It has been a little over a year since my family and I moved to Globe so that I could follow God’s calling to be the pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church. Since then, one of the great privileges for me has been to write for the local paper. As I sit down every week to write, I always take a moment to consider who my audience may be. Perhaps those who take time to read these brief articles are fellow believers of Christ who attend other Bible-believing churches. Some may be non-believers who merely stumble upon the articles and give them a once-over out of curiosity. However, I have a feeling that some readers may be people who have the faith of demons.
Now, I could keep it short and end the article here with many people wondering what exactly I mean by “the faith of demons.” (I won’t do that to you today.) So what do I mean? The answer can be found in James 2:19, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”
If you were to take some time, walk around town, and ask passers-by if they believe in God what do you think the majority of the responses would be? “Yes, I believe in God.” This can be substantiated by numerous polls that have been taken over the years. In fact, according to a 2015 Gallop Poll, 75% of Americans identify as Christian. However, another poll from the Hartford Institute of Religious Research states that only about 20% actually attend church regularly. That’s nearly 200 million people who claim to believe in God, even claim to be Christians, and yet never step foot in a church building. Am I missing something here?
If someone were to claim to be a big football fan but you could see no proof what would you assume? “Yeah, I’m a really big football fan! -No, I don’t have a favorite team. No, I don’t watch any of the games. I honestly can’t even say I know all the rules of the game…” Hmm… Doesn’t sound much like a real football lover, does it? And you wouldn’t believe this person even if they stated that they were a fan. So why then do we accept any persons fickle confession of Christian faith when they have nothing to support their words?
You see, it’s one thing to believe in God, to believe that He is the Creator and giver of life. In fact, the Bible says that it is utter foolishness to not believe that. Still, the Bible makes it clear that even demons recognize the existence of God. However, if this even needs to be said, demons are not going to heaven. The faith that demons have in God doesn’t save them it causes them to shudder because they know that their end is near. They know that they shall spend eternity in the “lake of fire and sulfur.” (Revelation 20:10) So why would we assume a different outcome for someone who has the same faith of demons?
My point is not to be cruel or anything of the like, my point is to help us see things clearly. There is a big difference between saving faith and the faith of demons. Which do you possess? Do you have faith in God? Does that faith cause you to shudder at your sin and to turn to Christ for forgiveness? Or does that faith simply have you check off the “Christian” box on the hospital form. Does your faith in God give you a deep desire to be with other believes in worship on a weekly basis (Hebrews 10:25), or simply to show up on Christmas Eve and Easter?
Do you see what I’m getting at? I can’t judge your heart, only you and God can. But at the same time, I would implore to do just that. Test yourself, try to take a look at your life and your actions. Do they reflect the life and actions of one who has surrendered body and soul to Jesus? Or does your life reflect one whose faith is like that of demons?
By Pastor Nick Jones
Maranatha Baptist Church
1320 E. Saguaro Dr. Globe, AZ