Some people may have the belief that when a person is converted to the Lord and God Jesus Christ, everything is forgiven and all his problems are solved. This view seems too common in western churches. When a person is converted, all his sins are indeed forgiven. But not all the consequences are done away with — not by a long way. Sometimes the consequences of one’s sins can carry over into his Christian life.
For instance, if a person is promiscuous and contracts an STD, it doesn’t mean he will be cured once he becomes a Christian. Yes, his sins are forgiven, but he may still have to deal with the consequence of the sin of sexual immorality.
This carryover is many times exemplified in people who were involved in the occult, New Age, or any other grievous sin that opened the doors to the enemy to come into his life; once the person has repented and turned to Jesus Christ, the enemy will attack the person, even ruthlessly. The enemy doesn’t mind when a person is working for his kingdom but as soon as the person switches side to the Kingdom of Christ, that is when the enemy gets riled up. Why? Because now a born-again person has become a potential threat to the kingdom of darkness as the person has become a light of the world (Matt. 5:14) because of Christ.
Don’t be surprised that after you have repented of your sins and truly submitted to the Lord that the enemy is attacking you left and right. The enemy desires to sift those who follow Jesus (Luke 22:31). The Apostle Paul was whipped, beaten, shipped wrecked, beaten, stoned, often hungered, and thirst during his ministry for the Lord (2 Corinthians 11:22-27). Certainly, the enemy was opposing him (1 Thess. 2:18). In the letter to the Church in Smyrna, Jesus told them that satan was going to have some of them be imprisoned, and Jesus gave them encouragement, promising them He will give them the crown of life if they stay faithful until death (Revelation 2:10).
The Bible is clear that through many tribulations Christians enter the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). One may not suffer to the degree some have in the early Church but there is no doubt satan today still comes after Christians like a devouring lion. But blessed are those who suffer for Jesus’ namesake (Matthew 5:11).
The following is an example of a woman who was involved with the occult who faced retaliation from the enemy once she converted, which is not uncommon:
“A young woman wanted to learn how to tell fortunes. She was taught by her sister who already practised occultism. One day there was a meeting in her church. Both the sisters went to the meeting. The second sister was converted and became a Christian. Immediately after this she herself began to experience scenes of persecution at night. Invisible forces beat her until she even bled. It was this that brought her to be counselled.” (The Devil’s Alphabet, 58)
The following example is of a Christian who backslid and opened her to demonization and was attacked by the enemy when she repented:
“I did not grow up in a Christian home, so I really didn’t know anything about salvation till I was thirteen years of age. At that time, through the kindness of my aunt and uncle, I went to a Christian ranch in Colora, Maryland. Almost the first time I heard the gospel I came under conviction. I knew I was a sinner and needed Christ as my Savior. I trusted Him and He saved me!
Oh how my life was changed! I just fell in love with Jesus Christ! He became my everything–my very life.
I returned home to an unchristian environment and took a stand for the Lord. But before even a year went by, I started to backslide, and some of my joy in the Lord vanished.
The following summer I went back to the ranch and there dedicated my life to Christ. But again, after a while I started to slip away from the Lord and hang around with the wrong people. Soon I was really in sin.
The kids I went with knew of my stand for Christ. But to be accepted by them I quit witnessing. Before long I found myself actually disowning Christ and making light of what I had testified to.
When I reached the age of fifteen, things began to go from bad to worse. The Beatles had become a world-famous singing group, and I honestly worshiped them. They took the place of God in my life. I would have literally sold myself to the devil to be with them.
Time after time the Holy Spirit corrected me. But I rejected His calling every time. At seventeen I married a boy in my school who was not a Christian. My life became miserable, and I started to drink. At times I became so intoxicated that I would pass out. Under the influence of liquor I would make a fool of myself before men and curse my husband in front of them. I got to a point where I just couldn’t stand myself.
One evening as I sat alone in my living room, the Lord began to speak to me again. I was twenty-two years old. I asked God to forgive me for living in awful sin, and I rededicated my life to Christ.
Believe it or not, then began eighteen months of hell on earth for me. The very next morning I awoke terribly afraid. It seemed as if a great hand was around my heart, squeezing the very life out of me.
I began to study the Bible and pray and tried desperately to have fellowship with the Lord. I also started going to a Bible preaching church. There I met some of the dearest Christian people in the world. Without their love and help I know I wouldn’t be alive today, for in the following months I had a terrifying urge to take my own life.
I didn’t know it then, but during my years of sin and turning my back on God, I had been invaded by a demon. As long as I lived in sin and drunkenness, and did what the demon wanted, he didn’t bother me. But the moment I committed my life to Christ, the demon made my life one long torture session. I was constantly obsessed by terrible feelings of guilt. I know I must have run to the Lord a hundred times a day to ask forgiveness.
Awful fear gripped me. It is impossible for me to convey to any human being the horror of demonic fear. It hounded me when I attempted to read the Scripture or pray. It confused my mind when I tried to think about the things of God. I could take this torture for only about five or six days. Then you know what I would do–rather be compelled to do? I would get drunk!
Every time I got drunk or willfully sinned against the Lord, the pressure and the fear would stop! I did this two or three times a month. I would ask the Lord to forgive me. Then presto–the torture would start again. I yielded to God, cried out to Him, read every book I could lay hands on dealing with the victorious life. But the pressure, fear, and torment only got worse. Things got so bad, in fact, that I began planning to commit suicide.
The only thing that kept me from carrying out my plan was the thought that if I killed myself, my unsaved husband would go to hell. At this point my health gave way. I was on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown.
At this desperate juncture I cried to the Lord, asking Him to show me what this awful thing was that stood between us. Just as clearly as if someone had spoken to me, this thought came to me. You have a demon!
At this time I knew nothing about demons, except that I believed no believer, such as I was, could be possessed by one. I knew though that God had spoken. I became fearful, but the Lord wonderfully comforted me.
My first impulse was to tell my dear friend Shirley, who was a real student of the Bible. So I jumped in the car and drove to her house, telling her what had happened. She strongly disagreed with me, declaring that a Christian could not be demonized.
She suggested that we both go over to the parsonage and talk this over with Mrs. D______, the pastor’s wife. This we did, and I told her the story. She and the pastor were aware of the torment I had been experiencing.
Mrs. D_______ didn’t say anything except that we should pray. The three of us knelt in front of her sofa. Mrs. D______ laid her hand on my shoulder and began to pray softly. I started to call on the Lord. At that moment the pastor’s wife quietly commanded the evil spirit to come out of me. When she did this, I began to feel a lurching inside me. I began to gag as though I were about to vomit. I couldn’t catch my breath and had the sensation I was passing out, but actually it was the demon being expelled.
I was totally drained of strength and had to lie down and rest awhile. I felt as though the weight of two worlds had been taken off my shoulders and a new life was opening up for me.
The Lord has healed every wound in my heart and I know the abundant life He intends for His children to enjoy. I am balanced and secure. I’m in the hollow of His hand, and I’ll never leave Him again. Praise God!” (What Demons Can Do To Saints, 72-74)
The following is another case of the Adversary retaliating when a person turned to the Lord Jesus Christ:
“A 13-year-old boy complained of tiredness and pains in his back. At first his parents thought this was the result of overwork, because, being poor, the boy had to help them in the fields and in the forest each day. When there was no improvement in his condition and it only got worse, the father sent the boy to see the doctor. Following a thorough examination the doctor affirmed that he was suffering from tuberculosis of the nerves of the spinal cord. He said that it was too late, that the disease had got too much of a hold on the boy, and that the father should have brought the boy to see him much earlier. In dismay the father asked him what he could do. The doctor, knowing of a magic charmer, said to the father, ‘Go and see this man. He knows more than I do.’ In the course of time the father found himself in the consulting room of this notorious sorcerer. He noticed on the walls testimonies to the effect that the man had been successful in checking epidemics and in other cases of healing. The man stood the boy in front of a large mirror. He stared at him intently and then said, ‘There’s something terribly wrong with you, sonny. You should have come a lot earlier. Well, we’ll see what we can do.’ He then made three crosses over the boy’s body, stroked his spine three times and murmured some sentence in Latin. The boy was then given some Arnica tincture and hold to rub it into his back each day. He was to return in a month’s time. The charmer also added, ‘You must believe in me, if you want to be healed.’ On leaving, the father noticed that all the patients had been given similar bottles of Arnica tincture. In fact, apart from one exception, this is the only medicament the healer advised. No matter whether the patient was suffering from migraine or a dislocation or some physical injury, they were to rub the tincture into their skin. The exception was in the case of blood poisoning, for which the patient was told to apply some hot porridge made from maize to his body. The medicament was not the most essential part of the healing process; priority was given to the magical stroking performed in the name of the Trinity or in the devil’s names. The boy went to see the man on three occasions and was subsequently healed through the magical treatment. He grew up to be a healthy young man. When he got married his wife, who was at least a nominal Christian, tried to get him to read his Bible and go to church. It so happened that through hearing the Word of God he decided to become a Christian. He began immediately to suffer from depressions and suicidal thoughts. He told me in the course of counselling that his life had continued normally since the healing, and it was only when he had begun to pray and to read his Bible that the trouble started. He added that without knowing it the magical healer had subscribed him to the devil. The depressions increased so much that he actually attempted to commit suicide on three occasions. A doctor, on seeing the dose he had taken to poison himself, said, ‘This should have been enough to kill ten people.’ As the weeks went by a group of people got together to pray for the young man. In addition to this, the men of the church on several occasions prayed for him under the laying of hands. The battle continued for months, but in the end Christ overcame the ‘strong man’. The evil ban was broken. The young man was delivered from the effects of the magical treatment. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” (The Devil’s Alphabet, 133-134)
Don’t ever be intimidated and lose trust in the Lord. Job, God’s servant, was tried and tested by the enemy, but he still never gave up. Let that be a lesson for all believers.
Some relevant scriptures:
“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— “ – Ephesians 6:10-18
“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – 2 Timothy 4:18
“12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” – 1 Peter 4:12-16
“8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” –1 Peter 5:8-9
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”– 1 Peter 1:6-7