by David Burns

Making the Invisible God Visible Today
Pastor David L. Burns

C.S. Lewis told the story of an apprentice demon, soon to be sent to earth on his first mission, who is preparing for a last-minute strategy session with his master. The young demon is a fast learner. He has realized that the unbelieving world is already in his master's power and that it would be a poor use of his time and resources to focus his schemes at first. Rather, his strategy is to focus on neutralizing the Christians in their evangelistic work. "They could do the most harm," he reasons, "so I must keep them from the destructive work, modeled so well by Paul 2,000 years ago, of 'opening the eyes of the unbelieving that they might turn to God from Satan' (Acts 26:18)". He shudders at the thought of Paul's success.

The demon then shares his strategy with his master. "I'll try to convince Christians that there is no such thing as sin," he says. "They will stop sharing the good news. The answer will soon become irrelevant if I eliminate the question."

"This is only a part of my plan," says Satan, "but it cannot be the focus, for most of our enemies realize the reality of sin. Even those in our power sometimes, in rare moments of clear thinking, realize sin's destructiveness. You'll confuse some of the enemy, but not all of them on this."

"Well then, I'll convince the church that there is no hell, that even if there is sin, there are no eternal consequences."

"Good thinking," replies Satan. "You will confuse some with this, but still, the prospect of judgment is so ingrained in men, even those in our power, that this will not neutralize the enemy. Most will see through the deception."

The young demon thinks for a moment, and then a look of triumph floods his face. "I've got it! I'll convince them that there is no hurry. They can have their doctrines of sin, heaven, and hell. I'll just help them rationalize away their lack of conviction on these matters by whispering i ...

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