Learn what Satan is doing in the life of believers and unbelievers.
Though the Lord Jesus Christ caused the destruction of Satan when He died on the cross, Satan is still free, and still has much power. He is like a criminal who has been pronounced guilty, but not executed yet. What is he doing today?
His chief interest is in keeping unbelievers from being saved. He does everything he can to keep them from believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes he blinds their minds, to keep them from understanding the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Sometimes he seems like an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), but it is only in order to deceive men. He hates all believers, too, and tries to make them sin, for he knows this will grieve the Lord Jesus (Acts 5:3—the story might well be briefly told—1 Peter 5:8). Sometimes he causes Christians to do wrong, but he cannot take them away from the Lord, Who has promised to keep them. He tried to do this to Peter, but Jesus told Peter that He had prayed for him (Luke 22:31). He must have Christ’s permission to touch Christians. Satan cannot make anyone sin; he can only tempt them. If they yield to God and resist the Devil, he will flee from them (James 4:7).
Satan still has great power. When he was good, he used to rule over all things for God. Now he rules over all that is evil. He is the prince of this world (John 14:30; 16:11). He is also the “god of this world”—people may not know they are worshipping him, but they do, unless they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Another thing that Satan does today is to accuse Christians before God. When you sin, he goes to God and says, See what that one has done? He should be punished for that. He isn’t a Christian—or something of that kind. Of course God will not listen to him, for the Lord Jesus is there, and His wounded hands and feet show that He has died for us, and so, even though we sin, we are forgiven and cleansed by His blood. Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren” in a verse that tells how he will finally be punished (Revelation 12:10). The book of Job tells the story of how he accused that good man before God, saying that if his property, and his health were taken away, he would curse God. That was a lie. Satan is a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44).
There is only one Devil, but he has many helpers. Not only do wicked men help him, but he has another kind of helper as well. They are wicked spirits called demons. When the Bible speaks of “devils” it is the demons who are meant. These wicked spirits entered into people, possessing them, and making them very wicked and sometimes making them sick. Jesus always helped such people by casting out the demons, who could not have any victory over men when He was there. Since Christ has given us the Holy Spirit, Satan cannot have any victory over us, if we fight in God’s way. In the Gospels we often read of those who were possessed of demons. We have to fight a spiritual battle with Satan and his helpers (Ephesians 6:12), but we are sure of the victory if we put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17). And we must never forget that Christ has said, Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
- Is Satan responsible for all our sins?
- What is temptation? How does Satan tempt us?
- What role do demons play in everyday life?
- Why can Satan never gain victory over us?