Summary: A look at the origin and destiny of Satan
He is vilified by some and deified by others. Throughout the centuries he has been feared by some and worshipped by others. Almost every culture has a name for him and most can tell you what he looks like.
As Christians we have several names for him, Lucifer, the Devil, the Evil one but probably the most common is Satan. But who or what is Satan? Through the years Christians have tended to lean toward extremes on the subject, either we ignore Satan and hope that he isn’t who the Bible says he is or we focus on him giving him credit for every misfortune, illness or trouble that enters our lives. One writer said “Whenever you get red in the face, whenever you raise your voice, whenever you get hot under the collar or angry, rebellious or negative in spirit, then know that the spirit of God is leaving you and the spirit of Satan is beginning to take over.”
But that is a cop out, remember Flip Wilson? Flip was a comedian in the seventies and one of the characters that he played was Geraldine Jones and whenever she did something that was wrong and got caught do you remember what she would say? “The Devil made me do it.” Sometimes Satan is used as a scapegoat for our own disobedience, lack of control and lack of will power. The Devil does enough without us giving him credit for our own failings.
This morning I want to take a look at what the Bible says about Satan, his origins and his destiny.
Probably most of you never give the devil a conscious thought, you may acknowledge his existence but it isn’t really personal, he’s some vague possibility, spoken about in the bible, but he’s not really real like a person he’s the devil.
1) The Person of Satan We live in a sophisticated world today where people scoff at the very idea of Satan. I remember hearing a United Church minister a few years ago scoff about a pastoral charge he had been at in Newfoundland and he said “They still believe in the devil there.”
Two little boys were walking home from Sunday School where the lesson had been on the Devil and one asked the other “What do you think of this devil business?” “Well” replied the other boy, “You know how Santa Claus turned out--- it’s either your mother or your father.”
But hear me now people Satan is as real as I am and he is the author of destruction and evil. Too often if people even acknowledge the existence of Satan he is thought to be some comical figure in long red underwear with a pitchfork and horns. Somewhere along the line Satan came up with a strategy that allowed himself to be minimized so that Christians would not take him serious. After all if the Devil is akin to Hot Stuff and his brothers he can’t be all bad can he? Yep he sure can.
Satan is alive and well and planet earth is his playground. He can be seen in witchcraft, Satanism, the occult and astrology. They are all his works and his tools in an effort to distract people from the truth that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
You only have to watch the evening news to realize that we are surrounded by evil and yet we’re either oblivious to it or we become immune to it. Joseph Conrad said “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” But Conrad was wrong; mass murder, rape, brutality, dishonesty, wherever and whenever people are victimized it may be the efforts of man but it is a direct result of the evil propagated by Satan. But the evil of mankind is unnecessary to prove the existence of Satan, we have the Bible for that. Christ himself had a few well chosen words to say about Satan.
In Luke 10:18 Jesus said he saw Satan fall from Heaven and in Matthew 12:26 we are told that Satan has a kingdom, and in Matthew 13:38 we re told that Satan was the one who sows evil weeds in with the good wheat. Obliviously this is not the type of person who you would want as a next door neighbour or to date your daughter.
Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that Satan is a roaring lion seeking who he may devour, that he can produce false miracles and show himself as an Angel of light and the list goes on and on.