Got a deep, thorny, mind-boggling Bible question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my very best to answer it in 100 words or less.
Today, you get two questions for the price of one.
Here’s Question #1: What does the Bible reeeeeally say about Satan?
First, the whole horn/pitchfork/pointy tail thing is made up. That’s not in the Bible.
The Bible describes Satan as a fallen angel who rebelled against God, was thrown out of heaven and now battles humans and God. “Satan” literally means “adversary” and that’s exactly what he is. He’s also called the devil, the accuser, the evil one, the father of lies, the prince of darkness and the god of this age.
Here’s Question #2: What should Christians do about Satan?
The Bible warns us to be “self-controlled” and “alert” because Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We’re told to “resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8). If we resist him, he’ll flee from us (James 4:7).
God has infinitely more power than Satan. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Satan is a creature — not divine. While he has powers to deceive, tempt and accuse, he is finite and limited in space and time.
Jesus modeled how to deal with Satan and his deceptions when he was tempted in the desert (see Matthew 4:1-11). We should (1) know God’s word, (2) be filled with the Spirit and (3) do God’s will. By his life, death on the cross and resurrection, Jesus has already dealt Satan a fatal blow. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8) Satan’s defeat will become obvious and final at the end of the world when he will be thrown into the eternal fire “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
OK, so that was more than 100 words. But I did answer two questions. Please forgive me.
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