The Devil made me Do it!

Yesterday, we were eating at a fast food Tex-Mex restaurant and the entire staff was decked out in spooky Halloween garb. Napoleon Dynamite, Scary "Scream" mask man, hoblin-goblin boy, Spiderwoman (scary), and Ken Jennings, all of these characters were there.

The majority of the staff though, had little horns coming out of the side of their hats and gleaming red pitchforks by their side. There were many Satan, Devil, and Demon imitators. As we sat there eating, I began to think of the common conception of Satan and Hell. Demons are his hideous body guards, and Hell is Satan's ignoble headquarters. The Devil sits on his haughty throne in Hell and torments those who go there. I've even heard this used in gospel presentations: You don't want to go to Hell, where Satan will torture you day and night! I don't think it a stretch to say that the average person thinks of Hell in this way. Hell is Satan's headquarters, his base from which he mischievously crafts his deceptive plans and carries out his macabre machinations.

As I was making my way through a taco plate, a thought occurred to me: Satan is not in Hell. He's not. He roams the earth searching those he can devour. In the Bible, we never see Satan in Hell. The Prince of this earth is busy about his work. He paints dreams of deity in her ears, convincing her that she can have her fruit and eat it too. He deceives him into standing by while his beloved drinks the poison of disobedience as they both fall for his surreptitious falsehood. He comes into the presence of the Lord with his henchmen to ask permission to torment God's faithful servants. He comes along behind the sower and tramples the seed that falls to the wayside as he takes away the word. He binds Abraham's children, and disguises himself as an angel of light. His throne is on earth as he grows more and more desperate in his deception with every passing hour. He demands for permission to sift Peter like wheat, and fills Ananias' heart with greed and secrecy. He is the accuser, deceiver, and prince of darkness, and he does not sit idly by. Satan is real, and his power is real.

He roams the earth, but Hell is not his headquarters. It is his worst nightmare. He does not rule in Hell, he burns there. When the end comes, he will be cast there against his will. His punishment shall be great. His final destiny is the place reserved for Judgment. What's more, the God of peace will soon crush him under foot. The leash he now rules on will one day become a choker collar that drags him away to eternal judgment.

Halloween is usually a time for a good scare, but don't fear him. He cannot cast your soul into Hell, for he cannot save his own from going there. Rather, fear the one who does have this power, the one who after the killing, has the authority to cast body and soul into Hell. Yes, I tell you, Fear Him! (Lk 12:5). Just like every other created being, Satan must submit to the power of the righteous Judge. His power is real, but it is passing away.

Anyway, just some thoughts I had while eating tacos.

So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan,
for we are not ignorant of his schemes (2 Cor 2:11).
thoughts on...
November 1, 2006


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