Summary: Demons are real and can tempt believers or take over unbelievers. Christ is our only sure defense against their power.
Sermon: "DOMINIONS OF DARKNESS" Anderson
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We’re going to listen again to some
provocative words as they are recorded in our
Gospel text for today:
23 "Just then a man in their synagogue who
was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24
"What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us? I know who you
Demons... are they real, or are they relics
of superstition to be tossed into the junk
heap with all those things debunked by
twentieth century science?
Have you noticed that the more science is
used to discredit the supernatural, the more
also people on the street began thinking
about angels and demons?
Frank Peretti, a Christian author, has
written several popular books where angels
and demons comprise roles as major characters
within the plot development.
Hollywood is putting on movies about angels
like "Angels in the Outfield," and even more
movies about demons and ghosts.
If there is nothing supernatural... if there
are no angels... nor demons... no departed
souls... there still remains our appetite
for the supernatural.
The Bible, however, tells us that a
supernatural dimension does in fact exist.
We are quick to think of the hassle of
financial problems, or of people who don’t
like us, or even of our poor health, as our
great enemies. The Apostle Paul tells us
that our warfare is really taking place on a
totally different level: “For our struggle is
not against flesh and blood, but against the
rulers, against the authorities, against the
powers of this dark world and against the
spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly
The apostle is not trying to minimize our
problems in the flesh, but he is saying that
Satan seeks to use our misfortunes, and even
our good fortunes, to work against our
spiritual well-being. Understanding Paul’s
inspired warning, we had better take the
soldiers of Satan very seriously.
Demons are soldiers for Satan. The word
’demon’ comes from a Greek word which
signified an inferior deity. Christians were
led to understand that demons are the real
actors behind each pagan idol. Note St.
Paul’s words in I Cor. 10:20: "...the
sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons,
not to God, and I do not want you to be
participants with demons." (1 Corinthians
The apostle is telling the Corinthians that
idols have no power, but they are the
“houses,” we might say, in which demons live.
When I went to India we traveled to a major
cult center for Hinduism. The two main
leaders within our mission expedition, did
not go. They said, in a matter of fact way,
that the pagan shrine was oppressive to them
because of the thousands of demons which it
housed. One told of an exorcism that was
necessary for a member of a mission team
after they had gone to the Hindu shrine.
Demons seek to attract people into false
belief. All idolatry is false belief
stimulated by the presence of demons.
Demons also seek to seduce believers into
false belief. St. Paul was inspired to say