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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Has Satan Attempted to Destroy the Church?

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Don Stewart
Satan has attempted to destroy the church in two ways - from the inside and from the outside.

1. Attacks From Within

One of the methods of Satan is to destroy the church from within. This is accomplished with the introduction of false teaching.

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons (1 Timothy 4:1).

Jesus warned us about this.

the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels (Matthew 13:38,39).

Satan is the one who sows the bad seed with these false teachings.

Has His Ministers

Satan has his own ministers.

It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:15).

Consequently his ministers move in religious circles. They pose as ministers of righteousness but are, in reality, ministers of the Devil.

Already Infiltrated

We find these false teachers already infiltrating the church in the early years.

For certain intruders have stolen in among you, people who long ago were designated for this condemnation as ungodly, who the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 4).

Has Been Successful

In the past Satan has been successful in getting Christians to sin. He got Ananias to lie.

"Ananias," Peter asked, "Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?" (Acts 5:3).

2. By Persecution

A second way in which Satan has attempted to destroy the work of the church is by means of persecution. From the beginning, he has been the persecutor of the church of God. Jesus said.

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

Cannot Ultimately Win

Though the Devil attempts to destroy the church, he knows that he cannot win. Sometimes he will win a particular battle with believers, but he will lose the war. The true believer in Jesus will always prevail because Christ will see them through until the end. The Bible says.

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity (Proverbs 24:16).

The Promise Of Jesus

We also have the promise of Jesus that the church will survive.

I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18)


The church has been the object of attack from Satan from both within and without. Within, he has attacked the church by introducing false teaching and false teachers. We find them already infiltrating the church at an early time in its history. From without, he has persecuted God's people. Persecution also began at an early date in the history of the church. Yet infiltration and persecution will not stop the work of the Lord. The church will continue to prosper because Jesus said nothing would stop its advancement.
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