What Does It Actually Mean To Be Enemies Of God?

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Published by Kimberly Wall

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Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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We often hear that we are to make our enemies our friends. In the pages of the Bible, the eternal struggle between good and evil is a recurring theme.

The enemies of God are beings or entities that oppose the teachings, principles, and commandments set forth by God in the Bible. The origins of such opposition can be traced back to the fall of Lucifer, who became Satan, the archenemy of God.

Hence, in this regard, anything that compels followers away from God, such as death, evil spirits, demons, “other” religions, nonbelievers, Satan, wickedness, sin, and so on, has all been characterized as his enemies.

Does God Have Enemies?

The term “enemies” concerning God should be understood in a metaphorical sense. It does not imply that God engages in conflicts with other beings in the same way humans do. Instead, it refers to the concepts of rebellion and non-belief, where individuals or entities choose paths contrary to divine teachings.

Considering God’s omnipotence and benevolence, the idea of having enemies might appear paradoxical. Some philosophical perspectives and non-dualistic belief systems propose that God encompasses everything, including what humans might perceive as evil or opposition. These views question the notion of separateness between God and creation.

It is essential to recognize that the concept of God having enemies often arises from human interpretations of divine teachings, which can be influenced by cultural, historical, and social factors.

The Old Testament of the Bible is rich with stories of individuals and nations that rebelled against God. From the defiance of Pharaoh in Egypt to the idolatry of ancient Israel, various examples illustrate the consequences of opposing God’s will.

Among these, the story of Amalek stands out as a nation that epitomized enmity against Israel, attacking the most vulnerable followers during their exodus from Egypt, symbolizing the persistent battle against those who defy God’s will.

The New Testament continues the theme of enemies of God, focusing on spiritual adversaries and those who reject Jesus Christ. The Pharisees and religious leaders who conspired against Jesus provide crucial examples of adversaries in the New Testament.

We read in Matthew 16:21, “From that time on, Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Who Is The True Enemy Of God?

The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels were with him.

— Revelation 12:9

Satan is God’s number-one enemy[1]. Satan and his followers fight the Lord, his mission, and his servants (Ephesians 6:11–18; John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8). We can also consider sin and its consequences to be enemies of God, considering that those are the aspects from which he rescues us in Jesus and which God will remove in our final moment (Revelation 20:14–15; 1 Corinthians 15:54–58).

According to the Bible, Lucifer was a beautiful and powerful angel who allowed pride to consume him. He rebelled against God’s authority, leading to his expulsion from heaven and his transformation into Satan, the embodiment of evil. The fall of Lucifer represents the beginning of sin and the emergence of enemies of God in the spiritual realm.

Who Are God’s Enemies In This World?

Every Wicked Man Is God’s Enemy

Evidently, the wicked are God’s adversaries (Moses 16:5; Moroni 7:12). We were, by nature, children of wrath. According to Paul, the worldly people are also God’s adversaries. In other words, the natural man is an enemy to God.

As it is written in James 4:4, “Anyone who wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Thus, to be God’s children means to trust and rely on God alone. Here, we are reminded that God is a “jealous and avenging God.”

A worldly man is someone who decides to be affected by his earthly emotions, wants, and temptations rather than the power of the divine Holy Spirit. Material objects are intelligible to such an individual, but spiritual things are nonsense to him, according to 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, everyone is carnal, or mortal (Moses 5:13). God had planned for a Savior since he knew the Fall would occur. On the condition of repentance, Jesus Christ died to make amends for Adam’s fall as well as for man’s personal sins and evil deeds. To stop being a sinful man, each individual must be reborn through the mercy of Jesus Christ.

In reality, mankind’s original wicked state is completely contradictory to God. The word “enemy” is used in the Bible to characterize an individual’s relationship with their Creator before they dedicate their lives to Christ. According to Romans 5:10, “While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the sacrifice of his Son.”

Another verse depicts humans before they are saved as being “alienated and hostile in thought, committing evil acts” (Colossians 1:21). Prior to being rescued, a person lives in resistance to divinity and is an enemy of God because he refuses or denies the existence and character of God as confirmed in the Bible. The individual’s actions and goals are diametrically opposed to God’s.

Romans 1:18–32 provides a detailed characterization of those who are opposed to God: “Although it is God’s goal that everyone come to repentance,” based on 2 Peter 3:9. Also, the Lord honors those who choose to deny him by allowing them to succumb to their bodies.

Death Is Also God’s Enemy

Death will remain an enemy to us humans, even if death does not occur for the Lord, who is everlasting. We sing verses from Psalm 67 in honor of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, by which God defeats death: “Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered.” Evidently from the context, “enemy” denotes death and everything it carries: corruption, sin, pain, and demonic persecution.

Real And Imaginary Divine Foes

Unreal beings cannot have physical adversaries. Of course, imaginary entities can have fictional adversaries. Consider that the Exodus story is true and that God is to be held responsible for the deaths of all Egyptian firstborn sons. It is possible that the grieving Egyptian parents saw God as their worst enemy for killing their children. According to legend, the lost fallen angel Lucifer regards God as his adversary.

Everyone who feels God is to blame for the disease that causes worldwide outbreaks and has lost family and friends to it may regard God as an enemy. Is an atheist deemed to be an opponent of God? No, since by doubting the existence of a creator, the atheist is arguing that nothing appears to exist to be called an enemy.

What Are The Manifestations Of Evil?

Understanding and recognizing the manifestations of evil is essential for believers in their quest to lead a righteous and God-fearing life. The Bible provides valuable insights into the various ways in which evil influences individuals and societies. By being aware of these manifestations, believers can guard themselves against the allure of sin and deception.

Sin And Temptation

Sin is at the root of all evil, and it is essential to recognize the subtle ways in which temptation can lead one astray. Temptations can manifest in various forms, such as greed, lust, envy, and pride. It is crucial for individuals to be vigilant and refrain from giving in to these temptations, as they can lead to a life of spiritual bondage and separation from God.

False Prophets And Deception

False prophets are individuals who claim to speak on behalf of God but deliver messages that contradict the teachings of the Bible. They may use charisma, eloquence, and seemingly righteous actions to deceive people. Recognizing false prophets requires discernment and a thorough understanding of God’s Word. By testing their teachings against the scriptures, believers can identify and avoid being misled.

Pride And Rebellion

The story of Lucifer serves as a cautionary tale of pride and rebellion. Pride leads individuals to believe they can challenge divine authority and act independently of God’s will. Rebellion against God’s commandments and principles can manifest in both overt and subtle ways. Humility and submission to God’s authority are crucial in combating the destructive forces of pride and rebellion.

Manipulation And Division

Evil often seeks to sow discord and division among individuals and communities. Manipulative tactics, such as spreading lies, rumors, and hatred, are used to break down relationships and create animosity. Recognizing these divisive strategies empowers believers to foster unity, love, and understanding, thus counteracting the effects of evil.

Exploitation And Injustice

Evil can be seen in the exploitation of the vulnerable and the perpetration of injustice. Exploitative practices, such as human trafficking, oppression, and discrimination, are tools used by evil forces to further their agenda. Identifying and actively opposing such practices are essential to promoting righteousness and social justice.

Negative Thoughts And Destructive Behavior

Evil often penetrates the mind through negative thoughts, leading to destructive behavior. Hatred, resentment, and bitterness are seeds of evil that, when allowed to grow, can manifest in harmful actions toward oneself and others. Recognizing these destructive thought patterns can aid in breaking free from the chains of darkness.

Idolatry And Materialism

Idolatry involves giving undue importance to anything other than God. It can manifest as an obsession with material possessions, wealth, fame, or power. Recognizing the dangers of idolatry helps believers prioritize their relationship with God above worldly desires.

In the face of adversity and the allure of temptation, believers must remain steadfast in their faith, trusting in the wisdom and guidance of God. God’s love for his children is boundless, and through his grace, believers can overcome the snares of evil and find redemption.

By seeking the presence of God, acknowledging his sovereignty, and following his teachings, individuals can experience the transformative power of God in their lives. Through unwavering devotion, God’s light illuminates the path, leading believers away from the clutches of darkness and into the embrace of his divine mercy and eternal love. In him, we have eternal life.

What Does It Mean To Be An Enemy Of God?

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

— Revelation 20:10

To disobey God for selfish reasons is to be an enemy of God. For instance, Satan, out of ego, refused a direct command from the Lord, making him the very first enemy. Despite knowing that the Lord is the Almighty One and has immense authority over him, Satan kept on disobeying him.

Scripture lists several more enemies of God and his children in addition to Satan. In the Gospels, an enemy of the Lord is often referred to as a foe or an adversary. Anyone who refuses to obey the Lord’s instructions is considered an enemy of God, and his enemies will be tormented “day and night forever and ever.” God said, “I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”

So, to avoid God’s wrath, we should follow God’s teachings in the Bible as well as his commandments. Sin separates us from the Lord and ruins a person’s relationship with the Holy Spirit, as said in Colossians 1:21, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.” The apostle Paul regarded lost sinners as the enemies of God (Romans 5:10).

Likewise, there are many adversaries of the Lord on this earth. They are the crooks and tyrants who have followed Satan’s lead, the spiritual enemies of his allies. The Bible also describes God as a jealous and avenging God, and he has outlined his punishment for those individuals accordingly, for God must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet.

Throughout Israel’s history, the followers of God have constantly encountered foes determined to destroy them. The Canaanites, the Egyptians, the Philistines, and the Babylonians represent only a handful of the brutal and tyrannical enemy nations mentioned in the Bible. All the nations mentioned were considered enemies because they opposed God’s people, and God battled on Israel’s behalf (2 Kings 19).

shadow of people fighting and enemies of god

Can Enemies Of God Be Reconciled?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

— John 3:16

The incredible fact is that “when we were God’s opponents, we were reunited with him through the crucifixion of Jesus” (Romans 5:10). As God loves human beings so much, whenever man positions himself against God, he fights to reestablish their connection with him via the death of Jesus, his only begotten Son, that enables them to have eternal life, as Jesus is the Passover Lamb of the entire world (John 1:29).

While God’s wrath is real, repentance is also a central theme in the Bible, signaling a change of heart and a turning away from sin. Through genuine repentance, individuals can experience God’s forgiveness and receive the gift of salvation because God loves us enough to grant us grace through his son, Jesus.

When battling with the enemies of God, the Scripture advises believers to be careful yet bold: “Be sober-minded; be attentive. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to consume” (1 Peter 5:8).

In 1 Peter 2:22–23, Christ Jesus additionally gave an example for his believers to follow when they encounter enemies of the Lord and their temptations: “You should follow in his ways. ‘He committed no evil, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they insulted him, he did not respond; when he grieved, he made no threats. Instead, he surrendered himself to him who judges justly.”

God promised to his people in Isaiah 11:9 that they will gain great wisdom: “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” After God defeats his enemies, his people will live free of pain and sorrow: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

10 Bible Verses About God’s Enemies

For many walk, of whom I often told you and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ.

— Philippians 3:18

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

— James 4:4

However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child that is also born to you shall surely die.

— 2 Samuel 12:14

Recently, my people have arisen as an enemy—you strip the robe from unsuspecting passersby and from those returning from war.

— Micah 2:8

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.

— Nahum 1:2

You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?

— Acts 13:10

For, behold, your enemies, O Lord, for, behold, your enemies will perish; all who do iniquity will be scattered.

— Psalm 92:9

He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

— 1 Corinthians 15:25–26

When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

— Luke 10:17

You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

— Acts 7:51
black and white chess pieces and enemies of god

Conclusion

As Christians, we will encounter numerous enemies as a result of our trust in Jesus Christ, according to what he said: “In truth, everyone who desires to live a good life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (John 15:18–19; 17:14; 2 Timothy 3:12).

We can rest assured that our God will fight for us. God’s enemies are battling a losing battle: “Surely your enemies, Lord, surely your enemies will fall; all evildoers will be dispersed” (Psalm 92:9). Death is the last enemy of God that must be defeated, for he must reign until he has placed all his foes under his feet.

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