Summary: Many do not believe in the devil any more. Many choose not to believe. What does the Bible have to say about him and the destruction he wishes to bring to each of our souls?
This week a friend of mine posted a video on facebook that showed the results of four teens texting while driving. Three of them died and the last one will never be the same again; mentally or physically. Did they know of the dangers of texting while driving? Did they just ignore the danger thinking that they would be safe?
It won’t happen to me…
Have you ever seen a child do this? (child hiding by covering their eyes with their hands) What are they doing? Hiding. Are they REALLY hiding?
What do they say to people who are on a high place and who are afraid of heights? (don’t look down) So … is it really farther down if you look down than if you don’t?
What about kids who put their heads under the covers if they think there is a monster in the room? Would blankets stop a real-life monster?
How about us adults? Will it really change anything if we pretend there is no devil? Will it make things better if we ignore his presence in the world?
George Barna’s research of 1996 and 1997.
1. Many professing Christians believe that people are inherently good, that our primary purpose is to enjoy life and that our most important responsibility is to take care of our family.
2. 81% believe that the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves.
3. 49% believe that the Bible teaches that money is the root of all evil.
4. 72% believe that people are blessed by God so they can enjoy life as much as possible.
5. 34% believe that the Bible is not accurate in all it teaches.
6. 40% believe that all religions teach equally valid truths.
7. 60% say that Satan is not a living being but a symbol of evil.
8. 55% say that if a person is generally good or does enough good things for others they will earn a place in heaven.
9. 44% believe that Jesus committed sins while on earth.
10. 61% believe that the Holy Spirit is not a living entity but a symbol of God’s presence and power.
11. 40% believe that after he was crucified, Jesus did not physically return to life.
12. 34% believe that there are some sins that even God cannot forgive.
The New York Times reported a study about the diminishing belief in the devil among Americans. Two-thirds of Americans do not believe in the devil as a living entity. In a randomly selected survey of over 1,000 Americans, pollsters asked whether they agreed that Satan is “not a living being, but a symbol of evil.” Sixty-two percent agreed with the statement. That means over 188 million Americans believe that Satan has no influence but that Satan is just a symbol of evil. We should know and understand that Satan is real and evil is real and that this is our number 1 enemy as believers in Jesus Christ.
Now, today as we take a look at the evil one (who does not even deserve to be called by a name) it is important to remember that we are only addressing this subject in order to be aware of his desire to destroy our souls in hell. Always, always, always our fervent desire is to point to the great hope that is found in Jesus Christ alone.
He is our desire. He is our salvation. He is our great Redeemer. He is the One who was beaten and crucified for our sins. He is the One who shed His own blood for the new covenant between God and humanity! May God alone be praised! His power is unmatched. His holiness unequalled. He alone is worthy of honor and glory. As it says in 1 Timothy 1:17
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Our great hope here at Crossroads is to know and love Jesus and to love others in self-sacrificial love driven by a holy life devoted to God. But, we DO have an enemy and we need to remember this, so, that is what we will be taking a look at today.
Now, in this next illustration, please don’t think that I am equating a police patrolman with the devil. That is not the intention of this illustration, but, I think you’ll get the point …
Have you ever been going over the speed limit only to see a patrol car along the side of the road and suddenly you realize that you have been caught?
You slam on the brakes so hard that your front bumper almost scrapes the road hoping that the officer did not see the “nose dive of guilt.”
The police officer pulls out behind you but does not turn on his lights.