|Vol. 1, No. 11||Page 9||November 1999|
Is The Devil Real?
Flip Wilson promoted, through his television program, the statement: “The devil made me do it.” Not too many years ago, a shirt company made quite a bit of money from that statement by selling shirts for children that read: “The devil made me do it.” Parents thought it was cute to have their children parading around with that shirt. The children really believed that they could just about do whatever they wanted to do because, “the devil made me do it.” It seems that became such a mindset, that now nothing appears to be wrong anymore because “the devil made me do it.”
Is the devil real? Yes, he is. If you were asked this question: “What is the source of our temptations, troubles and evils?” what would be your answer?
From the time of Adam and Eve until the present, everyone has been subject to temptations of the devil. Even Jesus had to engage in conflict with him (Matthew 4). He was able to resist those temptations because he knew the Word. Each time he was tempted, he was able to meet it with “It is written . . .”
The devil has the ability to make that which is good appear to be bad and that which is bad appear to be good (Isaiah 5:20). He attacks the Bible and would make one believe that those who follow it are narrow-minded bigots. He is working hard to attack the church, for which Jesus gave his life’s blood (Acts 20:28) and trying to get those within the church to go back into the world (2 Peter 2:20-22).
Then the devil also makes evil appear good. I’m sure all of us have heard the following expressions: “Everybody is doing it;” “Don’t be chicken;” “Don’t be inhibited;” “If it feels good, do it” or, perhaps the saddest of all, “If you are lost, you won’t be alone.” If you look at all of these and the consequences of believing them, you will see the lengths to which Satan goes to deceive.
But, as we study our New Testaments, we can find out that Christ has already won the victory (John 16:33). And, because of this, we can overcome (1 John 5:4).
One of the devil’s greatest and most effective weapons is to cause one to surrender to the troubles and sorrows of life. Sooner or later, all of us must face trials, sorrows and frustrations. We must either overcome them by the power of Christ or Satan will cause us to be overcome by them.
But, someone might ask, “If God is so mighty and controls all things, why does evil dominate so many things? Why does evil contradict and work against the good? Is God divided, or is he unable to bring fruition to that which He desires.”
Satan is the author of all evil. Some do not believe this. They believe that evil and sin are the results of human mistakes and errors. They do not believe that the devil is the author of such acts. But, the Bible teaches differently.
Christ is the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Let us all be courageous enough to follow him and not the devil.
[As noted above, it is responsible and compatible with
biblical teaching for each accountable soul both to recognize the existence
of Satan and his participation in sin as well as to acknowledge personal
responsibility for the sins we commit. As brother Cooper observed,
it is ever so important whom we follow as to the kind of lives we
live on earth and the disposition in eternity that we can expect. ~ Editor.]