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Daily Devotional | God of Second Changes | A monarch butterfly hatching on a branch with a budding leaf. Daily Devotional | God of Second Changes | A monarch butterfly hatching on a branch with a budding leaf.

Questions and Answers | God of Second Chances

Does it say anywhere in the Bible that demons exist in homes or buildings, in addition to possessing a person?

In some horror films, Hollywood has portrayed Satan or demons possessing homes. Because of this, many people think that to live in peace and safety they need to rid their home of ghosts or evil spirits. Most concerns over things that go bump in the night have simple explanations, such as the sound of air escaping pipes or forgetting we moved an item in a rush. Other worries are caused by our own traumas, anxieties, and fears.

While real encounters with the demonic exist, they typically do not involve puppets or missing jewelry. Scripture is clear that Satan and demons have no power over God. Believers have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them fully, just as Jesus promised His followers (John 14:17). This same Spirit gives us grace to stand in Christ’s power against “the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11). There are numerous mentions of demon possession of people (not homes) in the New Testament (Matt. 7:22; Matt. 8:31; Mark 3:22; Mark 16:9; Luke 4:41). In Mark 5, Jesus encounters the Gerasene demoniac. In this case, legions of demons had taken up residence in his physical body (Mark 5:1–13). Jesus had authority over these demons. They recognized Him and obeyed Him, leaving the man’s body at His command. They then sought residence elsewhere, entering pigs who went to their deaths by drowning.

Believers in Jesus Christ, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, have the power of God that is greater than any demon. However, if you face evil in which people are a harm to themselves or others, you should seek professional medical and spiritual help immediately. In addition, as we pray, we should ask the Lord to deliver us and others from evil (Matt. 6:13).

Does the Bible prove that the Earth is round and not flat?

Despite the many images of the Earth we have from space, theories about the Earth being flat continue to arise. By searching the Scriptures, you will not find proof that the Earth is round. Language in Scripture reflects the ancient Near East writers’ observations of the sun moving through its circuit in the sky (Ps. 19:6), of the sun rising and falling (Ps. 50:1; 113:3; Isa. 59:19; Mal. 1:11), and of the horizon being circular (Job 26:10).

The role of Scripture is to reveal spiritual matters, not to argue for scientific fact. For this reason, Scripture does not mention many scientific discoveries. The Bible is for making us wise toward salvation to carry out the work of the gospel (2 Tim. 3:14–17).

Believers must be people of truth (Prov. 12:19; Eph. 4:25); lying is a characteristic of those outside of Christ (1 Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:12; Rev. 21:8). As people of truth, in humility, we should tell people who debate over the spherical shape of the Earth that such an argument is unnecessary, for all related data points to the truth of a spherical Earth. When we encounter those who wish to argue, we should walk away and not argue with foolishness (Prov. 26:4–5). We can leave such persons to ponder the swirling of the water in their sinks and bathtubs—swirling that reverses direction when we cross the equator.

Why did God allow Satan to torment Job?

The horrendous pain inflicted upon Job raises the problem of evil and the existence of a good God. In theology, we speak of theodicy when addressing this issue: How can a good God allow evil to exist in his world? In the case of Job, the question is more poignant because God was aware of an attack coming on Job before it happened, and He could have prevented it.

First, I would remind you that when we ask questions on why God did something, for which there is no clear explanation in Scripture, we are speculating. The Almighty has knowledge and purposes that far exceed our knowledge as finite and fallen beings (Isa. 55:8–9). This is part of the resolution presented by Job’s sufferings. Job questions God’s dealing with him without having an exalted knowledge of God and His ways: “You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely, I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know...My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:3–5).

Second, we know that God is good. All the purposes that God had for Job’s sufferings will not be known in this present world because they reflect the mind of One who is infinite and eternal. However, we are reassured that God is eternally good and loving, and He has proven it to us by allowing His own Son to bear our punishment, rather than inflicting such suffering upon us.

BY Dr. Eric C. Redmond

Dr. Eric C. Redmond serves as a professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Say It!  Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers), Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

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