Well it is this time of year again ‚Äď Spiritual Harvest Time!. Halloween is upon us, and once again we have before us a great opportunity to share Christ, meet our children‚Äôs friends and reach out with the gospel to our neighbors. October 31st begins a great period of spiritual harvest. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, next Christmas and lastly New Year's. In the next three months you will have an opportunity to share Christ with, invite to church and recruit to Bible study all those friends, neighbors and family members that you have been praying for these past ten months. Since this period of spiritual harvest begins with Halloween, I thought I would encourage you to reach out with the gospel to those around you. As Pastor Tim Hawks at Hill Country Bible Church NW in Austin is fond of saying, "Halloween is when your neighbors come to you! Why would we want to give them the cold shoulder?"
First of all, let us dispel the great lie of satan concerning Halloween or any other day of the year. That lie is that where satanists, or witches, or demon possessed people, or cults or any other form of paganism gathers in mass, their spiritual power is somehow increased. This, of course, is a satanic lie. I can remember talking to a pastor in Houston. We were discussing the subject, and he shared with me two anecdotes. First of a missionary who ministered in the Caribbean Islands. On this Island at a certain time of the year all the Voodoo demonic priests held a festival. He said this missionary and the church huddled in prayer, behind closed doors during this time because the forces of darkness were so great, being multiplied by the sheer numbers. He then shared that his church did the same thing knowing that at Halloween there were so many witches and warlocks at work that they met in the church behind closed doors praying for safety. This of course flies in the face of Biblical Revelation.
1) satan is defeated ‚Äď he is not just defeated postionally in that he will be cast into the lake of fire as prophesied (Revelation 20:10), but he is defeated experientially in our day-to-day lives. We have numerous promises from God the Holy Spirit concerning this truth. 1 John 4:4, "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."
2) We have but to oppose satan to make him run. James 4:7, "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
3) satan is on a short leash as evidenced by the fact that he had no access to Job save through the permission of God. (Job Chapters 1 & 2)
4) Pagan holidays, festivals or gatherings do not increase satan‚Äôs power by some dark gathering or harmonic conversion of the ‚Äúforce.‚ÄĚ We have numerous accounts in the Bible which bear this out: - Even though there were numerous pagan sorcerers in Pharaoh's court and only Moses and Aaron to stand before them, the outcome was never in doubt. - Even though there were thousands of prophets of Baal and only Elijah, the one prophet of God, the outcome of the contest was never in doubt. - Even though there were thousands of pagan idols, temples, worshipers, priests and demoniacs arrayed against the early church, and particularly against Paul, the outcome was never in doubt
5) Remember, this is not the Lord of the Rings nor Star Wars. The power of satan is revealed to us in one place and one place alone and that is the holy, eternal, inerrant, written Word of God. God the Holy Spirit in His inspired holy Word says nothing about satan being able to increase his powers through numbers. In fact, both doctrine and divine revelatory history prove just the opposite.
When I told the aforementioned pastor that I gathered neighborhood children in my home every Halloween and taught the Gospel through the pumpkin, he was aghast. He exclaimed, ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt you know that pumpkins are demon possessed!?!‚ÄĚ I replied that actually, I did not know this, and if a demon ever tried to enter one of my pumpkins, I would caste him out. One good illustration of the spiritual impotency of pumpkins is an incident in Kenya. One year we were in the country over Halloween, and our host asked us to do a Gospel presentation using the pumpkin for his children and neighborhood friends. We did just that. Each went home with their ‚ÄúGospel Pumpkin‚ÄĚ. The next day we asked one of the children what they did with their pumpkin when they got home. She looked at me kind of funny and replied, ‚ÄúWe ate it‚ÄĚ. So much for the fearsome pumpkin.
Now I do not know what you do with Halloween, but whatever you do it should not be done out of fear. Now I do not know what you do with Halloween, but whatever you do it should not be done out of superstition. Now I do not know what you do with Halloween, but whatever you do it should not be guided by a lie of satan.
As for us, when we had children in the home, we had a Halloween party every year. We taught the Gospel by having a pumpkin carving session, and we taught the Bible by having a trivia contest. We set rules and guidelines on dress and behavior. The costumes were always on a theme such as ‚ÄúNoah‚Äôs Ark‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúYour Favorite Pet‚ÄĚ. It was such a hit that our children‚Äôs non-Christian friends all looked forward to it, and their parents would call and around the first week of October and ask, ‚ÄúYou are having the Mahon Halloween Party again this year aren‚Äôt you?‚ÄĚ Each child was sent home with their Gospel Pumpkin and a sheet of paper explaining the plan of salvation as explained while making their Gospel Pumpkin. As the children got older we had a Halloween Trivia Test. We would give them the test and have prizes. There was always a pile of Bibles out for them to use to help get the right answers. There were many lively discussions as a result of this test, and the Gospel was always clearly presented. I can remember some of the kids really taking exception to my answers and can still see them in my minds eye looking up the Bible verses with the help of our children. One of Sam‚Äôs friends, Jesse Hicks, started to come to a weekly Bible study at our home as a result of this test. He came to Christ, joined our church and is now a Youth Minister.
As for satanic covens that gather on Halloween, I don‚Äôt know of any. If I did, though, I know what I would do. I would go over to the house, cast out the demons, lead the attendees to Christ and then send them all out as evangelists. Not a bad plan and I have a pretty good blueprint to follow... Luke 8:26-39, "Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, " What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me." For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion "; for many demons had entered him. They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss. Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country. The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. Those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well. And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned. But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, "Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him."
You can find both of these documents ("The Pumpkin as a Picture of Salvation" and "Halloween Trivia Test") in the edoc section of the Grace Community International webpage.
By His mercy, II Corinthians 4:1 Rev. John S. Mahon Grace Community Int.