I recently returned from another Middle School week at Camp Rudolph. Highlights from this year included preaching from a former classmate Dan Higgins, and fellowship with both students, volunteers, and fellow student ministers.
Though great memories were forged, one experience remains the pinnacle moment of Middle School Week.
I Saw Something
A group of students listened with rapt attention as one boy recounted his eyewitness account of something strange and ominous lurking in the dark. I casually strolled into the cabin room as the story began, and quickly witnessed a disturbing scene. Many eyes widening with horror as the ringleader of the group stirred a melting pot of emotion and concern over his three words “I saw something.” Even the storyteller, convinced of his sighting, admitted he was afraid of the mysterious figure outside.
Why are you so afraid?
In Mark 4:40, Jesus asked his disciples why they were afraid of the raging seas about them. The fear of the disciples drove them to waken Jesus from his slumber before he rose and calmed the raging seas with mere words. Afterward, he said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Unbeknownst to me, my words echoed the words of Christ. With my gaze fixed on the catalyst of this conversation, I asked him “why are you afraid?” Looking around the room by lantern light, I asked each boy the same question.
Can a Christian be Demon Possessed?
The conversation quickly turned to common questions many Christians have concerning the demonic world. Headlining this blog post, and one of the most prominent questions answered that night was whether a Christian can be possessed by a demon?
A Comforting Response
First, the short answer. No, a truly saved Christian cannot be possessed by a demon.
Second, the long answer.
Colossians 1:13 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” Salvation from God brings protection from Satan due to our divine citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20), no longer residents of the domain of darkness.
With this new residency in heaven comes a new resident living inside of Christians. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?” There is profound comfort from the apostle’s words understanding the Holy Spirit lives inside of each Christ follower. A true believer is unafraid of demonic possession because the indwelling Holy Spirit could never cohabitate with demons.
Scripture affirms God “gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Our victory in Christ also brings about a triumphal procession for believers, Christ leading the way (2 Corinthians 2:14). This procession is the evidence of the apostle John’s words that we “have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:13). John also states that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
No teaching found within Scripture affirms a true believer can welcome the presence of demons within. Paul implicitly states there is no harmony between Christ and Belial, and nothing in common between a believer and an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:15). Furthermore, he continues saying the temple of God is not in agreement with idols and if we are the temple of the living God as He has said, He will dwell inside of us (2 Corinthians 6:16). When the Holy Spirit dwells in man, demonic spirits are incapable of inhabiting the same place.
Believers are guarded by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:5). Christ protects believers from the forces of evil and “the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). When the Holy Spirit inhabits a true believer’s soul, no demon is welcome or able to reside as well.
The indwelling presence of demons evidences a lack of genuine salvation.