By Stephen P. Willis
Every once in a while we hear someone tell another to go to the Devil (or some such phrase). It is usually meant as an extreme sign of contempt for the other. But many people, and some are Christians, are constantly going to the Devil. If they are not careful in what they do, they are going to spend an eternity with him. How often do you go the Devil?
Many people go to the Devil for their philosophies of life. We hear of atheism, agnosticism, humanism and a lot of other “isms.” We hear the attitude that says, “Surely a loving God will save everybody.” Or we hear, “It doesn’t make a bit of difference what I believe or do, as long as I am sincere and try to help my fellow man.” That is the Devil’s advice. The Bible teaches us to be wary of his philosophy: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, rather than according to Christ”‘ (Col. 2:8). Are you going to the Devil?
In connection with the Devil’s philosophies we find those who think that they can be saved apart from the means that Jesus named. “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Any other method that excludes belief and baptism (Mk. 16:16) will not save and is the Devil’s method. Where are you seeking your salvation?
Some would go to the Devil for their occupations. I am referring to those jobs that are sinful, or that lead other to sin. Del Winiger once said, (paraphrasing), “If you have a job that hinders your serving the Lord, quit it, and I’ll guarantee that you will get a better job. It may not pay as much, but it will be a better job.” Amen! Are you getting your job from the Devil?
In relation to our friends, some of us will go to the Devil to choose our closest ones. Certainly we ought to go to our brothers and sisters in Christ first. “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33). Probably more important than our friends is our choice of a marriage partner. Parents, teach your children to follow the examples of righteous men and women in the Bible and not to go to the Devil for mates. Paul said that he had the right to have a wife who is a believer (1 Cor. 9:5), although he did not exercise that right remaining single (as far as we know). He taught that saints should not be bound with unbelievers in 2 Cor. 6:14.1 Cor. 7 tells the saints who is already living with an unbeliever not to seek to be released from that bond. But if the mate does die, one should choose another partner (if another is to be sought) from the saints. When one goes to the Devil for a marriage partner, he is bound to have trouble with his father-in-law.
Yet, in another area do we often go to the Devil: our entertainment. Places where lusts are easily aroused, drunkenness is encouraged and the suchlike are certainly not places where a saint ought to be. Consider your entertainments: are they of the Devil? Even proper entertainment can be of the Devil if one engages in it when he ought to be serving God. Do you miss worship services to attend entertaining events?
If one were told to go to the Devil to find reading material would he find what you are reading? As with the forms of entertainment, if you engage only in secular reading and do not study the word of God, you are caught in another of the Devil’s vices. We sometimes think of different kinds of libraries public, private, children’s, etc. Do you go the Devil’s library?
Paul taught the Corinthians of another wrong in which they were going to the Devil. They had legal matters which they thought could not be settled among themselves. While it is true that the powers-that-be sometimes require us to take on to court (to officially file a claim, make a statement, etc.), but there are times when it can be avoided and should be! It is at this time if a brother goes to court against another brother, he has left the arena that God has appointed for these decisions: the church. That one has gone to the Devil for his legal case (see 1 Cor. 6:1-11).
The New Testament speaks of saints’ “leaving their first love” (Rev. 2:4), and that there are things which are not “according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). It makes me wonder why one will try to serve God and Christ at all if he is willing to go to the Devil in some of these other areas. He is not acceptable in so doing. He is wasting his time in both areas. He is not fully serving Christ. He is doing enough to serve the Devil, but he could “enjoy” many more sins, even if it would only be for a reason. Why even worry about doing any good if one will not fully serve Christ? I think that it is because we know to do right is what God desires. We just fool ourselves into thinking that a departure from the true path will not harm our spiritual welfare. It will! Why not make the changes needed to be fully serving the Lord?
Your life may reflect the life of Jesus and you may now be acceptable to Him. It may not be. I hope that none of my readers will find contempt with another and be told to go to the Devil. But, if you do, or you overhear it, please try to remember this short lesson. Where are you going? To Christ or the Devil? With whom will you spend your eternity? With Christ or the Devil? It depends on where you are going now. Go to Jesus!
Truth Magazine XXIII: 46, p. 744
November 22, 1979