Tuesday, March 6, 2018
MISERY LOVES COMPANY
Satan was a lead angel in heaven. He was beautiful, referred to
as the morning star, son of the dawn! (see Isaiah 14:12). But he rebelled
against God when he said in his heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I
will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned
on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred
mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make
myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14 NIV). What was the result of
his pride, ambition, arrogance and rebellion? He was thrown out
of heaven! “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son
of the dawn!” (Isaiah 14:12 NIV). His doom was sealed. There was no hope
of redemption for him, Ever!
Satan does not have the privilege that humans have; the
privilege to be saved from sin and death, and he knows it. Hell
was prepared for him, his demons and all those who will follow in
his footsteps, through disobedience to God (see Matthew 25:41). Desiring
to defy God and also make sure he will not be the only resident
in hell, the devil embarked on a journey to lie and deceive men so
they will disobey God, one way or the other. He uses different
strategies with different people. He makes different sins appeal
to different people and suggests to them why these sins are okay.
He doesn’t really care which sin is committed, just as long as it is
committed. Any sin will do, because he knows sin is lawlessness,
(see 1 John 3:4).
When we sin, we break God’s law, and that constitutes
disobedience, and nothing makes the devil happier. He considers
God his competitor; so any time we disobey God; I think he goes
to his imaginary scoreboard to mark it down, and to keep count of
how many people obeyed him rather than God. He even dared to
get Jesus to obey him rather than God. How sad! In Deuteronomy
6:16, God clearly commanded the Israelites “Do not test the Lord
your God.” But what did the devil do? He tempted Jesus to do
exactly what God had forbidden. He wanted Jesus to jump off a
cliff , to display His power as the Son of God, and to see if God
would really charge His angels to ensure His safety (see Matthew 4:5-8).
Jesus didn’t even have to think about His response. Immediately,
He quoted Scripture to silence the devil; “It is also written ‘Do not put
the Lord your God to the test’” (Matthew 4:7 NIV).
The devil’s campaign to lure men to sin against God started in
the Garden of Eden. He deceived Eve by sowing doubt in her mind
about what God had said, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat
from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 NIV). After Eve responded, he
refuted by saying, “You will not surely die . . . you will be like God,
knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5 NIV). As a result, Adam and Eve
disobeyed God; hence sin entered the world, and has since then
passed on from generation to generation. Cain killed Abel out of
envy and jealousy. Sin had come to stay, but “Thanks be to God
for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV), Christ Jesus).
Satan made a number of attempts to foil the plan of salvation,
but failed. He has not given up; he is still working, fiercely, to
deceive as many as he can, to bring them to hell. He is working
harder now than ever, knowing that his doom is near. Armed
with the knowledge of his doom, he wants to ensure he will not
be the only resident in hell. How does he hope to achieve his
goal? He hopes to achieve his goal by using his old tricks of: lying,
twisting the truth, misquoting Scripture, etc. to entice humans
to sin against God.
He knows that, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of
God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV). So he
knows that succeeding in turning people against God translates
into having lots of company in hell. He must be thinking, if he
can’t escape hell, he should at least take others with him. (see Matthew 25:41).
Like they say, “Misery loves company.” It is sad to think
the devil’s hard work and intentions are going to succeed. His
success is being made possible by those who have turned their
backs on Jesus, thinking and saying there is nothing after death.
They continue to use arguments like, “Jesus is not the only way”, “I
am not as bad as . . .”, “I am a nice person" etc. etc. When it comes
to salvation, nothing can and nothing will alter God’s plan; it is
faith in Jesus plus nothing else!! Jesus’ death will not be in vain. It
will accomplish what it was planned to accomplish, and that is the
salvation of people who repent, calling on Jesus for forgiveness.
The devil knows his future; whether he likes it or not, he
cannot change it. He is on his way to hell for interfering with
God’s plans. People who have not repented are also on their way
to hell, but they still have the opportunity to be saved if they will
repent in this life, and believe in the name of Jesus. This is the
only time they have and it is running out. Don’t be company for
the devil in hell; he has nothing good to offer, except weeping and
gnashing of teeth (see Matthew 8:12).