Satan is a crafty fellow. He will often speak half-truths to get people to believe the lie. He will ask questions that can cast doubt upon the truth, causing people to disbelieve, or have no faith in, the truth. The Bible says “he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
As an example, Satan has convinced many people they will have an opportunity after death to choose which direction they go. How often have you seen in movies, TV shows, or read in books the phrase, when talking about death, “Move toward the light!” as if, moments after we die a decision of direction is needed?
The rich man and Lazarus demonstrate that the decision made for our eternal destination does not come after death (Luke 16:19-31). When Lazarus died, he “was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.” When the rich man passed away, it is described – “the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments.” Neither of these men had any choices to make after death. God had their travel plans already arranged.
Satan has “transformed” himself into an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Appearing as an angel of light shows his ability to deceive. The convincing statement of “move toward the light” is an example of a half-truth. Jesus is the pure light, and we should move toward Him, but the lie comes by causing people to believe righteousness and eternal life is an after death decision.
Sin is fun, sin is enjoyable, sin can be exciting, but the fun, pleasure, and excitement will only last for a short time (Hebrews 11:25). The fact that the Bible tells us that sin is pleasurable is an indication that God understands the human condition. He knows sin comes with physical enjoyment and emotional stimulation. He also knows we do not need the devil tempting us much; we will sin because we enjoy it. God knows and understands the situation we find ourselves. Even though God understands, He still hates the sin, and He still loves us. Because of God’s hatred of sin and His love for us, He sent His Son to suffer for sin on our behalf, by dying on the cross, as the sacrifice for our sins (1 Peter 1:18-19; Ephesians 2:13).
Even though we do not need a whole lot of help from Satan, he will often give us that push that will send us over the cliff of unrighteousness and sin.
In the Garden of Eden, the old serpent gave Eve a lying promise, “Ye shall not surely die,” and he has continued doing this through all of history. “He loves you, and this is what you’ve always wanted. You won’t get pregnant or catch any disease.” “You can handle just one. Go ahead. One drink never hurt anyone.” “All your friends are doing it; your mom and dad don’t know what they are talking about.” “You can afford the monthly payment; think of all the fun you’ll have.” There are millions of more lies Satan puts in our minds. Those lying promises have so much potential to fulfill those physical and emotional desires, and often they will, but even when they do, it is not long before we are left empty, confused, and desiring more.
Satan also uses Scripture to deceive. When he tempted Christ (Matthew 4:1-11), Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12. Satan misused the Scripture in an attempt to gain his will, not God’s will. Jesus, of course, does not fall for Satan’s conniving ways, but many a person has been led away from God by the masterful twisting of God’s Word. This deception is usually done by someone who appears as “an angel of light.”
Lastly, Satan tricks us merely because we are stupid. He will pull the wool over our eyes. As the master deceiver, he can make things so bad look so good; he can cause us to believe the lies; he will make us think we will never get caught; he will cause us to think there will be no consequences to our actions; he will make us believe the short term pleasure outweighs the long-term heartache.
If you have read everything so far, you may be thinking, “There is not any good news in this.” Well, you are right. Where Satan is running the show, there is no good news.
The good news is this – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. for I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”