Summary: The reality, work, and final place of demons
SERIES: ANGELS and DEMONS
(freely adapted from a series of the same name by James Merritt)
“THE BAD GUYS”
Some of the more interesting stories in the Bible come from the times that Jesus delivered people from demonic possession. Oh yes, Jesus himself believed in demonic forces!
Demons have a great amount of power and influence in our world. They can and do destroy lives every day. But, they don't have the ultimate power because demons are no match for God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
I’m going to give you a little test this morning. If you can answer this one question about demons, I’ll let you go home early. We’ll be done. Do you know what demons have for breakfast? Deviled eggs.
There are two mistakes, two extremes that we make about demons. The first mistake is that we ignore demons. We don’t give them a second thought. We don’t believe they’re active in our lives. The second mistake is that we see a demon behind every rock and tree. Everything that goes wrong is caused by a demon.
We need to avoid both extremes.
I’ve done a systematic study of demons in scripture. There is a lot of material on this subject in the Bible so what we’re going to do this morning is to look at three things we need to remember about demons. If you will keep these three things in mind, you’ll understand how you related to the demonic world and how they relate to you.
DEMONS ARE VIABLE
What that means is that they are real. They actually exist. Mk. 5:1-2 – “They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.”
Instantly, we see something important. Jesus believed in demons. Jesus encountered demons. Jesus is depicted many times in the Gospels (like with this man) delivering people from demonic control.
One of the greatest dangers in the church is that we fail to recognize that some things happen because of demonic influence and demonic powers. Some have trouble believing that demons even exist. We are so technologically advanced that we have trouble believing in something that some people consider superstition.
The gospel writers, the apostle Paul, and Jesus himself would take great issue with the belief that demons do not exist.
Mark is the shortest of the gospels. But the reason that we’re looking at this passage in the Gospel of Mark is because Mark seems to focus on Jesus’ power over demonic forces in his Gospel. The first miracle by Jesus that Mark records concerns this very subject.
Mk. 1:21-28 – “They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not
as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out,
‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy
One of God!’ ‘Be quiet!’ said Jesus sternly. ‘Come out of him!’ The evil spirit shook the man violently and
came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, ‘What is this? A new
teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.’ News about him spread
quickly over the whole region of Galilee.”
In this passage, Jesus is teaching. He’s not there for the purpose of casting out demons. But hear what the people say, “Not only does he teach in a way we’ve never heard, he has authority which we’ve never seen before. He drives out demons.”
Can you guess the subject of Jesus’ second miracle recorded by Mark? Mk. 1:32-34 – “That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.”
Almost everywhere Jesus went, he had to deal with demons. It didn’t matter where Jesus went, he had to deal with demons. Mk. 1:39 – “So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.”
We see, interestingly enough, that God believes in demons. Here’s another interesting point. Demons believe in God. Not only does God believe in them, they believe in him. James 2:19 – “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”
If you came up to me today and said, “I may not be a follower of Christ but I do believe that God is real.” I have to say that biblically, you’re faith is on the level of the demons. The demons are saying, “Big deal! I believe in God. Trust me. He’s real.” It’s amazing to me that demons have more faith than an atheist.