How many times have we heard that Christ has won the victory? And what may be more to the point, how many times have we wondered, perhaps only to ourselves or to those close to us, how this can be?
How do we make sense of the belief that Jesus Christ has already won the victory, when we see so much evil around us? Wars, cruelty, abortion, pornography, addiction to drugs and alcohol, and so on. It is very tempting to nod our heads and smile when we hear that Christ has won the victory, but secretly think to ourselves that the spiritual warfare we are in has not really come to a deciding moment. It seems that the evil ones might be winning sometimes.
Nonsense. Christ’s victory is a fact, not an opinion. Jesus Christ was, is, and will be victorious. That is not a matter of “opinion”, it is what I call a faith-based fact. But in order to understand this faith-based fact, we have to understand our world and creation itself from a completely different point of view.
First, we are creatures who live within the bounds of time and space. So we think of things in terms of time and space. When we think of the rebellion in Heaven, when Satan and his minions were cast out, we think of it as happening millennia ago.
We have to consider the fact that God is above time. And hard as it may be for us to understand, to God everything simply is. This means that the battle in Heaven is not millennia ago but is something which is present to God. And further, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection are also present to God. Christ’s death and Resurrection are not “past” events but “living” events which we make present again in each Divine Liturgy. This means the Victory of Christ in His dying and rising is ever present to God and to mankind.
It’s all happening and it’s all happening now.
What is therefore important to recognize is that the Devil and his fallen angels are an ARMY IN RETREAT.
Let me repeat that. The Devil and his fallen angels have lost the war. They are an ARMY IN RETREAT.
An army in retreat will make things as difficult for the victorious army as it can. If you recall, for example, the invasion of Russia by both the forces of Napoleon and Hitler, you will no doubt recall the scorched earth policy that the Russian army implemented. As they retreated, they burned everything, leaving little of value for the army which pursued them.
This is exactly what the fallen angels are trying to do. They know how much God loves humanity, and as they flee from the Victory of Christ, they try to inflict as much damage and suffering on those whom Christ died to save. The Satanic forces take special delight in people who do not accept their existence as real, for this means they will not call out to God for help, since they do not recognize the need for such help.
Make no mistake – we are in the midst of a battlefield. We need God to protect us from being collateral damage. We are no match for Satan and his minions. They are angels, fallen though they may be. We need to call on God and to believe in Him and follow Him to escape the fate of those who struggle against Him.
Don’t be afraid, as God tells us through His angels time and again in Scripture. Don’t stand on the sidelines. Worship God, praise Him, give Him thanks, and fast and pray. This is how you can join the victorious army of Christ. This is how we can help push back even further Satan and his retreating army of evil.