It is only through salvation in Christ that mankind can find true freedom from sin, guilt and fear. It is only by the power of Christ’s blood that the bondage to sin and the grip of the demonic realm can be broken. It is only through a heart fully surrendered to God through Christ that we can experience true joy, love, grace and strength – and have ALL that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). It is only through God’s precious, unchanging Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can find help for ALL of life’s challenges and direction in life.
The true needs of mankind can never be found in empty, evil pursuits of mystical powers and magical practices. In fact, it is the pursuit of such demonic practices that will guarantee mankind ‘s increased bondage, pain and destruction. It is in God alone, through Christ, that mankind can truly find salvation, freedom and a life of purpose and meaning.
Witnessing To An Animist
Remember: As is true of all who are in bondage to false religions, God loves animists and Christ died to save them (John 3:16). Because this is true, we should approach them with bold confidence. What we have to share – the Gospel – is powerful and life-changing. But we should also approach them with humility and compassion for their blind and lost state. Many have already sensed their own bondage and have a desire to be free – they just do not know how to truly be free.
You can begin by asking them questions about their beliefs. This can give you insights into how to best talk to them.
It is important to stress to an animist that God – the God of the Bible, the God Christians believe in – is very personal and desires to know them personally and be with them each day. God is infinite not only in His power, but also in His love. Help them understand that God is not distant or uncaring, but He cares so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us and give His life for our salvation and freedom .
The animist lives in constant fear of somehow offending a local spirit and then suffering painful consequences. Let them know the following truths about Jesus Christ:
- Jesus Christ loves people personally and unchangingly (Rom 8:37-39).
- Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was a once for-all payment for every sin or wrongdoing. Those who accept Christ ‘s atoning sacrifice and free gift of salvation and eternal life no longer need to live in fear (Heb 2:14,15 ; 7:25-27; 9:11-15).
- Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between mankind and God (1 Tim 2:5). It is useless to pray to ancestral spirits, other dead people, household idols, other living people, or any other object or spirit; these things have no power to help or save (Ps 1 15).
- Jesus Christ made the willing sacrifice for our sins once and for all. The way is now open for us to have a personal relationship with God, our loving Creator (Eph 3:12; Heb 4:16; 10:19-22).
- Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us conquered death, hell and the powers of the demonic realm, defeating them and their workings (Heb 2:14-18; Col 2:1 – 15; 1 John 3:8).
As you minister to a person who is involved in animism, you must assure him/her that God is truly trustworthy:
- God’s Word does not fail (1 Ki 8:56; Isa 40:8; 55:10,1 1);
- God is aware of mankind’s every need (Matt 6:25- 34; 10:29-31);
- God does bear and answer our prayers (Ps 118:5-9);
- God is all-powerful (Jer 32: 17; Luke 1 :37) and there is nothing too hard for Him (Jer 32: 17,27);
- God’s love is never-failing, never-ending, and we can never be separated from it (Rom 8:31-39).
No spirit or devil can provide even the smallest measure of what God has for each one of us in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 2:9). So be bold, yet sensitive, as you lead the animist to examine what the Bible says about Jesus (use the Gospels of Mark or John). Pray for the person as you are led by the Holy Spirit – then watch what God will do! It is God Who desires that every person come to know Him through the salvation provided in Christ. God’s Spirit will draw a person to Christ as you speak the truth in love. God’s presence will be with you as you declare the truth of Jesus Christ to those who are lost and without a saving knowledge of Him.
A special message to all pastors, evangelists, church leaders, elders and ministers: