Avoiding Spiritual Smugness

25 Sep

John MacArthur:

“As Paul closes the letter to the Ephesians he speaks of a great struggle which lies before every believer. And we told you last time that Paul is very clear about the fact that the world is a battleground. That the whole universe, in fact, is at war, there is a war between God and Satan, we see it in many places in Scripture. Perhaps no more clearly than in the book of Job where Satan and God are in conflict verbally. But everywhere throughout the history of man and the revelation of God the conflict is seen. The conflict between God and Satan comes down to the holy angels and the evil angels and they are at war. It comes down another step to good men and evil men and they too are at war. The whole of the universe is a warfare. The whole thing since the fall of man since the curse entered the earth is a warfare.

The Christian life is a struggle, a battle, a wrestling match as Paul calls it in verse 12. So, we literally exist as believers in a life and death struggle. And frankly, people, I don’t think anybody understands this. I really don’t. I think that there is a … and this is easy to see here and I love you all and that’s why I say what I feel because I want to help you all to understand it…but I feel you can get such a smugness about Christianity that you lose the whole perspective.

You know, you just kind of sit in the corner and you kind of dote over your theology for one thing. Where everything is so good, you know, at … Church, you know, your kids are in the junior high department and you’ve got one in the high school department, having a great time, everybody is going to camp, you’ve got little kids over there in the gym playing around and you’ve got them in Awana or you’ve got this going, you’re buying them books, listening to tapes. The world is all beautiful and glorious and you get so wrapped up on your little thing that you forget what a warfare is going on. And you forget that there are literally millions of souls around the world who are in the grasp of Satan. And you forget the things Satan is doing so subtly to just debilitate you by what may be the greatest attack of Satan, lethargy, indolence, indifference, stagnation.

And I fear for this, I fear for this for … (the) Church. You know, I get up here to preach about the warfare and everybody sort of sits there and says – we’re going to talk about the warfare today. What warfare? What battle is he talking about? He must be going through a lot, poor fellow; we need to pray for him. There are so many people who don’t even realize what is going on. You look at each other and you say – this battle seems very serious; I wonder what it is like. See. There is a warfare and if you don’t know it then you’re not a soldier or a very good one, you’re not fighting. “

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