In the days of the early Church, the overwhelming majority of the Gentiles were pagans. A pagan is a person who does not worship the One True God. He or she may worship idols or they may not. But if they do not worship the One True God, and instead, believe in another god, in the eyes of the Lord, they are pagans.
In Saint Paul’s day, certain members of the Corinthian church wanted to know if it would be wrong for a Christian to attend an idol feast, (which was a common practice in that day) even if the Christian rejected the false god and did not believe in it. Many Gentiles who came to faith in Christ during that time still had relatives, friends, and neighbors who still believed in their false religions and gods. When a feast would occur, the Christian would be invited to attend, especially if he or she was a member of a pagan family. Some Christians had no problem attending the feast, while others felt religiously compelled to decline the invitation. This began to cause confusion within the Corinthian church. Who was right and who was wrong?
Paul’s response to this issue was clear. Even though they did not believe in the false gods who were being worshiped, and were only going for the fellowship and the ‘good eats,’ Christians were to avoid these idol feasts at all times. He warned the believers that if you eat and drink something that was offered in sacrifice on an altar, you have participated in that sacrifice just as much as the individual who has offered it up to the false god. In the eyes of God, there is no separation between those who offer the sacrifice and those who consume it. As far as God is concerned both parties have participated in the sacrifice.
In Old Testament times, when the priest would offer up the sacrifice on God’s altar, the people would then consume it. Both parties were participants in the sacrifice. Paul explained that the same principle must be applied to Christians who attended idol feasts. If a pagan priest made a sacrifice and offered it up to a false god, and the Christian consumed it, in the sight of Christ, the Christian was also guilty of participating in the sacrifice. Paul warned that those who were in Christ were not to do this, for surely, the Lord’s jealousy would be aroused.
He then went one step further by instructing the Church as follows: "The sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?" [1 Co 10:20-22].
According to the Word of the Lord, those who sacrifice to false gods are really sacrificing to demons. Those who cling to false religions and false belief systems are clinging to demons. In other words, worship of any god other than the One True God is worship of demons.
The politically correct position of the world on matters pertaining to religion is that there are many paths to God; no one religion is The Way. All nations worship God; they just do it in different ways. This position, however, goes completely against what Christ Jesus our Lord taught when He uttered the following words: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me." [Jn 14:6].
These are some pretty hard sayings. First, Jesus teaches that apart from Him, no one will ever enter Heaven. Second, Paul comes along and teaches that worship of any god other than the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ is worship of demons. People who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and worship other gods may not realize that they are really worshiping demons, but this is precisely what is happening. This is why demon possession is often encountered by missionaries who are called by God to serve overseas in various countries where many false gods are worshiped. If people worship demons, then we should not be surprised when they become possessed by them. Any time people engage in demonic activity, they open themselves up to the possibility of demonic possession.
As Catholics, we must not give in to the world’s belief that there are many different paths to God, for the Lord Himself has stated otherwise. Political correctness has no part in the Truth. We are not being arrogant when we declare that Christ is the Only Way to salvation. We are speaking the Truth, which Christ Himself has declared. We are not being harsh and judgmental when we declare that worship of any god other than the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ is worship of demons, for the Bible teaches that this is precisely what it is. We must not be afraid to declare the Truth.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, he referred to Satan as "the god of this age who has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel." [2 Co 4:4]. In the Book of Revelation, is it said that Satan "leads the whole world astray." [Rev 12:9]. Satan is a liar. He is a deceiver. He knows he is doomed to the lake of fire, and he is determined to deceive as many people as possible so that he may take them with him. Satan’s goal has always been to take worship away from the One True God and have it directed to himself. It is for this reason that he lost his place in Heaven. To some, he has given Buddhism and the New Age Movement. To others he has given Shintoism and Hinduism. The list of false religions in the world goes on and on and continues to grow. The gods and religions available in the world today are many, but the demonic purpose behind them all are one and the same: To distract man by giving him something else to worship, embrace, and occupy his time so that he will not come to the Truth concerning the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore, worship of any other god other than Christ Jesus the Lord is precisely what the Word of God says it is: worship of demons. We must not be afraid to say it no matter how steeped in political correctness the world becomes.
The Bible says that Satan masquerades as an ‘angel of light.’ He doesn’t show the unbelieving world what he really is because if he did, who would follow him? Who would listen to him? Although there are some distorted individuals who call themselves Satanists and who worship him openly and unashamedly, most would never bow to him if they saw him in his true light, and he knows this. It’s much easier for him to cleverly disguise himself as a ‘religion of peace.’ It’s much easier to hide behind a false god and a false religion that leave people feeling warm, fuzzy, ‘saved,’ and pious all over. He knows exactly what he is doing. He knows that those who bow to anyone other than to the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ are really bowing to him, and this is precisely what he is after.
Hell is filled with men and women who didn’t discover the truth of who they were really worshiping until it was too late. The blindfold didn’t come off until they stepped into eternity still dead in their sin.
We need to understand that evangelism is spiritual warfare. Paul taught that "our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the invisible rulers, authorities, powers and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." [Eph 6:12]. There is a supernatural battle going on in the invisible world for the souls of men. Christ has commissioned His Church on earth to go into all the world and to preach the good news of salvation through faith in Him. We have been commissioned to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As we carry out this commission, however, we must understand the truth concerning the supernatural battle that we will come up against. Whether you are a missionary to a foreign country or a Christian secretary or janitor trying to share Christ with a co-worker who believes in another god makes no difference. Anytime we step out in Jesus’ Name to declare His Gospel to those who walk in darkness, we are coming up against the demons who hold that person captive. Jesus faced it. The Apostles faced it, and we will face it. If a man has been worshiping demons all of his life under the guise of a false religion, do we really think Satan is going to let him go so easily after enjoying his worship for so long? Therefore, we must be men and women of prayer. It is only through the power of Christ that we can overcome the devil and his angels. People who have no prayer life have no spiritual power. And if they have no spiritual power, they’re on a suicide mission if they think they’ll be able to witness effectively for Christ and come out the winner. Have we forgotten the seven sons of Sceva and their folly on the day they attempted to cast out demons in Jesus’ Name when they did not possess His power within them?
A Jewish priest named Sceva had seven sons who went around trying to exorcize demons from people. They would approach a demon possessed person and say to him or her, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." [Ac 19:13]. Whether these men were in Christ or not, the Bible does not say. But we do know one thing: these men did not have the power of God within them to do what they were attempting to do. One day, when they were attempting to cast out a demon, the evil spirit spoke to them! Listen to what he said! "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" [Ac 19:15]. In other words, what kind of power do you have? The man who was possessed by the evil spirit then jumped on all seven of these men and overpowered them. According to the Bible, he gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
If worship of anyone other than the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ is worship of demons, then we need to understand what we are coming up against when we attempt to evangelize in our Master’s Name, and we need to be spiritually prepared. We must not give in to the political correctness of the world around us which teaches that all gods and all religions are perfectly acceptable for heavenly entrance, for this simply is not so. Eternal life is not offered to mankind in the form of multiple choice options. If we do not choose Christ, we’ve chosen the ‘wrong answer.’ If we worship anyone other than Him, we are worshiping demons. We must not be afraid to tell it like it is, for the souls of many are hanging in the balance.
As we are drawing closer and closer to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as the world becomes darker and darker, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to proclaim the truth. Even within the Church many are offended when leaders proclaim the Truth. People just don’t want to hear it. When the Word of God is proclaimed, they find themselves backed up against a wall and forced to make a decision either to accept that Word or to reject it. To accept it means they’ll have to make changes in their lives. It’s much easier to get offended and reject it, isn’t it? It’s much easier to cry, "Politically incorrect!"
In the teaching ministry which Christ has entrusted to me, I stand upon this principle: if the Word supports it, then I won’t hesitate to proclaim it. We cannot worry about people’s reactions if what we are proclaiming is the Truth. The minute we do, we’re headed for the slippery slope of compromise, and this is something we must never do where Truth is concerned.
Declare the truth, be bold, and most of all, be ‘prayed up,’ for you are entering a ferocious spiritual battle that cannot be won apart from the power of Christ within you. The men and women who are wreaking havoc in Satan’s miserable kingdom are not necessarily those with formal educations, prominent ministries, and lofty positions within Christ’s church. They are those from every walk of life who know the Word and who wrestle with God night and day in prayer. These are the individuals who are being empowered by Him to do the work of the Kingdom...
...and these are the individuals from whom the Prince of Darkness will flee.
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