Sunday, May 27
The first lesson of this quarter talked about the “cosmic controversy”, which, unfortunately, has reached beyond the cosmos to our earth itself.
The problem, though, is that many people, Christians included, don’t believe in this great controversy because they don’t believe in Satan. For them, Bible texts talking about Satan or the devil are merely the expressions of a prescientific culture trying to explain evil and suffering in the world. For way too many people the idea of a literal, supernatural entity who has malevolent designs on humanity is the stuff of science fiction, akin to Darth Vader of “Star Wars” fame or the like.
Read the following texts, all from Revelation. What do they teach us about the reality of Satan and particularly about his role in last-day events? Revelation 2:13, 24; 12:3, 7-9, 12, 17; 13:2; 20:2, 7, 10.
Revelation shows us just how much power Satan will have over so many inhabitants of the world in the final days, leading them not only away from salvation but toward persecuting those who stay faithful to Jesus.
Of all Satan’s “devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11) — a translation of the Greek word for “mind” (noemata) — perhaps the greatest deception is to cause people to believe that he does not exist. After all, who’s going to seek shelter from an overpowering enemy who you don’t believe is real? It’s astonishing how many claim to be Christians and yet don’t take the idea of a literal devil seriously. They hold such a position, however, only by ignoring or radically reinterpreting the many texts in the Word of God that reveal his workings and ploys in this world, especially as we near the end of time. That so many people would reject the literal existence of Satan, even in the face of such overwhelming biblical evidence, should be a powerful reminder to us of just how crucial it is that we understand what the Bible really teaches.
Though Revelation talks about the machinations of Satan, particularly in the last days, what great hope can we find from Revelation 12:11? What is our source of power against the devil?