Satan's Role in Causing Suffering

Satan is a major reason for people's suffering.

Satan is a major reason for people's suffering. The Bible tells of "that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan" (Revelation 20:2), who rules over mankind as the "prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). As "the god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4), Satan is the instigator of much of humanity's misery.

Peter warns Christians that their "adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus tells us, in the parable of the sower and the seed, that, as soon as many people hear God's Word explained to them, "Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts" (Mark 4:15).

The apostle Paul asked Timothy to instruct and admonish "those who are in opposition" so they could "come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Jesus sent Paul to the gentiles "to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God" (Acts 26:18).

We can see from these passages that Satan exerts a tremendous and pervasive power over mankind. How great is his influence? The Bible tells us that "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19).

Shortly before Christ returns, Satan and his demons will instigate a time of trouble that will prove to be more terrible than any tragedy human beings have ever experienced (Matthew 24:21-22). The suffering it will bring is unimaginable.

At that time Satan will mislead mankind through a "lawless one" whose influence will be "according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception . . ." (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).

Satan's influence is the cause of much of the division and animosity among nations, races, religions and individuals. The Bible calls him "the tempter" (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5). He capitalizes on our weaknesses to tempt and lure us into sin and conflict with each other (1 Corinthians 7:5). By these means he instigates attitudes and behaviors in people that bring conflict, injury, heartache and death.

God, however, sets limits on Satan's power and influence over mankind (Job 1:12; 2:6). God will not allow Satan to defeat His master plan for the salvation of humanity. God will never relinquish His ultimate control over the affairs of man. ( to learn more about Satan's impact on humanity, be sure to request your free copy of the booklet Is There Really a Devil?)




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