It is not merely the sensational allegations made in our newspapers recently about ritualistic killings by so-called Satanists that should make us think; there are other factors as well that should be taken into consideration
The idea of a malevolent being let loose in our universe has been portrayed countless times in books, and in films. The current craze of vampire movies and a host of other ghoulish themes draw attention to a common sub-conscious feeling in all of us. We are indeed not alone in the universe and furthermore, the universe is a scary place.
In addition to the persistent tide of fantasy films with which the west is bombarded, we should also note the rise of various pagan religions. None are new. They are all versions of age-old beliefs that have existed for thousands of years. For instance the worship of the ancient image of Molech in the Old Testament demanded the sacrifice of children. But what is this! Belgium has recently passed a law “allowing’ for the euthanization of children who are terminally ill. What sort of spirit dominates law makers when these things are tabled and discussed? It is nothing short of demonic – the spirit who seeks to destroy God’s creation. Molech is still worshipped. Then we need to factor into our thinking, that African and Eastern cultures have always maintained a belief in the supernatural and indeed a strong fear of supernatural phenomena, which is too real and common place for people to doubt.
Where does all this come from? Some would love to explain it away in either psychological or sociological terms. But for those who have experienced this phenomenon, it is incomprehensible that modern thinkers simply dismiss it and explain it away with various forms of pyscho-babbel.
Satanic cults have been around for ages and we should not be surprised as they surface from time to time. The fact that they attract certain people is well known and we have no need to doubt the existence of such cults, nor the destructive actions often attributed to their adherents. But why should this be and is there any answer?
First of all we should confirm that all Christians believe in the existence of Satan, the primary evil force, and his opposition to God. The bible clearly teaches this. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself met the tempter in the wilderness and overcame him there. Then in the Gospels we often read of demons being cast out of people by the authority and power of Jesus. Yes, we most certainly believe in the existence of the devil.
Secondly, remember why this power is permitted to exist in our world. It is part of the judgement of a righteous God upon a race of people who have despised and rejected his Grace and benevolence. Adam and Eve were banished from the garden into the wilderness, that is, from the place of harmony and blessing, where God was honoured loved and worshipped, into the world with its enormous difficulties under the rule of the “prince of this world”.
Thirdly, remember that Satan is already defeated. He is not like God. He is not omnipotent, omnipresent or omniscient. He is a created being who lives in irreconcilable hostility to Almighty God. There is much about Satan’s origin that is shrouded in mystery, but there is enough biblical data for us to believe that we Christians battle not only against the world with its unbelief and the flesh with all its weakness, but also the devil with all his schemes.
We are not to despair however, for God sent His Son into the world to make an atonement for us and in so doing, Christ conquered all evil and death on the Cross. We should not fall into the trap of thinking our universe is dualistic – a good force battling a bad force for all eternity. No, there is only one Omnipotent God who has offered forgiveness and rescue to all who trust in His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. There never was a moment when Satan was “stronger” or “more powerful” than God. He is a created being like all the other spiritual agencies we read about in Scripture. His power for the time being is only a permitted power.
Remember the devil loves to play dead – to pretend he does not exist. So don’t be surprised by our sophisticated critics laughing at the “primitive” things we believe. The devil’s main activities are not to be seen primarily in things like demon possession or satanic worship, real as these things may be for some. Rather the greater danger is the devils ability to deceive people with false teaching about the bible, about God, about Christ and the way of salvation.
You do not need to be demon possessed to be under the power of the devil. All you need to do is refuse to believe in Christ and insist on finding your own way to Heaven. That is a sign of blindness and delusion often spurred on by Satan. The Salvation the bible offers is not salvation from Satan but salvation from God’s holy wrath. God is a far more formidable foe than Satan, but in His love He offers us a way of Salvation from the final judgement.
One matter of concern is that when a subject of this nature hits the headlines, there is no shortage of well-meaning Christians who phone in and whose utterances do more harm than good. But please do not hesitate to phone in to the radio stations if you are so inclined. Only make sure of your facts and talk in measured and not emotional or angry terms.
The secular establishment does not know what to make of supernatural phenomena. Let us help them by talking intelligently and kindly to them. Remember that for the secular world to acknowledge this kind of supernatural activity is to tacitly acknowledge the truth of the claims of the Christian Gospel.
We live at a time in history when faith in God and in Christ is receding in Western nations. These are days when our enemy prowls around seeking whom he may lead astray. This is a moment for Satan to “devour” people through false teaching and strong but mistaken ideologies. He deludes the masses but fortunately not everyone. There are many who by God’s grace have seen through the devils schemes.
If you are a Christian, although life may be very difficult, you need to know you are safe in your Saviour’s hands. If you are not a Christian but perhaps thinking about it remember that one of the greatest lies of the devil is that you have plenty of time.