By: Gary L. Hutchens
Have you ever heard the statement “He’s doing God’s work in the devil’s kitchen!”? It’s an expression referring somebody doing something considered to be good in a very difficult, even hostile environment. Though it naturally sounds like a reference to some spiritual work, it is probably used most often in reference to non-spiritual matters. But for the purpose of this article let’s consider how this statement aptly describes doing the Lord’s work in this world.
As the Lord’s church it is our responsibility to teach the gospel of Christ throughout the world. In some countries, or parts of countries, it is dangerous to openly teach the gospel. Legal sanctions, including imprisonment, can be imposed. A recent article spoke of a woman who, having learned the truth, traveled approximately 3500 miles to find someone to baptize her into Christ, because conversion laws were in force where she lived. In more extreme cases teaching the gospel can result in violence, execution, even outright murder.
But one does not have to go to foreign lands to be persecuted for standing on the truth of God’s word. Right here in the United States Christian principles are being increasingly criticized, rebuked and legally challenged. Christians have their names and personal character demeaned for standing on doctrines taught in scripture.
There seem to be an increasing number of random acts of violence as church buildings are vandalized and burned, and gunmen walk into worship assemblies and begin shooting people down. Just a few years ago it would have been almost unthinkable for churches in our country to lock the doors of their buildings once the members have gathered for worship. Now, that is a reality across the land.
So, how does all of this relate to the title of this article, “Doing God’s Work In The Devil’s Kitchen!”? The truth is, this world is the devil’s kitchen! This is his workplace, his playground, his realm of influence (Rev. 12:12). The devil is variously referred to in scripture as “the ruler of this world” (Jn. 12:31), “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4), “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:1-2).
This world is not a godly environment. It is engulfed in sin, wickedness, pure evil, and it is “passing away” (1 Jn. 2:15-17). God will one day destroy it with fire in judgment against the sinfulness that prevails throughout (2 Pet. 3:10-12).
From the day when the devil first enticed Eve and Adam to enter into sin, he has continually worked in this world to lead humanity away from God through sinful temptations, and he has largely succeeded. The devil is skillful at his work. He knows how to make sin look enticing. He’s an artist at portraying evil as being good, a master at making wickedness appear harmless.
But the gospel of Christ embodies God’s power to salvation to everyone who believes and obeys (Rom. 1:16). We must relentlessly teach the gospel, the message that offers freedom from the shackles of sin, the primary message of hope needed by people all over the world. We must Do God’s Work Right Here In The Devil’s Own Kitchen!
Gary L. Hutchens