Ralph Winter: Fighting the Works of the Devil

November 21, 2017

In a Morning Meeting on June 1, 2005, Ralph Winter included some comments about why he was passionate about mobilizing believers to fight disease in God's name. The audio version of these excerpts is available here.

 

 

If Satan is the one who perverted and distorted all of nature and developed outlandlishly violent suffering that goes on every moment of the day in all of nature, with all kinds of creatures killing each other—if this was Satan’s activity along with dragging down Adam into post-Fallen original sin—a damaged creation. In becoming believers we have monumental obstacles in becoming what God wants us to because we were born depraved to some extent because of the Fall, because of Satan’s influence.

 

It isn’t just getting saved, getting secure, but it’s getting enlisted. When we are listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we’re also enlisted in an armed force, in a military operation. Disease, which is probably the most prominent reality among human beings, and also among animals, disease is primarily the work of Satan and we should be deliberately focusing on that.

 

We do talk about evangelism and social action as if they are both nice things to do. But we do not normally understand the fact that the very gospel we preach is undermined by the pervasive assumption, since Augustine, that evil in the world is primarily God’s initiative, and it is our part to resign ourselves to it and to ask God what his mysterious purposes are, and maybe have to wait until heaven to find them out. That does not empower our gospel at all. …

 

Jesus is focused on a battle in which we need to be involved. We should be following him not only as Savior and Lord, but also as Commander in Chief of an army. The evils and corruptions and diseases and suffering of our time and the poverty and injustice and the terrible things that are happening—these are the work of Satan. We don’t fight them because we believe in social action as well as evangelism. We fight them because we DO believe in evangelism, of a God who does not identify with those things. …

We’re not warriors here. We’re not workers. We’re influencers. We’re trying to change the course of the entire evangelical tradition. … We’re trying to publish things that will change perspectives. So I would think that we should encourage young people to fight diseases in the name of Christ.

 

 

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