The Great Controversy

Countless wars have raged across our world. But the mother of all battles, the one that sparked all the world’s violence, is the cosmic conflict between good and evil. The Bible uses the term “Lord of hosts” many times because God is the defender of His people against the forces of evil.

Cosmic conflict is a frequent topic in the Bible. Revelation 12:7-9, one of the clearest inspired accounts of such controversy, records that “war broke out in heaven,” and the dragon (Satan) and his angels were defeated and cast to the earth.

Through several texts, the Bible reveals the motive of the cosmic conflict (Lucifer/Satan wanted to conquer the divine throne and be worshiped as God), its consequences (the appearance of sin, war in heaven, expulsion of evil angels to the earth), the steps taken by God (plan of salvation), and the outcome (judgment and destruction of the rebellious angels and their followers in the future).

While the conflict is primarily of a spiritual and moral nature, it plays out in the real world. It is reflected in the great events of history and the daily life of each human being. Ultimately, all death, suffering, and injustice stem from this war. Even good people like Job suffer—sometimes without reason (Job 2:3). You have surely experienced the effects of this conflict in your life. We all carry scars on our bodies and in souls.

The devil’s strategies for victimizing and defeating people include deception, manipulation, seduction, false miracles, intimidation, and persecution (Gen. 3:1-5; John 8:44; Eph. 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:8-12; Rev. 12:9). The apostle Paul used the analogy of a Roman soldier’s armor to underscore the complete protection we need. To be victorious, the believer must wear the belt of truth, the breastplate of justice, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, always with prayer (Eph. 6:12-18).

Some theologians see the great conflict as the unifying theme of the whole Bible. Although Bible scholars have proposed several central themes, such as the concept of God’s kingdom, divine love, and even the plan of redemption, the theme of cosmic conflict is indeed a good candidate.

In this war, the enemy tries to distort the Creator’s loving character, portraying him as unjust, tyrannical, and vindictive. Yet, by dying on the cross, Jesus vindicated God and showed who He is and how He acts. The cross revealed that God is just and the justifier (Rom. 3:26), a wonderful Father who can be defined as “love” (1 John 4:8).

If you are in Christ and use the weapons of heaven, nothing can separate you from the love of God and no one can prevent your victory (Rom. 8:31-39). You will be more than a winner, a superhero in the cosmic warfare. Best of all, one day soon God will destroy evil (Rev. 20:10), and the universe will know peace again.