What are the chances your family will survive your spiritual war? Join AMBrewster as he discusses his personal experiences and lots of biblical data to light a fire under Christian parents concerning the importance of this spiritual war.
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Discover the following episodes by clicking the titles or navigating to the episode in your app:
“Why Your Family Has Ups and Downs" (episode 274)
“Your Child’s Bungee: the nature of sin and parenting" (episode 199)
“There Is No Formula for Parenting: Jim Newheiser Interview” (episode 110)
“The Experience of a Righteous Parent” series (starts in episode 285)
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Every war has statistics. There are winners. There are losers. And there are plenty of ways to determine who those winners and losers are.
Today we’re going to be looking at a brief history of the Spiritual Warfare in order to determine its casualties.
Why is this important? Well, we study history in order to learn from it. More specifically, we study history so that we don’t make the same poor choices and so that we can prepare ourselves for the poor choices others are likely going to make.
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Now, even though today’s topic may not appear to be riveting and life-altering, I think you’re going to find it extremely helpful.
But let’s start with a quick review of our study.
Now none of our discussions have focused much on how to win the war. In fact, we’ve talked primarily about the dangers and pitfalls.
And we’re going to do more of the same today.
But don’t worry! My desire it not to paint this Spiritual War as an absolute, hopeless mess. What I’m trying to do is make sure we’re not delusional in our thinking.
1. The majority of the world is dying in the Spiritual War because they don’t even realize they’re on the wrong side or they’re rejecting the King of the Heavenly Army.
2. Too many Christians are being wounded in this war because they forget what it is.
3. Other Christians are being hurt and hurting others because they’re ignoring the real enemies and attacking their fellow soldiers.
4. Still other Christians aren’t protecting their desires the way they should, and . . .
5. Others aren’t utilizing the spiritual weapon God has given us.
We need to see this war for what it is. We need to understand our part, our spouse’s part, and our kids’ part. We need to know our enemies, our terrain, our weapons, and the severity of this war before we can truly appreciate the methods and tactics God gives us.
Please allow me to encourage you. God is going to win this war, and those who fight alongside Him will also enjoy the spoils of war. And — in eternity — we will never ever have to fight a single spiritual battle ever again. Amen and amen!
But before that time, there is work to be done.
So, let’s talk about the statistics of this Spiritual War.
When I worked at Victory Academy I used to conduct a number of sessions during the final Family Camp week of our program.
Each of the sessions was designed to prepare the families to thrive when they got home. But I would always start my first session of the week with some statistics and warnings.
Victory Academy has been open for nearly 40 years, and during that time this statistic has stood pretty firm.
If we assume that 8 teen boys enrolled in the program every year, how many of them do you think would go home and thrive after being under the aggressive and constant teaching of the Bible for 9 months straight?
Let’s start at the beginning. From my personal experience, of the 8 guys who lived in my home from year to year, 1-2 would know they weren’t born again. The other 5-6 would profess to be Christians.
However, over the course of the year, 4-5 of the professing Christians would — by the grace of God — come to realize they weren’t born again followers of Christ. Of those 4-5, generally 3-4 of them would make a profession of faith by the end of their time at Victory.
Of course, I have no idea how many of them were actually saved; these are just my observations.
I share that just so you understand that these statistics are not based off kids who were absolutely rebelling against God in every way possible. Many of these guys made professions of faith and their lives really turned around while they were at Victory.
However, despite the fact that 75-90% of the terrorist teens who came to my home made significant changes in their attitude toward God and their behavior in the home, and despite the fact that most parents were consistently amazed by their boy’s progress while in the program, here is the “success rate” when the boys went home.
Of the 8 boys per year, 1-2 of them (on average) would go home to do better than they did before their time at Victory. Of the remaining 5 or 6, 3 to 4 of them would go home the same, and another 1 to 2 might go home worse.
Again, these statistics were pretty average.
So, only about 15-20% of the boys in my home had enough victory in their spiritual war that their maturity was noticeable to all.
“Okay, Aaron, but I’m not sure how this applies to us. My children don’t need to go to a boarding school. They’re not ‘troubled kids.’ How do your average children do?”
That’s a good question, but I do need to make one more observation. Most of the time when people at church or out in the community would meet the Victory guys, they would be surprised that any of them were involved in our program. We frequently heard compliments about how “nice” and “well-mannered” they were.
Also, when I would speak at schools and churches, I told people that — from my experience — the boys at my home were not that different from the average boy in the Christian school or youth group. The biggest differences were that the boys at Victory had simply gotten caught and that their parents had come to a place where they didn’t believe they could influence their child any more.
And — just for full transparency — I probably should have been sent to a place like Victory when I was in high school. I had serious issues with authority, stole anything that wasn’t nailed down, was addicted to pornography, and had a bunch more issues it wouldn’t be edifying to mention here.
And yet, most people outside of my family and close peers, thought me to be respectful, courteous, obedient, and a good example for other kids to follow.
So, I’m not only speaking from my experience working in Christian schools, boarding homes, and as a family counselor. I’m talking from my experience as a high schooler who attended good churches. I’m talking from the experience of someone who saw just how sneaky and hypocritical and superficial the other guys my age were. I’m talking from the experience of someone who looked like I had it all together while I was lying bloody and mangled on the battleground.
And I don’t think things have gotten miraculously better in our culture.
Still — in all fairness — these accounts have been all from my own experiences, and they may not seem applicable to you.
So, let’s turn to a significantly more trustworthy record of the human casualty.
How does God’s Word describe the success rate of Spiritual Warfare?
My friends, it’s not pretty.
We don’t have time to look at most of the examples, but if you know anything about the Children of Israel, you know that — as a nation — they failed far more than they prevailed in spiritual battle.
But there is one facet of this war I do want to discuss in greater detail. In fact, this is the largest Spiritual Battle and the final Spiritual Battle that will ever take place.
I want to look at just four verses in Revelation 20. But allow me to set the stage. The tribulation is over. The Anti-Christ, the False Prophet, and billions of lives have been lost to the Lake of Fire. That right there is an interesting statistic concerning Spiritual Warfare.
Anyway, Satan has been bound for 1,000 years in the pit, and Jesus Christ is on His earthly throne. Among His citizens are the redeemed saints who either died before the tribulation or who were raptured. They are glorified and completely incapable of sin. There are also unglorified believers who were saved during the tribulation and who didn’t die during its atrocities.
That’s how the millennial kingdom begins. A vast majority of the citizenry are free from the temptation to sin, the others are devoted followers of Christ, and Satan and His demons are not around to possess unbelievers or wreak physical havoc. There also is technically no World System. The only spiritual enemy left if the Fleshly Sin Nature still left in the unglorified saints.
Now, as the Millennial Reign of Christ continues, the unglorified believers are having children. These children and growing and having children. And the whole time these kids are living under the perfect, loving, and holy rule of the God Himself. They can see the beautiful relationships among His followers. They can see the promised future of believers as they watch and interact with glorified saints. Paul, Adam, Eve, Elijah, Peter, and every Christian who has ever lived is influencing the world for Christ.
Of course, their parents still sin, but — since they’re Christians — they confess, apologize, and repent of their sins.
And this goes on for 1,000 years.
Now, we need to also keep in mind that every child born during this time has to make the same choice every other human has had to make. They need to personally choose to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior. They need to be born again and follow Him.
But is that what happens?
I’m sure many do. And though I don’t know how many, I do know that the percentage is far less.
That’s right. Even though hundreds of thousands of Christians will enter the Millennium, and even though none of them will die that entire time, and even though they will have plenty of kids, and those children will have kids for hundreds of years, and even though Jesus Christ Himself is on the throne of the world, and Satan and the World System are no longer operating . . . at the end of the Millennial reign, the vast majority of them will rebel against God.
Let’s read the account. Revelation 20:7-10, “When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.”
Enough people have been born that the earth is repopulated so that their number is like the sand of the sea. And Satan will be released on these people, and He will go right back to his possessing and influencing. It won’t be long until his propaganda machine is back in business and the World System is tempting people just like it always did. And those billions of people will rally around Satan for one last-ditch attempt to overthrow God.
And there will be so many of them that they will surround the camp of the saints — that’s the glorified saints from history past as well as the ones saved during the Tribulation.
And the conclusion of this final Spiritual Onslaught will be this: “And fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
And that, my friends, is the last time any human will ever engage in Spiritual Warfare for all eternity.
But our focus today is not on the glorious victory of God. Our focus is on the statistics. These children who were raised by Christians in a Christian nation ruled by Christ Himself under the influence of glorified believers from every age of the world — the vast majority of them (when given even the smallest chance) are going to rebel against God.
And how could that even happen? It happens because that’s how mankind is.
Consider Psalm 2: “Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!”
Romans 1:18-24, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”
From the first sinful humans to the last, the majority of them have rebelled against God.
Adam and Eve, free of the Flesh and the World, disobeyed God. Of their 2 sons, both of whom offered sacrifices before God Himself, one of them rebelled against God and killed his brother. Cain didn’t have access to violent movies and video games. He wasn’t surrounded by wicked kids at school. And yet he killed his brother.
And — check this out — from the creation of an innocent world with only 2 humans who began having kids and who’s average lifespan was 700-900 years, God had to destroy everyone but Noah in a worldwide flood because Genesis 6:5 says, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Interestingly enough, the Tower of Babel incident happened less than 1,000 years after the flood.
Mankind’s hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked. We run from our loving Father. We want our own self-autonomy so badly that we will engage in daily, ridiculous, sure-to-fail attempts to usurp God.
In episode 274 I talked about much of this. It’s called “Why Your Family Has Ups and Downs.” I also talk about the addictive, powerful sway of the Flesh in episode 199, “Your Child’s Bungee: the nature of sin and parenting.”
In fact, TLP Family members have exclusive access to a curated list of all of our podcast episodes that deal specifically with the nature of Sin. I’ll include a link in the description, and I’ll include a secondary link if you’d like to join the TLP Family for free.
All of those episodes should help you better understand the powerful influence of the Flesh on our families.
Unfortunately, they will all remind us that — statistically speaking — more people will run from God than to Him.
Why am I sharing this with you? Why would I take so much time to share that the statistics aren’t pretty?
I’m doing this to light a fire. A fire has been lit in me and in my home. I am different because of this study. I’m even more determined now than ever that my family will not become another statistic. I’m more determined that I will not become just another statistic.
And I want that for you and your family.
Now, before we end today, I do want to share some encouragement. I know this episode may not have left you with a very bright outlook for your family — especially if one or more of your kids is already struggling. But I want to offer hope because God is bigger than all of this.
Our next few episodes are going to be all about the tactics God expects us to employe against Satan, the World, and the Flesh. That will be exciting and practical. But then we’re going to take the final episode of this series to detail the glorious victory God has promised to all who believe in Him.
It will be so encouraging. It will be the perfect way to end this series!
But, for now, let me leave you with this.
Yes, Satan, the World, and the Flesh may be tempting you to be dismayed and discouraged by the fact that — statistically speaking — most people deny Christ. “The gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
But I want to share one more statistic with you.
It’s true that parenting is not a formula. We talk about that in episode 110.
But, when it came to Victory Academy for boys, do you remember that 1 or 2 out of 8 kids who would go home and do better than they did before coming to Victory?
Well, it’s interesting to note that — generally speaking — the boys who went home and thrived went home to parents who had also spent their son’s nine months working on their own growth in Christ.
I noticed over and over how the parents who submitted to God, acknowledged their own faults, and started owning their own sin — those were the homes that thrived more consistently . . . even when their son didn’t change.
Granted, none of this is a guarantee. But those are the statistics.
The homes that thrived had parents thriving in Christ.
Our two-part “The Experience of a Righteous Parent” episode walked through Psalm 112, and we noted that the children of Righteous Parents are blessed. And we know that if our kids are going to continue in the way — glorifying God — they first have to be trained to do so. And we’re the ones commanded to do that.
The chances of families having success in their spiritual warfare is increased when mom and dad experience personal victories in their own Spiritual Warfare.
And that’s what Truth.Love.Parent. is all about. Our goal is to equip parents to glorify God by becoming the people God wants them to be — by experiencing personal victory in their own spiritual battles.
We can’t promise that what you learn from these podcasts will change your kids, but if you submit to God’s Truth that we share, you will be changed, and the chances that your kids will start experiencing victory in their spiritual battles will be increased.
Your kids are ultimately responsible for their choices, but you can play a huge part in that.
So, if you’d like some more focused help in how you can overcome in your own Spiritual Battles, please contact us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com or give us a call at (828) 423-0894.
Remember, if we want our children to grow up into Christ, we must parent in truth and love. If we want our kids to have victory in their spiritual war, we must have victory in our own.
To that end, join us next time as we look at “The Spiritual War in Your Home, Part 9 | how your family is to engage demonic forces.”
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