Series: “The Great War” (post #1)
It is difficult to count the number of wars that have been fought throughout mankind’s history. The difficulty lies in the question of what gets classified as an actual war. There are skirmishes. There are clashes. There are battles. There are campaigns. And then there are actual wars.
In a New York Times article entitled What Every Person Should Know About War, a war was defined as “an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.” The article also stated that over the past 3,400 years humans have been entirely at peace for only 268 of those years. That’s just 8% of the time. As for how many people have been killed in all the wars throughout human history, the article estimated that the death toll ranges from 150 million to 1 billion.
And just how big does warfare continue to be today? Right now there are well over 20 million soldiers serving in armies around the world. The largest current army is China’s, which has over 2 million soldiers. The United States army is second in size, with over 1 million soldiers. India, North Korea, and Russia also have armies consisting of over 1 million soldiers each. Needless to say, war continues to be a trademark of the human race. It reminds us of what Jesus said in His time some 2,000 years ago: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6).
There is, however, one war that is the longest running one on record, and it still rages today. No official records have ever been kept for this war, but it has covered more earthly territory than any other war and cost more lives than any other war. So what war is this? It is the great war between Satan and God.
This war began at some unspecified time way, way back when the angel Lucifer, who was one of God’s mightiest and most beautiful angels (Ezekiel 28:11-19), not only himself rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:12-14) but led one-third (Revelation 12:7-9) of all the other angels to join him in that rebellion. The rebellion ended in God casting Lucifer and all those other rebel angels out of His presence (Luke 10:18). And so Lucifer — who is better known as Satan or “the devil” — now walks the earth seeking whom he may devour (Job 1:7; 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8). That is how he showed up inside the serpent in the earth’s Garden of Eden to tempt Eve (Genesis 3:1-6). As for Satan’s fellow fallen angels — who are now better known as demons or “unclean spirits” — they too have free run of the earth (Ephesians 6:10-12).
So make no mistake, the ancient war between Satan and God is still raging today and we are all part of it. This brings me to the purpose of this short series, a series I’m calling “The Great War.” Over the course of the next few posts, we’re going to learn that the war between Satan and God produces the same results that human wars produce. There are four of these results, and we’ll devote one post to each result. This is a series that you should find interesting, and it’s one that I know will cause you to think in new ways about not only Satan but also God. So tune in next time as we look at the first result. And until then start thinking of our planet Earth as being the battlefield where The Great War rages every day and every night.