Conflict - Now
October 18, 2020
Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to “Set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household” (Matthew 10:34-36).
I have witnessed first-hand the impact Jesus has had in a person’s life and how that person was ostracized by the family for becoming a Christian. I have known Jews and Muslims who were disowned by their families for becoming Christians. One person was issued a death certificate by his father for confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In other words, he was dead to them.
Do not misunderstand the words of Jesus. He did not mean to say His intent in coming to us was to create controversy and contention. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6; 11:6; Luke 2:14). What He meant was that controversy and contention would be one of the results of His coming. When one member of a family believes in and receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, another part of the family that rejects Jesus will set him/herself against the believing family member. That’s not always the case, but it is fairly common.
It is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ that sets one family member against another. It’s sin that creates the conflict. Satan is the prime motivator behind the issue. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
The ‘sword’ that Jesus brings today is not against saved and un-saved family members, it’s against Satan who holds non-believing family members under his power and authority. The war is real, but it’s a spiritual warfare between righteousness and unrighteousness, godliness and godlessness, belief and unbelief, Jesus Christ the Lord of heaven and earth and Satan the lord of evil and hell.
As Christians, we are to remember that unsaved family members and friends may stand opposed to us and our faith, but the real battle is not with them, it’s with Satan who holds them captive. Therefore, we should not physically fight those who oppose us; we should fight, on our knees in prayer, against Satan who holds them in his grip.
“Father, open my eyes again to the reality that in many ways Satan is the defacto lord of the earth, and that his influence over others can be very strong. Remind me that spiritual warfare is really with Satan, not the non-Christian. I want to be more like Jesus to show love, compassion, grace, and mercy to believers and non-believers alike. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”