I have a simple, direct, unapologetic message for the lukewarm, market-driven, non-offending brand of American contemporary Christianity. DRIVE OUT DEMONS. It’s what Jesus did, and what we ought to be doing. Your worship bands are excellent. Your staging is awesome. Your tech factor is impressive. All you are missing is a three-dimensional hologram of your multi-campus pastor appearing onstage, simultaneously before adoring congregants. I’m guessing it’s already on your drawing boards as soon as the technology is feasible. After all, who needs a shepherd who actually knows the name of his sheep and is intimately aware of their individual needs? In this age of ecclesiastical coolness, aren’t there more important things than weeping with the brokenhearted and setting captives free by driving out demons?
But consider the words of Jesus in Luke 13:32. Here’s the context. The Pharisees tried to send Jesus away with a warning that King Herod wanted to kill him. Jesus responded with the words, “I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.” These were the final days of Christ’s purpose on earth. He was destined for Jerusalem to die, but before he did, his immediate mission was clear. He was not backing down from the call to cast out demons. It’s what he had done and what he was going to do. DRIVE OUT DEMONS.
If casting out demons was so central to Christ’s gospel, why is it that 99% of churches today not only don’t do it, they never even mention it. Some serve communion every Sunday, but never minister deliverance even one Sunday. Others extol expository preaching, going through the Bible verse-by-verse, but completely skip over uncomfortable passages like this as if they didn’t exist. How do Charismatic and Pentecostal churches get off taking the second half of that verse, the part about healing, while ignoring the first part of Christ’s calling to drive out demons?
Scripture is clear. We are to drive out demons. One of Satan’s cleverest tactics has been to excise this truth from the Body of Christ, to relegate it to insignificance or ignore it altogether. This past week our nation faced yet another mass murder, when a Virginia Beach, Virginia city employee shot dead 12 of his fellow employees. Whatever mental derangement drove the killer, how dare we not say that he was driven by demons. A month earlier, a shooter opened fire in a San Diego synagogue. The killer came from a devout Christian home. Are we to say this also wasn’t demonic? Both tragedies were avoidable if pastors, friends, and families had been aware of the signs of demonic possession and known how to drive out the demons of murder. They did nothing because they didn’t know how. The alumni of our International School of Exorcism do know how and we will DRIVE OUT DEMONS!
An encouraging word: TASTE THE LORD AND SEE
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” These words from Psalm 34:8 seem out of place in our westernized, market-driven brand of Christianity. A mere taste isn’t good enough for some today. Folks now have to be sold on the idea of Jesus; hyped into a state of interest in the things of God. What’s needed is less of “pitching” Jesus by super-salesmen of the gospel. He who is omnipotent and all-loving doesn’t need any advertising. We’d be more effective in winning truly committed souls to Jesus if we allowed the unsaved to see the power of Christ in action in our lives, and, yes, in deliverance from the bondage of evil.