Skandalon

In my last post, I talked about mass shooters and how hate affects their hearts. Once hate has infected their hearts, they can more easily be prone to commit violence. But there is another aspect to the contagion of mass shootings, a spiritual aspect that very few people mention. That is the aspect of demonic influence.

Most people believe in the existence of angels. They view them as guardians who are here to protect humans. I too believe in the existence of angels and that there are many whose purpose is to help protect humans on earth. But there is another aspect to the angelic realm. That of demons, i.e. those angels that rebelled against God and were cast out of heaven millennia ago. Their purpose is more sinister; they desire to help destroy humanity.

Scripture tells us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 You see, the devil and his minions are just looking for an opportunity to do us harm. There is a word in the Greek New Testament, skandalon, from where we get the word scandal. It means “a trap, or snare, a stumbling block or a person or thing by which one is entrapped or drawn into error or sin.” BLB Lexicon.

The devil and his demons set traps for us to fall into; traps that can destroy our lives and the lives of many of the people around us. One of the best examples in Scripture is of King David. He was walking on his roof at night, looked out and saw Bathsheba taking a bath. Although she was a married woman, he decided then and there that he must have her. He had her brought to him, slept with her and eventually had her husband killed. The trap was set for him, the skandalon, and he suffered the consequences for the rest of his natural life.

There is a spiritual war going on and it is a war for the souls of men. One doesn’t need to be a mass shooter in order to be influenced to commit evil. Any one of us can fall into a trap set before us if we are not walking circumspectly. Can you think of a time in your life when you were tempted to make a really bad decision? One that would not only hurt you but possibly your children for years to come? I know I can and it is only the grace of God that allowed me to turn away from the trap that was in my path.

We are living in perilous times and it would do us well to be on the lookout for the skandalon that have been set for us. Sometimes the traps are camouflaged and we must look carefully for them and other times they are right in front of us. We must ask God for His protection as we go about our daily lives so we do not fall into the skandalon that are waiting to do us harm.

photo courtesy of Pixabay

Oblivious

knight-3003641_640Image by Yuri B. Courtesty of Pixabay.

Have you ever watched someone walking through a crosswalk while texting? The person is totally oblivious to what is going on around him. A speeding car could be coming in his direction and because he is not paying attention, he could be hit and killed. When I see people doing that, I want to shake them and tell them to “Wake Up!” A whole world is going on around them and they are distracted to the point of oblivion. Because of this, they put themselves in danger because of their inattention. 

Not only is this true in the material world, it is true in the spiritual world. If a person is totally unaware of the supernatural forces that may be affecting and directing him, he can end up in a very dangerous place. There are spiritual beings that are bent on the destruction of man and they are more than happy to take advantage of someone who is unaware of their existence. The materialist is in a war he cannot win because he doesn’t even know he is in one. He is at the mercy of the spiritual forces around him. 

Even if you are a spiritual person and believe in the supernatural, it is easy to become distracted and not realize the forces that are vying for our attention. Turn on the average television show or movie. Most of them have gratuitous sex, swearing and violence intentionally programed in so that our minds will be filled with negative images. Many of the thoughts and temptations we deal with are in our minds because a worker of darkness has placed them there. 

If we don’t want to become a victim of the warfare that is going on around us, we must not be oblivious to what is happening in the supernatural arena. We must arm ourselves daily with the spiritual armor the Lord has provided for us: truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, prayer, the gospel of peace and the word of God. Only then can we hope to not be a casualty of the spiritual war we are in. 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6: 10-13