence and definition of what love is – he cares about you beyond comprehension. But for God to turn a blind eye to justice would inevitably mean that God is corrupt, and he cannot violate his own just nature. So in order for God to forgive or acquit you in the eternal court room, someone needs to pay the fine – but not just anyone. The person must meet strict qualifications to meet the requirements of justice.
Because the penalty for sin is death, and because mankind sins, all of mankind eventually dies (Romans 5:12). Statistically, 100% of people will die. But what happens after death is the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). God the Father has appointed his Son Jesus as the judge (John 5:22), and the only way to acquit a guilty criminal in this situation is for a perfect, sinless man to take the penalty for that criminal.
One of the most documented and prophetically verified facts in all the world is that God became a man (Isaiah 9:6, Hebrews 1:8), lived a perfect life (2 Corinthians 5:21), suffered and died on a cross, and took upon himself all of our sin, guilt, shame, sickness, disease – he took the full penalty for our crimes upon himself so that provision for forgiveness could be made without compromising justice.
Jesus alone was the sinless, perfect man. Jesus alone qualified to make atonement for the crimes of humanity. This means that Jesus alone is the way through which salvation is possible.
Other religions go through different people and systems that compromise the justice of God. All other religions involve working their way to heaven – trying to do enough good deeds to outweigh the bad. But all this amounts to be bribing the judge, and only a corrupt judge would accept a bribe.
There is only one way – and that is through Jesus.
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12
Leaving the Darkness
Spiritually, you are in a war, a battle ground. A war is going on in spiritual realms for your allegiance, and there are only two kingdoms. There is no neutral ground; neutral ground is Satan’s ground. It’s not easy to leave a kingdom you were born into, a kingdom that has shaped the way that you think, that has influenced you for many years and taken you captive unaware. Satan has blinded the minds of those who do not yet believe, and to leave that kingdom is not easy.
But the bible tells us that the word of God is alive, active, and powerful, powerful enough even to divide between the soul and spirit of man, exposing the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The word of God is the avenue through which you are hearing the good news of salvation, and it’s the means by which you can receive eternal life.
Jesus said that in order to enter his kingdom – the kingdom of light, you first must count what it will cost you. Forgiveness of sins is possible when you repent, and put your faith and trust in Jesus.
Repentance and faith involve;
- Acknowledging that you’ve done wrong.
- Apologizing for doing wrong.
- Stop doing wrong through faith, and by the power of Gods Holy Spirit.
- Start doing right through faith, and by the power of Gods Holy Spirit.
When you repent and put your faith and trust in Jesus – God promises to send his Holy Spirit, to seal you, and guarantee your inheritance at the end when Jesus returns (Ephesians 1:13).
Living in the Light
Leaving the darkness can be difficult – but through faith in Jesus, what was impossible becomes possible. God does a supernatural work in your heart and life when you trust him, believe in him, and give your life to him.
Living in the light is also a battle. Satan doesn’t just want to keep people from the kingdom of light, but also to draw people out of the light, back into the darkness – and keep them there. The bible warns us that in the last days, many will depart from the faith, because of great deception (1 Timothy 4:1), believing teachings of demonic spirits. But Jesus promises that those who abide in him, who know him, who spend time with him daily in prayer, who read his word – and who know him well will be his disciples, and no one can take them from his hand (John 10:28). Fellowship with other believers is of great importance when it comes to growing in God. We’re in a great war, and we need each other.
Climax of Gods Kingdom
Ultimately Jesus is coming back to establish his throne and reign on the earth physically. A day is coming when all those in the graves will hear the voice of Jesus, and some will be resurrected unto eternal life, while others will be raised to be condemned.
It’s important to prepare for that day, and to live our lives in a way that honors God, and in a way that brings him the greatest possible glory.