The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.1 John 3:8
We get from John one of Jesus’s primary mission statements. Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work. But what did that include?
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.Matthew 4:23-24
Destroying the devil’s work looked like four main things: 1) teaching about the Kingdom of God, 2) preaching the gospel, 3) healing every disease and sickness and 4) casting out demons/deliverance.
Jesus summarizes this mission in the synagogue in Nazareth by reading a prophesy about Himself from Isaiah 61.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,Luke 4:16-18
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free…
We see here that destroying the devil’s work includes the same things–preaching/teaching, physical healing, and deliverance. If these were the main components of Jesus’s mission, and Jesus then passes His mission to the Church when He ascended and sent the Holy Spirit, then this mission is now ours.
One of the primary missions of the Church is to destroy the devil’s work. We are to do as Jesus did. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you“(John 20:21). Jesus said that we who believe in Him “will do the works (He has) been doing,” and that we “will do even greater things than these” because He was going to the Father (John 14:12).
We are called to: 1) teach about the Kingdom of God, 2) preach the gospel, 3) heal every disease and sickness, and 4) cast out demons. And Jesus told us that the way we would accomplish this mission was to “go and make disciples of all nations” and teach them “to obey everything” that He taught the original disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).
Most churches in America are only doing one or two of these, which is why the devil’s work in the world is not being destroyed. Instead, where the church doesn’t take up the full mission of Jesus, the devil’s work in the world runs rampant and creates chaos and unbelief. We were called to more than this!