A Question I Was Asked:

What is "Proselytization"?


Is Satan Now Dethroned?

I wanted to know what proselytising is exactly because I asked some people and I got quite different answers.

UK Apologetics Reply:

'Proselytising' is preaching to those outside the church, it is evangelism, taking the Gospel to others. On the one hand we are told to do it, but on the other hand, the Bible warns us not to preach where it is unwelcome, where our message might be thrown back in our faces.

Here are two of the relevant Scriptures:

18. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20. and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-19).

But, on the other hand, we have this:

"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." (Matthew 7:6).

So there you have it: we must endeavour to obey both instructions. There is a time and place to preach and proselytize, but there is also a time and place to say little or nothing. God leaves it to our wisdom and judgement.

I honestly think that the first of those instructions had more application to the first few centuries of the church. Back then, the name of Christ was new to the world, today almost all have heard the name and message, unfortunately most (at the moment) are rejecting it.

Also notice that the time to preach the Gospel commenced when, "all authority in heaven and on earth was given to me [Jesus]." This was in the first century AD when Christ was sacrificed and rose from the dead three days later. This was also when Satan was dethroned.* Christ dethroned principalities and powers upon the cross. The 'time of the end,' or 'the end times' began then, and this continues on. Notice this:

13. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14. having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15).

So there you have it: currently this is the age of the Church and of evangelism; when Christ returns that age will conclude.

*Satan Dethroned?

I wrote just now that Satan is dethroned and was actually dethroned at the cross of Jesus. I can well imagine that some might say: but, wait a minute, if he is dethroned, how come he still causes havoc? Satan has been cast down to earth and can indeed cause some havoc yet strict limits are now placed upon him, this is often compared to a vicious dog kept on a firm leash. What are these limitations?

1. Satan Can No Longer Enter Heaven to Accuse Believers.
I have an article which goes into this here.

2. Satan Cannot Snatch True Believers Out of God's Hands.
He cannot prevent anybody whom God is calling from becoming a Christian believer. He can tempt (especially as we are all led astray by our own weaknesses), but he cannot go too far. Before his 'chaining' he would have destroyed Christianity and Christians right at the outset. But now he cannot. look at this:

27. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30. I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-30).

Satan is now reduced to only being able to go after the 'stragglers' in the pack (Christians who do not keep close enough to God) - see 1 Peter 5:8.

3. Demonic Powers are Restricted.
Before Satan was dethroned, he caused many kingdoms and nations of this world to be governed and ruled by pagan rites and superstitions. In many cases he caused them to be cruel to an obnoxious degree in practices and punishments. In the great majority of cases that is no longer the case. Why the improvement? Because as we just read in Colossians 2:15, Christ also "disarmed the powers and authorities" on the cross. Restraints started to be placed on them. That does not mean that this is now a perfect world, of course, that lies in the future, yet books have been written on how the spread of Christianity was accompanied by the banishment of much evil, controlling worship of demons and of evil practices, helping root out animism, encouraging more respect for women and children and for good family life. It should be recalled that even the fourth century Roman Empire - formerly utterly steeped in paganism - became officially 'Christian' within 500 years of Satan's defeat, Constantine even enacting a law allowing Christians to observe a 'Lord's Day.' That is surely highly significant. Also, in 380, the 'Edict of Thessalonica' was established, in which Emperor Theodosius made Nicene Christianity the State Church and the only officially recognized religion of the Roman Empire. In later centuries Christian overseas missions also encouraged doctors to be trained, hospitals to be built, schools to be built, teachers to be trained and so on. It is now unfashionable to mention this but it is a plain fact which used to be widely acknowledged but, in a liberal atheistic, scoffing age, it never gets mentioned much these days.

So we may see that - compared to former ages - Satan and his demons are clearly now restricted.

Robin A. Brace. October 31st, 2016.