ON CHRIS­TIAN­ITY

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST/TELEVISION - bil­ly­gra­ham.org BILLY GRA­HAM Write to Billy Gra­ham in care of Billy Gra­ham Evan­ge­lis­tic As­so­ci­a­tion, 1 Billy Gra­ham Park­way, Char­lotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the web­site at

DEAR REV. GRA­HAM: I saw an ar­ti­cle in our news­pa­per the other day about a lo­cal group of peo­ple who say they be­lieve in witch­craft and black magic and things like that. Do you think they are sin­cere, or are they just try­ing to get at­ten­tion?

— E.H. DEAR E.H: I don’t know this group’s true mo­tives, of course — but I can as­sure you that some peo­ple to­day do be­lieve in the kind of oc­cult prac­tices you men­tion. Fur­ther­more, not only do they sin­cerely be­lieve in them and prac­tice them, but they of­ten seek to per­suade oth­ers to be­lieve in them also.

The Bi­ble is very clear, how­ever: oc­cult prac­tices of any kind are di­rectly op­posed to God and His will for our lives. The rea­son is be­cause they have their ori­gin in spir­i­tual forces that do not come from God but from our ad­ver­sary, the devil. Just as the devil is ab­so­lutely op­posed to God and His peo­ple, so too are his demons.

The Bi­ble re­peat­edly warns us against do­ing any­thing that might open the door to their in­flu­ence over us. One of the ways they gain en­trance into our lives is through oc­cult prac­tices — even those that seem amus­ing or harm­less. The Bi­ble says, “For we do not wres­tle against flesh and blood, but against … the spir­i­tual forces of evil in the heav­enly places” (Eph­e­sians 6:12, ESV).

Pray for those who have been de­ceived into think­ing that Satan is their friend — for he is not. In ad­di­tion, make sure of your com­mit­ment to Christ, and make it your goal to grow stronger in your faith ev­ery day, as you read His Word and pray and draw strength from other be­liev­ers. The Bi­ble says, “Re­sist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you” (James 4:7-8).

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