Judgment

What Does the Bible say about Satan and Demons?

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God originally created all things good (Gen. 1:31), but somewhere between the beginning of the world and the fall of man (Gen. 3), sin entered into the world. Where did this sin come from? It originated with that old Serpent, the devil.  He was once an angelic creature called Lucifer, until jealously raged in his heart, attempting to dethrone God. The bible speaks of this in Ezekiel 28:14

You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. “You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I played you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.…”

Once unrighteousness was found in Lucifer, he was cast out of heaven and placed in the garden of Eden, where he tempted Eve to eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When sin entered through the human race by Adam (Rom. 5:14), all of us were affected, but original sin didn’t come from us. It came from Satan.

Satan was the originator of sin. He was a murderer, a liar, all from the beginning (Jn. 8:44; 1 Jn. 3:8). His name comes from the Hebrew word that means adversary–arch enemy of God (Job. 1:6; 1 Chron. 21:1; Zech. 3:1). He has been called other names too–the devil (Matt. 4:1; Rev. 12:9), serpent (Gen. 3:1; 2 Cor. 11:3), Beelzebub (Matt. 10:25; Lk. 11:15), the ruler of this world (Jn. 12:31; 14:30), the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2), and the evil one (1 Jn. 2:13). The term Beelzebub means “Prince of Demons.” So then, who are demons?

They were once angelic creatures with moral judgment and high intelligence, but they followed Satan–the anointed cherub, to their doom. Demons are evil angels who sinned against God and now ferociously work to bring defamation to God and His people. They connive to ruin God’s plan. Their methodology includes lying, cheating, hating, and slandering to hinder the truth of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 4:8).

The good news is that Satan and demons are strictly limited by God’s authority. For instance, Satan had to ask permission from God before he could inflict any pain on Job’s family. When Jesus drove out the impure spirits throughout the gospels (Mk. 1:21-27), they were completely submissive, pleaded for mercy, and even cried out his proper title–The Son of God. That’s why the Bible informs us not to be afraid of limited creatures, but the one who has the power and authority to cast people into Hell, and that is Jesus Christ.

Throughout history, the people of Israel were confronted with false gods and demonic forces (Ps. 106:35-37). Worship involved wicked and self-destructive practices that were an abomination–cult prostitution, murder, and the magical arts (Deut. 23:17; 1 Kgs. 14:24; Hos. 4:14). In the New Testament, Jesus casted out demons. His Apostles after him had this same power too (Acts 8:7; James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9). In the future millennial reign, the activity of Satan and demons will be restricted by King Jesus (Rev. 20:1-3) until the thousand years are up. Finally, Satan and his demons will be destroyed in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). Christians will rejoice because evil will ultimately be vanquished and good will triumph forevermore.

Judgment of God

An American judge talking to a lawyer.

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (Heb. 10:26-27).” 

The text is not declaring that if you sin once after receiving the knowledge of the truth, then you are condemned. Many within the early church would not get baptized until right before their death because they thought that if they sinned, God would not spare them. 1 John 1 tells us that if we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Scripture is clear that we will wrestle with sin until we enter God’s kingdom.

Let’s categorize two types of sinners. The first sinner is one who loves God, but stumbles, makes mistakes, and then repents and asks for forgiveness. The intentional, deliberate sinner that will not be forgiven is the one who shakes his fist at God and says, “I will have nothing to do with Jesus.” That person is defiant, hardened, and unwilling to forsake their sin. An example would be the difference between Peter and Judas Iscariot. Both of them denied the Son of God and betrayed their Master. However, Peter had godly sorrow and repented while Judas committed suicide.

So everyone does sin. That is correct, but believers who have been born again do have victory over their sins and repent over time.  Jesus said you will know my disciples by their fruit. Does that mean that God judges us? Yes, He does judge us, and we can be confident that if one is not living a holy lifestyle, they don’t really know God. 1 Corinthians teaches that those who are practicing drunkards, idolaters, slanderers, homosexuals, adulterers, or liars will not enter the Kingdom of God. If you know someone who continues to get drunk and it’s a lifestyle for them, then don’t comfort them by saying God will save you. You need to lovingly tell that person to stop or He will be judged by a Holy God.

There is another “respectable sin” that professing Christians are prone to committing, and that is slander. There is a legal definition for it. Slander is a form of defamation that consists of making false oral statements about a person which would damage that person’s reputation. For example, If I spread a rumor that my neighbor has been in jail and this is not true, I could be held liable for slander. Another word, Defamation, is a form of publication which tends to cause one to lose the esteem of the community. This is injury to reputation and a person is liable for the defamation of another. I have heard and witnessed professing Christians defame state representatives and Presidents that they disagree with. Sadly, they justify it by the Scripture as if they were experts in the book of Revelation and know unequivocally who the beast, false prophet, and antichrist are.

All of us are capable of saying dumb things. We know it. That doesn’t mean you’re lost and on the path to Hell. I will say this though. If you make a deliberate intent to destroy a person’s character or reputation, this type of lifestyle will send you to Hell. Make no mistake about it. You might state, “We just say these things for fun. It’s not like one should take it personally.” Isn’t that what the bully’s excuse is right before a kid commits suicide? It’s a serious matter. Does that mean your telling me I need to get rid of the radio talk hosts that I listen to in my car and at work? Pardon me for being a legalist, but yea, maybe you do need to stop listening to those who continually defame others who they disagree with.  Aren’t we called to love our enemies? Let’s not be hypocrites.

Application – Begin to pray for your enemies. Ask God to humble and remind you of the grace that was given before you came to faith in Jesus Christ. For the whole week, think of that one person you dislike and pray for their good. God bless.