By Olen Holderby
If I was the devil, I would consider myself basically to have two problems: (1) How I could keep control of people in general, and (2) How I might ensnare the Christian.
1. If I was the devil, the very first thing I would do would be to discredit the inspiration, perfection, and authority of the Scriptures. I would do my best to find an argument that would keep people out in the world from accepting these as attributes of the Scriptures. Perhaps I could do so through your schooling, your friends, the music to which you lis- ten, or through the published materials which you read. However, I would not dare to show you 2 Timothy 3:16, James 1:25, or 1 Corinthians 4:6, and 2 John 9. For should you read these you could believe that all Scripture came by inspiration of God, that it is a perfect law, and that you were to be limited in teaching and practice by those Scriptures. Thus, I might fail here, but I would not give up.
Next, if I was the devil I would try to persuade you that you had plenty of time to obey the gospel, that you had some things that you could and should enjoy before you settle down to become a Christian. Of course, if you managed to read 2 Corinthians 6:2 or Hebrews 3:15, you could see things a little different. Then, should you happen to read the examples of conversion in Acts of Apostles you would immediately see the urgency in obeying the gospel. So, again I might fail, but I would not quit.
Should you really believe the Scriptures and knew that you should obey in haste, I would point out how difficult it would be for you to live the life of a Christian. You just couldn’t do it, I would point out. Look at all those who are trying and how far short they fall; you would not wish to be a hypocrite in such an effort. If some truly concerned Christian should have you read Galatians 6:2, you would know that you would have the help of others of God’s people. And, to make matters worse for me, that same Christian might have you read 1 Corinthians 10:13. I could see failure of my efforts here, because you would realize that you had the assistance of the Almighty.
Has the Devil Been Talking to You?
2. If I was the devil, I would wish to ensnare the weak Christian and destroy the influence of the church. I would advertize my products as belonging in the home, I would point to all the celebrities using them, and how that in moderation they were harmless. And, I would point to the popularity of those who use my products. For the places which I wished you to go, I would make such as clean and attractive to the eye as possible. For the young, I would have a “chaperon” for all these places and activities. Yes, sir, if I was the devil that is exactly what I would do. Live it up, when in Rome do as the Romans do, I would say. But, I would be very careful that you did not read 1 Thessalo- nians 5:22 or Romans 12:2, especially if you were really honest. For, then, you would see something wrong with my reasoning. Then, if you should read Ephesians 5:6 and you really wanted to reach heaven, you would want no part of my advice. This is all true because, you see, my success depends greatly upon your cooperating with me. Alas, I might fail in this if you did not wish to walk with me.
Has the devil been talking to you?