You're probably disturbingly aware of this, but the blackest darkness grips the lives of multitudes. Without being entirely cognizant of it, people are deeply ensnared in the throes of iniquity.
Tragically, all of God's sons and daughters have followed the way of Adam—turning against the unceasing love of the Father. As we voluntarily cracked open the door to lawlessness, Satan took advantage of the opportunity. He burst in and invaded our world with evil. Wickedness moved in on a level far beyond the measure of our foolish choices.
While man's acquiescence to sin is a component of this tragedy, there is more to be considered. Although our culpability shouldn't be minimized, at the heart of this is an evil that's exploiting circumstances and victimizing humanity on a much deeper level.
We must remember that the Bible talks, not just about man's personal responsibility, but also about our "enslavement to the elemental spirits of the world" (Gal. 4:3, Rom. 6:18, 8:2; Gal. 5:1; Col. 2:20; Heb. 2:14-15). In explicable ways men and women are discovering that they're being "oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38).
Exposing this horrendous reality, Paul declares that, "The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them" (2 Cor. 4:4).
Contrary to the rigid edicts of popular religion, God's focus isn't on the fierce demarcation of truth or even the satisfaction of His justice. Those things obviously matter, but what the Lord is primarily concerned with is releasing His embattled creation from the stranglehold of darkness.
We must never forget that, "For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). Jesus shed His blood on the cross in order to "redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for Himself a special people" (Titus 2:14).
Salvation isn't just about dealing with personal sins, it's also about decreeing freedom and life to an enslaved world.
J.D. King is the director of World Revival Network and an associate pastor at World Revival Church.