Facing Double Jeopardy
“If the right hand doesn’t get you, then the left one will.” This maxim expresses the double jeopardy faced by a prizefighter in the boxing ring. Like the ambidextrous pugilist, our adversary, Satan, has a two-pronged strategy. To defeat him, we must wage war on two fronts. The tactic is simple. He conquers by spreading disinformation about himself. He divides the church by creating two myths, two erroneous views of his own identity: The first is that he is a myth. The second is that he is as powerful as God.
The first deception from Satan about Satan is that he is a ridiculous myth. As a mythical figure, he can be put in the category of goblins, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. Nothing pleases Satan more than to persuade people that he doesn’t exist at all.
If we are convinced that Satan doesn’t exist, we will hardly waste time preparing to make war against him or find ways to resist him. To put on armor to ward off imaginary fiery darts is as much a fool’s errand as Don Quixote’s tilting at windmills. On the other hand, a stealth bomber can have its way, unimpeded in its mission, if the enemy is persuaded that there is no such thing as a stealth bomber.
Satan loves the modern image of himself. Who gives credence to an ugly little imp in red flannel underwear with cloven feet and horns, bearing a trident and flashing a diabolical grin?
What has been your perception of Satan in the past? How has this perception affected your response to him? To God?
Passages for Further Study
1 Peter 5:8
2 Corinthians 11:14
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred (where applicable). If no such link exists, simply link to www.ligonier.org.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343