But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
What is the purpose of demons? Satan uses demons to accomplish his goal for unbelievers: to bind them and blind them to the truth of the gospel. Sometimes people become so hardened toward God that they have no desire to know Him. But did you know the majority of unbelievers today have a desire to know God? You see, all of us are born into this world as spiritual beings, created in the image of God. And even though we are fallen and much of that image has been tarnished, there is still a desire in every person to worship something greater than himself. Satan is aware of this religious bent we have, so instead of denying that religious bent, he loves to lure people away from the true God to a false god, or to lead them to the true God in a false way.
In Galatians, Paul was writing to Christians who were being led astray by false doctrine. Look at what he said: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (1:8). He was saying, “If anybody preaches to you a gospel that is apart from faith alone in Jesus Christ–even if that person is an angel from heaven–let that person be accursed.” Do you think it is any coincidence that two of the fastest-growing false religions in the world today, Islam and Mormonism, have associations with angelic revelation? The founders of both religions claimed an angel of light appeared to them. Now I happen to believe that Mohammed and Joseph Smith did see angels, but it was not God’s angels that appeared to them–it was Satan’s angels. Any religion that denies that salvation is exclusively through Jesus Christ is a false, demonic religion.
In Galatia, a false group called the Judaizers had invaded the church. They believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and that He died for the sins of the world, and that you must trust in Christ for your salvation. But then they added something else to that gospel message. They said, “In addition to trusting Christ, you must keep the Old Testament law.” That is the false gospel Paul was speaking against in Galatians 1:8. It was not a message that led to a false god or denied the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection; it was a false religion that added to the gospel message. If you are trusting in Christ plus something else for your salvation, you are being deceived by demons. If you are trusting in Christ plus your baptism or keeping the sacraments, then you are not trusting in Christ alone but in your own goodness. Only the gospel message that teaches salvation is through Christ alone is the kind of gospel that can save you. John wrote in 1 John 4:2-3, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” Any religion that denies it is only by faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved is a part of Satan’s deception to bind and blind unbelievers so that they cannot receive the truth.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The World Of Demons” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.