Satan in Christianity and Other Religions

 


Here’s a brief exert from the book I’ve written. The translation of the book is suppose to be finished in a couple of weeks.

Christianity is not the only religion to have a Satan-type figure. In many religions this evil figure wages a war against humans with a goal of proving that he is better than humans. He does not oppose God per se, but only fights against God to the extent that God would side with humans. According to the Bible, however, Satan is first and foremost opposed to God. His goal is to show that God is not worthy of worship and obedience. In order to oppose God, he tries to persuade humans that they are better off not trusting in God or obeying Him. This is exactly what Satan did with Eve in the Garden and Christ in the wilderness (Gen 3:4, Luke 4:1-14).

How is Satan defeated? In many religions, man’s job is to demonstrate that the human race is actually better than Satan. Man, therefore, tries hard to create a good and just society, accomplish much, and be a good person to prove that he is better than Satan, thus defeating him. He may or may not receive God’s help for the task. But in Christianity Satan is defeated by God. God will put Satan in everlasting fire (Rev 22), God will crush Satan underneath our feet (Rom 10:9). This future defeat is foreshadowed whenever people trust in God and depend on Him, contradicting Satan’s claim that God is not worthy of trust and worship. In Christianity the orientation of spiritual battle is entirely different than some other religions. The goal is not for man to defeat Satan by showing off his own greatness, but for God to defeat Satan by helping man show off God’s greatness. And God’s greatness is demonstrated when people trust Him and obey Him.

From the Bible’s perspective, the belief of most religions that Satan is opposing man and that man must prove his greatness is actually a work of Satan to accomplish his end. Think about it: if Satan’s job is to show that God is not worthy of worship, what better lie to tell people than, “I am actually your worst enemy, and you must rise up and demonstrate your greatness by defeating me.” This gets people exactly where Satan wants them: away from looking at the greatness of God and concentrating on making a great name for themselves. When they try to defeat Satan this way, Satan wins because God is not trusted or obeyed.


 

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About mike

As a result of God's sovereign grace, Mike is--first and foremost--a Christian. He is the husband of a beautiful wife, father of five wonderful kids, and pastor of Greenbelt Baptist Church, in Maryland.
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