5 Signs That the Enemy Has a Stronghold in a Church

I’ve previously written aboutSigns of Spiritual Attack,” and my focus was on individual battles.  

At the same time, though, some churches just seem to be hammered with evil. Based on my years of studying spiritual warfare—and recognizing that human sinfulness is at the root of all these issues—these things at least suggest ongoing strongholds in a church: 

  1. A continual story of division. Satan has been about division since the Garden of Eden, when Adam blamed Eve for their sin. He still seeks to divide the people of God, and some churches seem to go from division to division.  

  1. A history of personal attacks on pastors and their families. Those attacks usually come from church members . . . and often from the same church members, regardless of who the pastor is.  

  1. An ongoing toleration of secret and open sin. The enemy delights when those who call themselves believers live like the rest of the world. It’s hard for the world to believe a gospel that apparently has not changed church people.  

  1. A track record of moral failures. When leaders fall, others under their ministry often lose heart, grieve, and become discouraged. Or, they determine there’s little reason to fight for godliness when even their leaders don’t live that way. In either case, the enemy’s influence remains.  

  1. A distorted view of the gospel. Satan and his forces are hardly alarmed when churches preach something less than the gospel. Servants who “disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:15) and distort the gospel are his tool.  

These issues are real ones, but God is bigger than any of them. As we turn to Him in confession and repentance, teach His Word, pray without ceasing, and follow Him obediently, even the toughest church can find victory.   

  

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