Ron Edmondson: "The gates of hell shall never overcome what God started, but Satan certainly loves to disrupt what God’s church is doing."

Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8

I’m not a pastor who is constantly looking for Satan behind everything that goes wrong. I concentrate my attention on Jesus and encouraging others to follow Jesus and not to focus on the defeated one. Yet, I’m fully aware that Satan loves to destroy…or attempt to destroy…a church. Obviously Satan is a limited being and God’s church is secure. The gates of hell shall never overcome what God started, but Satan certainly loves to disrupt what God’s church is doing.

Here are 7 way Satan tries to destroy a church:

Church conflict 

Satan loves business meetings that get out of hand or when two church members have disagreements outside of church. He loves when church members argue about trivial things, such as colors of the carpet or big things, such as whether to add another service. Doesn’t matter to him. Show him a good argument potential and he’s willing to stir the fire.


Satan loves to burn out a church volunteer, staff member, or pastor. If he can make them feel they are no longer needed, their work is not appreciated, or that they no longer have anything to offer…he feels he’s winning part of the battle.


Satan is the stirrer of dissension. He likes to plant little seeds of a juicy story, about someone in the church or community…sometimes even the pastor or staff…and watch them quickly spread through a church congregation or community. The version, of course, usually grows to a larger portion than reality. Satan likes that too.

Don’t Miss


Satan loves to distract church goers with a plethora of activity that produces little results in Kingdom-building.


Satan attempts to interject what he calls a “half-truth”; just a hint of false doctrine and then watch it disrupt or divide a body. Of course, we all know that half-truth is really just a cleaned up version of a bold face lie, but Satan is clever enough to disguise a lie in a way where false teachers gain entry and do damage before being discovered.


Satan loves a good, juicy, gossipy news headline in the local paper. If it will split, divide or destroy a church body…even better. If it will destroy someone’s Kingdom calling or work…he’ll take that too.

Marriage and family disruptions 

Satan loves to destroy any relationship, but he also goes after key leader’s marriages; even the pastor’s marriage. He likes to encourage prodigal children. He wants to cause families to fight within the church and fight with the church. Satan knows if he can destroy a home, he has a better chance of destroying a church.

Thankfully, there is good news:

You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

What other ways have you seen Satan try to destroy a church?

Image credit: Lianne Trevarthen via

Ron Edmondson Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping church grow vocationally for over 10 years.

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  • ePHraimAg

    Personally I believe the church needs not Satan help to destroy it, I think those who are already in the church destroy it without Satans’ help. Unfortunately I have seen them play God, but they are not and never shall they Be…so I have saw their evil. Thus, even as the Apostle Paul in His day saw them playing God and meeting the very few that were sincere down by the Rivers Edge…I cannot say I have met any sincere Christians in The USA. The USA has turned its Back on The Covenants and The Islands that are stated Of Jacob (Union Jack) in Isaiah…why should We the true Israel even heed an american and an apostate church? Shame America has left itself off its own terrorist list !

  • Marisol

    His best work has been through denominations I believe. There was only one true church of christ as mentioned in the bible. There were never any Lutherans, 7th Day Adventists, etc. etc. All he mentioned were the different cities where the Church of Christ was like Ephesians, Thesselonians, etc.etc…There is only one body and church of christ that has not added or taken away from GOD”s word. This is the Church of Christ that is a worldwide church. They teach true doctrine, and eat the body and blood every Sunday. The holy spirit led me to this church about two months ago when I was on a fast as I am a baby christian still.

    • Dan

      With all due respect; while seemingly being autonomous congregations, the Church of Christ has had two splits with the Disciples of Christ and the International Church of Christ.  No group, no matter how devout and Biblical is immune to divisions.  

      Looking forward to your heavenly look of surprise when people other than Church of Christ members meet you in heaven! :-)

      • Jonathan Woodward

        The church of Christ actually has three splits, but good call. Also, its a rather new denomination. And yes, it IS a denomination. People whomare ill-informed will say its the true church, but anyone who has done some homework on them will know it started with Alexander Campbell in early 19th century. If it starts with a man, its a denomination.

        • Junastam

          The church of Christ is not a denomination. Jonathan, if you have done your homework, you must have learned that the church of Christ was not started by Alexander Campbell. Otherwise, we will call it church of Campbell or Campbell church. Even Alexander Campbell himself refused to acknowledged that he started the church.  

          • Guest

            Go back to the teachings of Jesus Christ…he is the founder of HIS church…if a church does not teach the exact words Jesus taught in the Gospels, and observe the same laws Jesus said to away from it…that leaves out 98 percent of all so called “christian” churches!

  • Melissamarshall118

    Those are all good but touch so briefly on what saatan is really about and just how far and no further the Lord God Almighty will allow satan to work within the body of believers..melissa

  • El Rival

    well said 

  • Guest

    Satan loves to divide and conquer..he has done that very effectively for two thousand years, against the fledgling Christian church.   He has had great success ever since.  He started with getting Rome to ban the Holy Sabbath day as per the fourth Commandment, and change it to the first day of the week..the day of the sun.   The was a terrible thing, because God brought His Holy Seventh day Sabbath day in on the seventh day of the Creation week, He blessed and sanctified the day.  Then on Mount Sinai He placed in in the Ten commandments and said “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy”…He used the word remember to hearken the Israeli’s back to Creation, when He introduced the Sabbath, to all mankind.   Now wannabee christians ignore God’s most Holy day weekly, to follow pagan days such as sunday, Dec 25th, and easter using the excuse they are observing them unto God.   Can mankind make any day Holy?  Of course not..mankind has now decided we can do just that though, and we know better than God…and preachers anguish over the fact Christianity is in such a mess…well just read what I have said, and you need look no further…”Know the truth and it will make you free”…and quit following the traditions of man, and start following the Commandments of God…remember to worship the Son of God, and quit worshipping the sun god

  • Butterfly 54

    Personally, the article is very well stated,also the ones that is stating their comments has some good points too. (According to Ephesian 2:2). When Satan exalted himself above God , and were kicked out of heaven carrying an 3rd of the angels with him to earth.(Ezekiel 28:16;Luke 10:18). When Jesus went to the cross died and was resurrected on the third day. Went down into hell, fought the fight, took the keys from Satan, and led the captives free. Well Satan was kick out of the earth, so he do not have an home here on earth he was put out of the earth. He is the prince of the air, (Ephesian 2:2).Satan has limited power,(Mark 1:34). Satan is subject to those who believe, (Colossian 2:12-15: Ephesian 2:6). Satan only have control on the believers of Christ who is disobident. (Ephesian 2:2). He is best when he can conquer and divide…..

    • Guest

      John 12 ..31..satan is the ruler of this world..he patrols earth like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour…he is very clever, and has the majority of christians broken away from God, by counterfeit christianity which started in Rome about 1900 years ago, and contrinues to this day.  How often have you heard “man observes certain days to God”..yet God did not command or bless these days..but mankind has decided they are equal with God, and can keep days they want, and can make them holy…that is satan at work in mankind..dividing and conquering…very clever indeed…

  • Back Pew Christian

    his master stroke has not been uncovered by many, and that is giving churches the impression they are correct when they are going in the wrong direction. The sins of the world lie at the door of the church. If you don’t know what I’m talking about take a long careful look at the Jewish experience. Paul says in 1Cor 10:11 “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
    Ensamples is translated from a greek word that means types. In other words the christian church of the latter days is rerpeating the errors of Judaism. Satan knows that we are easily mislead when we trust the church more than God as the Jews did.Many denominations have a fundamental belief that the church is infallible and you cannot question the leadership. To do so is considered sacrilegious. The church is composed of individuals who are in Christ and who follow Him only even to the death.

    • Guest

      You are correct, but be careful when you interpret some of Paul’s writings.  Peter in 2nd Peter 3 (15, 16)..warns of this..

  • Guest

    Different denominations and doctrine are the work of satan…divide and conquer!

  • Plathjs

    Stan works through our mind.Disciplining our mind, body and spirit will work wonders for the church  along with all the above points that youhave mentioned. Thanks for the message!

  • Whitetotheharvest

    Great article!  Some of the comments certainly prove your point.

  • Bhushanam_ganipalli

    it is a timely small and significant message of warning and reminder to Gods servants and christian leaders. I am personally encouraged of this write up. Dr. Bhushanam

  • Ted

    The author flatters himself….the “christian” church Jesus started and the Apostles were building has no similiarity to todays “christian” church…Jesus and the Apostles after Him followed the Commandments of God, the Ten commandments, including the fourth “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy”..(the Sabbath being the seventh day of the week, made Holy by God at Creation)…the present “christian” church is splintered into so many denominations because satan has deceived these followers so bad, seventeen hundred years ago, and ever since. So the “church: the author accuses satan of attacking is in fact run by satan, as it is not following God’s Holy word…

  • XavierT1

    Sad read these comments and all you smell is unholy arrogance. Lord help Your Church.


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