"Christianity is not a religion. But rather a revolution against the kingdom of darkness."
This powerful statement resonates deeply with 1 John 3:8, which says "For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil."
When an unbeliever hears the word Christianity, the first thing that usually goes through his, or her, mind is that Christianity is a religious system of rules and regulations. The truth is that Christianity is not a system, but a movement of God to redeem humanity and destroy the works of the devil. Christianity is the good news that God came into this fallen world to rescue sinners and to redeem them; to break them free from the power of sin and Satan.
When Adam and Eve fell into sin, they gave the devil authority to operate within this world and establish his kingdom here. This is why there is, and has been, so much hate, war, complacency, wickedness, corruption and more throughout human history and our present-day world. Jesus' mission was to deliver us from the power of sin and darkness.
How incredible is it that God came into the world He created? This world is clearly a place that has rejected Him and rebelled against Him, and even in the midst of this rebellion, Jesus wants to redeem people's lives.
Until a person experiences forgiveness of their sins and becomes "born again," that person is still under the power of sin. This means that by default, they are under Satan's kingdom.
No one can just stop sinning through their own strength, neither can anyone free themselves from their shame and guilt. Even people with good intentions can make horrible choices.
The ruler of the kingdom of darkness is Satan. He is a despot and is intent on keeping each person enslaved. This is truth is stated clearly in Ephesians 2.
Jesus' ministry directly challenged Satan's kingdom. Satan's kingdom is a kingdom of darkness, and Jesus is the light of the world. The kingdom of darkness is one of slavery, bondage and suffering. The kingdom of God is one of freedom, joy and love. In God's kingdom, there is no darkness.
When Jesus was on the cross, he challenged and overcame all of the powers of sin, hell and the devil. Through the crucifixion and resurrection, the kingdom of God invaded this world. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit was given, and the church began.
If we had eyes to see what this world was really all about, we would truly see the beauty of the cross and the one who hung on it. That God would enter His creation and deal with the problem of sin to set us free is truly beyond incredible
As a believer, it is important for you to allow God to open your eyes to the spiritual reality at work within the world and the world system. Physically, this world is a beautiful place. There are many things that reflect the glory and majesty of God. However, this is not what the Bible is talking about when it says that "the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one." (1 John 5:19b, ESV). It is talking about the system and mechanisms that each human being is trapped by in Satan's kingdom.
We are in a struggle against the kingdom of darkness. This is why it says in Ephesians 6:12 (MEV): "For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Think about this for a second. Throughout the ages, throughout different cultures, people would sacrifice their children to some idol or "god" in the hopes that it would result in them prospering. Some might say, "we have developed beyond that." Really? The truth is that the same sins and bondages of 3,000 years ago are still holding people in captivity today. Today, parents sacrifice relationship with their children and spouses in order to try to prosper. Sin and Satan still have a great deal of dominion. Substance abuse, relational abuse, violence and many other things have plagued humanity since the fall.
We live in a world system meant to trap us. The kingdom of darkness creates a million things to get us to live contently within slavery. There is always something more being offered to try to trap us. People will look for the next movie, for the next car, home, house, boat and so on. All of it is meant to keep us content in the kingdom of darkness. Material possessions are not in any way inherently wrong. However, when they become someone's sole focus, they become snares to the soul. Many people try to fill their spiritual emptiness and gaps with material things. The kingdom of darkness is willing to give us anything other than God.
This is the world we are living in, and Jesus came that we might truly be free. John 17:16 says we can be in the world and not of the world. We can be free from the kingdom of darkness while we are alive. When a person truly comes to Christ and their eyes are opened, it becomes clear how radical Jesus and true Christianity are in comparison to the status quo of the world.
It is worth it to be broken out of the prison that sin and Satan have erected and to then in turn help other people get free as well. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free. Until a person is born again, they are in captivity and not free. As Jesus sets us free, He is breaking through the darkness of sin and breaking through the kingdom of darkness that wants to trap us.
True Christianity is freedom from the darkness, not freedom in the darkness. Jesus is the light of the world, and when we have Him in our lives, we can live in the light and live free from darkness as well.
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:4-5).
David Hoffman is an evangelist and the director of Kingdom Enterprises, an outreach and evangelism ministry in Tucson, Arizona. His passions are to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, ignite a passion for evangelism within the lives of believers and help equip them to live Spirit-filled and Spirit-empowered lives. For more information or to contact him, please go to HisKingdomEnterprises.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!