Ever wondered about the intricacies of spiritual warfare? Get ready to embark on a thought-provoking analysis of the final letter in C.S. Lewis's novel, The Screwtape Letters. Dive into a world where demons interact with humans, and learn about their hierarchies. We've pulled apart the threads of this fascinating narrative to give you a deeper understanding of its foundation, as we recounted in our June 7th episode.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ isn't always a smooth journey, but it's one filled with hope and victory, even in the face of trials and tribulations. We reaffirm the importance of serving God rather than the enemy, and how your decision to follow Jesus can lead to triumphant outcomes.
Believe us when we say, there's a reason to smile with every listen!
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Hi and welcome to the Cheer Up podcast. I am your host, kara R Hunt, and with me is a prolific author and speaker, sherry Swalwell. How are you today, sherry?Speaker 2:
I am doing great and you know you are as prolific as I am, so everything that you say about me gets turned right back to you. Seriously, your books touch so many people's lives and I just want to encourage people to go out there and pick up the Habakkuk series and you will truly, truly be blessed.Speaker 1:
Oh, thank you Again. This is the Cheer Up podcast and, for those of you who are new to joining us, Sherry and I are the hosts of this podcast, but we are also both Christian novelists, and Sherry also has several, many, many books on devotions excuse me, many devotional books, I should say including various topics, parenting being one of them and being a caregiver being another one of them, and there are so many. So please go to her website and she will be giving you that information at the end of this episode to be able to go there. And we just want to thank you guys for joining us again and thank you for all of our returning listeners, our faithful listeners, who have been with us from the beginning, and we just want to know we thank you, we appreciate you. You have no idea how much we truly, truly, truly appreciate you. And for those of you who are new to the podcast, you can find us on all major podcasting platforms. So, and if you do, please download, subscribe, like whatever they ask you to do, because if you subscribe, then you'll be able to find out every time we have a new episode, and if you download it, that'll let them know that you like the episode as well. So, and if some of them, I think you can click a like or you know, or something like that. So if you do all of that, it really helps get the word out, spread the word about the podcast. Okay, for those of you, as you know, we this is the very last episode of our. We started off as our summer series, so it kind of moved into the fall and we're wrapping up. This is the very last episode of it and since June 7 to now we have been covering a book, a novel, by talk about a prolific author, cs Lewis. A lot of people may know him from Chronicles of Nornia, lyon, swip and a witch and a excuse me, lyon Lyon, witch and a wardrobe. Am I saying this, sherry? Am I saying that right? If you feel like I got the note, the Lyon the witch and the wardrobe. Okay, thank you, okay. Okay, philip, I kept feeling like I'm one of those folks have S on it and it didn't Okay. So, yes, you may know him from the Chronicles of Nornia, the Lyon, the witch and the wardrobe and other books that he has written, and this one he has written he also wrote. It is called the screw tape letters, and the book is essentially exactly what the title insinuates. It is letters that screw tape writes to his nephew. What makes this book different and unique is that Uncle's screw tape, who's writing the letters, is a demon and he is writing these letters to his new, novice young nephew, wormwood, who is also a demon. Uncle Screwtape is much higher in hierarchy of demons than Wormwood is, so he's kind of taking Wormwood under his. He's kind of tutoring him or mentoring him I guess you could say in demon ship when it comes to that. And so these are the 30, the book the Screwtape letters are 31 letters that Uncle Screwtape the demon is writing to his nephew, demon Wormwood, and he's pretty much instructing him on how to handle his very first human, and that is what the whole book is about. And so the whole book is really about spiritual warfare. So, but if you're asking hierarchy of demons. Kara, what are you talking about, or? demons really Are they real? We really encourage you to go, if you listen to this episode, to go and listen to the June 7th episode where we definitely we talk about all of that, talk about why we're covering the Screwtape letters, the relevance it has in our lives today and every day as Christians and believers and nonbelievers alike, and we also talk about what the Bible has to say about demons and we answer a lot of questions. Well, the Bible answers a lot of questions about demons and we go through those scriptures like the hierarchy of demons Can demons possess someone or can they do things to people and can they do things to animals? And so we kind of go through that in a very first introductory episode of Screwtape Letters and I believe that episode was on June 7th. So if this is your first time joining us, you definitely are you kind of caught in at the last couple of letters, but you didn't quite get the beginning. I would definitely go back to that June 7th episode. It really kind of lays a biblical foundation about the book that we are discussing. All right, we are on the very last letter that Uncle Screwtape is writing to his nephew Wormwood. Just to catch you up really quick, wormwood was assigned his very first human and the whole point for Wormwood was to get that human to end up in hell. Right, he was to direct him away from God, jesus or anything like that in every way possible. But he has not been successful. Every time he tried to get his human entangled into something that would distract him or cause him issues or cause him problems. And, believe you me, he tried. Little Nephew Wormwood tried. It was his first human and he was definitely trying everything he could to, under his instructions from his Uncle Screwtape. He was trying everything he could to get this human to fail to end up in hell. And but, oh, it's very important to remember that this was written. The book was written in 1940s and 1941, I believe it to be more exact. But so his human is male, around 30 something years of age, I think, and he is lives in Europe. So it's 1940s. He's a young male in Europe and war has come to his hometown Very much so. In the last couple of episodes we hear how he reacted during the air raids and everything else, and so, but the whole time, from beginning to end, wormwood has tried to take this man through all sorts of stuff you know, to try to secure his place, you know, in the pit, and everything he's tried so far has been successful. And what has really upset his uncle screwtape is that one would let his human fall in love with a very devout Christian girl and who comes from a very good family, very strong faith in the Lord, in God, strong prayer life, to the point where he even describes like how could you even let him like getting contact with this girl, because she's exactly who we want to steer him away from. I mean, like her whole family is this way. So, yeah, we can't let him stay there. You gotta do what you gotta do. Well, things don't end well, okay, so now we're in letter 31 and I am just going to read just a few, and this is the very last letter, so this is the one we'll be covering in this episode and I'm just going to read some clips from the letter. This is the uncle screwtape talking to his nephew Wormwood and he is incensed, to say the least, with what has happened. And he says to Wormwood he's like you have let a soul slip through your fingers. The howl for that law three echoes at this moment through all levels of the kingdom. How well, I know what happened at the instant when they snatched him from you there was a sudden clearing of his eyes, was there not? As he saw you for the first time and recognized the part you had had in him and he knew that you had it no longer. So, basically, this is saying that the human that Wormwood had been assigned has now died. He has now died and that is what he is saying like you have let the soul slip through your fingers, and he is very upset about that. And when he is saying and I know what happened at the instant when they snatched him from you by they he's talking about angels. And he's also saying that there was a clearing of his eyes, was there not? When he saw you for the first time and he recognized who you were and that you, that you, have been a part of him, but you no longer a part of him, no longer. So that's, that's what Scrutate is talking about. And then he continues. He says just think and let this be the beginning of your agony just think what he felt at that moment. He felt as if a scab had fallen from an old sword, as if he were merging from a hideous shell like tether, as if he shuffled off for good and all. As if he shuffled off for good a defiled, wet clinging garment by hell. It is misery enough to see them in their mortal days taking off dirty and uncomfortable clothes and splashing in hot water and, giving little grunt of pleasure, stretching their ease limbs. What, then, of this final stripping, this complete cleansing away from the hideous shell that they that he was living in? Oh, wormwood, he got through so easily. There were no gradual misgivings, no doctor's sentence, no doctor's diagnosis, no nursing home. No, no operation, no operating room, no false hopes of life. None of that. None of that, wormwood. It was just sheer, instantaneous liberation. One moment it seemed to be all our world the scream of the bombs, the fall of the houses, the stink and taste of high explosives on the lips and in the lungs, their feet burning with weariness, the heart cold with horror, the brain reeling and their legs aching. Then, the next moment, all this was gone, gone like a bad dream, never again to be of any account. Did you mark how naturally this earth-born vermin entered into the new life? Do you know that as he saw you, he also saw them? He's referring to the angels. I know how it was. You reeled back, dizzy and blinded, more hurt by them than he had ever been by bombs, the degradation of it, that this thing of earth, and flying to stand upright and converse with spirits before whom you, another spirit could only cower. He had no faintest conception, till that very hour, of how they would look. He even doubted their existence. But when he saw them he knew that he had always known them and he had realized what part each one of them had played at many an hour in his life. Now he could say so was you all the time. He's referring to the man talking to the angels and he continues he said recognition made him free of their company, almost before the limbs of his corpse became quiet. Only you were left outside. He saw not only them, he saw him. That's what the capital H, this animal, this begotten thing in a bed, this thing that was begotten in a band, could look on him with a capital H. What is blinding, suffocating fire to you is now a cool light to him and it's clarity itself. And he wears the form of a man. And then he goes on to talk about how warmwood is going to pay for his mistake. Um, and he's going to pay dearly and Wormwood is no longer going to exist. There are no more letters because Uncle Screwtape is going to make sure that warmwood, even though he's a spirit, he is going to be fed to him and the other spirits and he's like you failed, this was an utter failure. I am going to rather, you know, I am rather, rather than this Lee, anticipating eating you along with the other spirits down here, um, and Wormwood begs for his life. He's like don't you have any compassion for me? I'm your nephew, you know, and all this other type of stuff. And he's like no, no, no, no, no, no, wormwood, there will be hell to pay. So in this last letter and I didn't go into detail on it but the human, he was, uh, blown away it sounds like by a bomb and it wasn't pretty and I didn't go into that part of it. But as he was dying, he saw angels and he also saw Wormwood and he saw Wormwood power before those angels and he saw them. He wasn't even sure that this is the human, he wasn't even sure that he completely believed in angels. But now he's like you're real. So you are the one who helped me through this incident. You were the one who helped me with that. You were the one who did this. You were the one when I was a little child who did that. And now they're going to usher him into heaven, but not before he gets to see him. Right, and that's what Uncle Screwtape, you know, is really, really upset about. He's like the, the, the, the, the, him, him, him, you know. He gets to see him. This, this, this thing that was gotten in a bed, how made of earth and slime. He gets to see him, like yeah, this is what you've done. Wormwood, like he gets to see him. You know, and only you can cower and hide because you're powerless. When he is on, when he is, you know around, but yet this, this thing, gets to see him and he gets to be embraced by him, and he gets to be ushered into heaven and welcome into his arms. And, oh, wormwood, you are going to pay for this mistake. Not only has he died, but you're going to die as well. However, a spirit can die, okay so, but you can tell from the letter that him and the other demonic spirits ate him. So what are your thoughts on all of that, sherry?Speaker 2:
I think you explained it so well. You gave such a great, vivid picture of it and it's kind of like what we were talking about. I think it was last week, maybe it was two weeks ago where I truly believe that God is going to well. He promised to never leave us or forsake us, so when it is our time to go, if we are a believer, if we are His follower, we will be. He will be right there with us from our last breath to our first breath, and that actually really excites me.Speaker 1:
I know right, and you know, scuteb also talks about how he had a smile on his face. Now this man has, you know, I don't know if he was running from the bombs, running to save someone, trying to do something right, but he was killed in a midst of whatever he was doing and he's taking his last breath with a smile on his face. Only believers will be able to do that. That's the short and what Sherry and I are telling you that if you don't know the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth as your Lord and Savior, really consider doing so, because if you're not serving God, then you're serving the enemy. And, as Sherry made clear in the past two or three episodes, why would you want to serve someone who's never happy, whose only goal is to steal, kill and destroy? And it is one of those things, one of those decisions that we all have to make. It doesn't, as we learn through these letters, it doesn't make us immune from what's happening in life. It doesn't make us immune from the trials and tribulations that are happening. This man, he had become a full follower of the Lord of Christ and he has surrounded himself with people who served, who had the same fervor, and but yet he was a victim, a fatal victim, in a war that he probably had no say so, in that people way above his pay grade had decided needed to happen or was going to happen regardless. And yet he was caught in the middle of it. He was a casualty of it, but he didn't lose. He didn't lose. He still became victorious because in the end, he went to his eternal home. And that's what's really, really important, and I'm going to let you wrap it up, sherry, from there.Speaker 2:
Carrie couldn't have said it any better. We all. The whole reason why Carrie and I decided to do the screw tape letters was because we had gotten into a conversation ourselves about the slippery slide of Christianity and how people. I think that there is sometimes a mindset, and I know that when I was growing up, when I was a little kid, the mindset was if you pray the prayer, then it's your get out of health free card. But that is so not true. He says in Romans 10, nine and give me one second, because I'm going to find it for you right here. I want to read it straight from the word of God. So God tells us in Romans 10, nine. He says, sorry, my mouth is faster than my fingers. Here we go. He says if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. So it's more than just praying the prayer. It's believing it in your heart, it's surrendering your life. Yes, that is the beginning of a relationship with Jesus Christ. So, like Kara said, just because you pray the prayer, you're not tempted anymore. You're not going to live a life free from tribulation. We've been talking about that every single week. John 1633 tells us we will have tribulation in this world, but we want to live serving the master who loves us, who wants the best for us, who helps us, who gives us the Holy Spirit living inside of us to help us, to give us the strength to do the things that we need to do. Or do we want to serve a master who is selfish and whose only goal is to come and kill, steal and destroy us individuals? So, if you are at that crossroad, if you have been thinking about it and if you want to make that decision today, if you want to pray and speak with your mouth but also believe in your heart that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, I have a prayer that I would love for you to pray with me. So, as I pray it, or as I say it, repeat it after me and God says in Romans 10, 9, that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, you will be saved. Oh Heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus' name. I believe you died on the cross and that you rose again and you're seated on the throne. Jesus, forgive me for all that I have done wrong and I choose to forgive all others. Come into my life today and forever. I am yours in Jesus' name. Amen, amen. Jesus, if you prayed that prayer, we want to say welcome to the family and we want to encourage you that this is just the beginning. Like I just talked about a few minutes ago, this is not a get out of health free card. This is the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the Holy Spirit, with God the Father and with Jesus Christ. We want you to grow in that relationship and we want you to learn how to grow in that relationship. Part of my heart, or a lot of my heart, is to encourage people in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's why I started the Jesus in the Everyday Membership. If you had head over to my website, you can check it out and see. It's 365 days of encouragement in your inbox. It's prayers, it's worship songs, it's devotional. It's things to just set your heart right and set your mind on Jesus every single day. It's a way to jump start a conversation with him and a way for you to see how he is involved in every single area of our lives. I call him Jesus hugs, but basically it's just seeing God in our everyday and seeing him and how he answers our prayers and how he just loves on us. Maybe you have an amazing marriage and you have a husband or a wife who meets every need of yours, who just knows you so well and just loves to lavish their love on you. Take that to the hundreds, thousands, millions degree and that's what Jesus wants to do every single day of your life. I just want to encourage you that this is the beginning, and it's the beginning of something great. Head over to Kara's website, karaarhuntcom, and another way that we can fill up and another way that we can grow our relationship and learn biblical truth is through fiction, through biblical fiction. Kara has an amazing series, the Habakkuk series, paper Dolls. You will love it and I'll tell you what these are realized people with realized situations. Turning to God, it's basically just having another friend in your life. Check those out as well. If you need prayer or encouragement, or if you prayed this prayer and you want to share it with us, email us at wwwkiraapodcastcom. Or head over to Facebook. Join our Facebook group, cheer Up Podcast and join that community as well. We are so glad that you're here. Next week it starts a new month, next week is October and we're going to start talking about rest and the Sabbath. The Sabbath is something that God talks about in Exodus, he talks about it in Deuteronomy, he talks about it throughout the Bible, and it's a command that he gives. What is the Sabbath? Is it something that we should still be observing? How do you go about doing the Sabbath? Do you have to do it on a certain day? Do you have to do it a certain way? Is everybody the same? What exactly is the Sabbath, why do we have it and what are we supposed to do with it? We're going to be tackling all of that next month and I'm really, really excited. Thank you so much for being here. Have a great rest of your week and we will talk to you next week.