Do You See the Lions?

Important question by  at Learning to be Full of Grace and Truth

If you are a theologically conservative evangelical Christian (like myself) and you spend any time reading their blogs and scrolling through their social media feeds, you will discover a favorite pastime: talking about what is wrong, missing, or avoided in the Church at large. While I wonder about the effectiveness of such an approach, I will take my chances and throw my own hat into the ring.

I don’t think we pay enough attention to this:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV).

The Bible clearly teaches that Satan is both defeated, and is still an enemy. This is crucial to understand, and something I think we conservative evangelicals and especially Reformed types (again, like myself) tend to gloss over. Sometimes we focus so much on the gravity of the fall and the depth of original sin that we don’t bother to look outside of ourselves for the cause of suffering and sin. But I have been learning that if you are going to advance very far in the Christian life, you have to live in light of that reality. That means accepting three things as true.

The first is understanding that Satan and demons are real. They are not fictional characters or metaphors or symbols, they are real beings, as real as you and me. Satan and demons are angelic beings who rebelled against God and have been cast out of heaven. Paul makes it very clear that Satan and demons are real, saying in Ephesians 6:12 (NIV), For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Not only are Satan and devils real, they are not in heaven or hell, but here on earth. Three times Jesus refers to Satan as the prince of this world(John 12:31, 14:30, and 16:11). Paul refers to him as the god of this age in 2 Corinthians 4:4, and as the ruler of the kingdom of the air in Ephesians 2:2. Revelation 12:9 tells us that Satan was the serpent who lead Adam and Eve to sin. Satan accused Job in Job 1:9 and 2:4. He enticed David to sin in 1 Chronicles 21:1. He accused Joshua the High Priest before God in Zechariah 3:2. He tempted Christ in the wilderness. He was behind Peter’s insistence that Jesus would not need to go to the cross in Mark 8:33. John 13:27 says that Satan was behind Judas’ betrayal of Christ. Satan and demons are real, and they have been adversaries of God and accusers of His people from the beginning. In fact Satan means “Accuser,” or “Adversary.”

More reading at


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