Introduction: In 1984, Ronald Reagan jokingly said to his radio technicans on a sound check, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you that today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” When this sound check got leaked out, it put the Soviet Far East Army on high alert. Oops, that misconception made Russia react the wrong way! What about Satan? Do you have misconceptions about Satan that is hindering the way you are living?
One: Satan Doesn’t Exist
According to a Barna poll in 2009, nearly 60% of professing Christians in America agreed with the statement that Satan: “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.”
One time, I saw a teenager with a shirt that said, “Satan is not ugly who has two horns and a pitchfork. He is a beautiful angel.” When I saw that shirt, I thought to myself, “How tragic that he rejects one misconception to believe another misconception about the devil.”
Satan is not a made-up fiction character or a representation of evil, he is a real being.
Two: Satan Is Winning The War
It appears that evil is taking the upper-advantage. Understand though, that he is winning a lot of battles, but he lost the war.
John 12:31 says, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
Jesus was talking about the cross in this surrounding passage. The devil thought he was winning when Jesus suffered, bled and died. He actually lost that day. It was verified at his resurrection.
Rev. 20:10 says, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
The devil doesn’t live in hell. Right now he is the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air. His sentencing day is coming. Good riddance when he is gone.
Three: Satan Isn’t Personally After Me
Look at the Scriptures and you’ll find that Satan personally attacked Eve, David, Job, Peter, Paul just to name a few. We might conclude that he’s only after influential and important Christians. I’ve got news for you, he’s personally interesting in taking your soul to hell. If you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, I plead with you to get saved today.
If you’re a Christian, he can’t get that, but he can ruin your testimony.
Paul is writing to the entire church in Ephesus. He says in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”
This word place means “a foothold or opportunity, a chance to operate.” We can prevent the devil from working in our life, but we need to stop giving him the opprtunity to do so.
The devil can’t be everywhere. There is no need. He’s a general in charge of a bunch of demons and other people who can do his work for him. In essence, he can indirectly attack you without you being aware of it.
Four: Satan Is Okay To Like
We are told to like everybody and we should. It’s foolish thinking when it is applied to the devil. There is nothing to like about him. If you love God, you will hate the devil. The problem is when you don’t love Jesus the way you should, the devil becomes your buddy.
Five: Satan Is Responsible For Everything We Consider To Be Bad
The devil gets too much credit for things he never does:
“My T.V., car, church microphone, etc. is not working. It’s possessed.”
“He knows everything I think about.” Solomon says to God in 1 Kings 8:39 says, “thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men.” No doubt Satan can determine some of your thoughts based upon your actions, but he is not a mind-reader.
“The devil sometimes controls my thoughts.” Acts 5:1-3 says, “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart (Satan’s doing) to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou (his responsibility) conceived this thing in thine heart?” If Satan could plant those thoughts in our minds against our will, then we couldn’t be found guilty of thinking them.
“He is the cause of every temptation.” The Bible does say that Satan offers us temptations, but we are pretty good at providing our own temptations.
“Bad circumstances are of the devil.” Blaming every unpleasant situation on Satan ascribes near-sovereignty to him. Those who do this will undoubtedly end up labeling many of God’s actions as demonic.