When Jesus met the man filled with demons at Gadara, the demons cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29)
Demons learned a mystery here. They knew they were doomed. They knew the Son of God would be the victor. But they didn’t know until it happened that Christ was coming before the time of final defeat.
Christ is not going to wait for the end of the war to lead his troops into combat. He has begun to lead a subversive force into the territory of Satan. He has trained a “life-squad” to perform daring rescue operations. Christ has plotted many tactical victories before the time of the final strategic victory.
The resulting wartime mentality is this: Since Satan’s doom is sure, and he knows it, we can always remind him of it when he tempts us to follow him. We can laugh and say, “You’re out of your mind. Who wants to join forces with a loser?!”
The church is the liberated enemy of “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). We are the guerrillas and the gadflies. We are the insurgency against the rebel kingdom of “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).
It is not safe. But it is thrilling. Many lives are lost. Satan’s forces are ever on the lookout for our subversive activity. Christ has guaranteed resurrection for all who fight to the death. But he has not guaranteed comfort, or acceptance from the world, or prosperity in enemy territory.
Many have gladly given their lives behind the lines running errands for the Commander. I can think of no better way to live — or die!