By Donald Willis
I am a child of God, born again through the blood of Jesus Christ because of the glorious teachings of the gospel of salvation. My heart is filled with hope, and I daily rejoice due to the wonderful assurances that are afforded the children of God. What do you mean, “working for Satan”?
Satan is alive, he is our adversary, and as a roaring lion seeks to ensnare Christians (1 Pet. 5:8). He works upon Christians in a very subtle manner, we must not be ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2:11; 11:3). One may permit himself to play into the hand of Satan, and become an instrument of unrighteousness instead of righteousness. How?
By refusing to give the cause of Christ our potential strength for good. The Scriptures teach that one is to love God with all the heart, soul and mind (Matt. 22:37). Christians must seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches garnish our strength. Our eyes are filled with the pleasures of mammon. We find no time in our busy schedules for God and truth. We have played right into the hand of Satan. Jesus affirmed, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matt. 12:30). Truly, Satan ensnares!
By evil influence. Christians are epistles (2 Cor. 3:2), people of influence (Rom. 14:7). Either we are good epistles and influences or we are evil! Jesus called his people salt and light. But, if the salt loses its saltiness, it is good for nothing. How do people see us? Does Jesus rule in our lives, or do we permit Satan to control? “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33). The New International Version reads, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.”‘ Do we warm our hands around the fires of the enemy, or are we seeking the fellowship of the saints?
By openly opposing truth. Jesus said the truth will make men free (Jn. 8:32). Elymas would “pervert the right ways of the Lord” (Acts 13:10). One might oppose truth by teaching error, upholding the hands of the false teacher, sending money to causes that are wrong; or, simply ignoring truth, failing to live proper examples, failing to instill truth in our children. Paul proclaimed that many religious individuals walked, yet often improperly. “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:17-20). John warns, “He that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 Jn. 11). Stand up for God and truth; and against Satan and error.
By perverting the Scriptures. Religion is not a joke! The Scriptures not only stand as God’s pattern for leadership and direction as we go through life; but, at the judgment these Scriptures are that embodiment of teachings by which all shall be judged (Jn. 12:48). James cautioned teachers (either public or private; by word of mouth or by example) that they would receive the greater condemnation. We are responsible for what we believe, stand for and teach to others. Satan will attempt to get one to compromise on this issue or that one. Satan will convince one that it does not really make any difference what one believes, and will lead in the writing of religious creeds and rules. However, when one leaves the teachings of Christ, he no longer has God (2 Jn. 9). That is the problem with error. We have just cut ourselves off from the only hope of salvation. How about it? Is it worth the price?
I refuse to permit Satan to control me. “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that clay” (2 Tim. 1:12). Stand up for God! Quit play acting at religion! Seek the lost!
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 8, p. 242
April 21, 1988