If you did an Internet search using the phrases “Does God exist?” and “Does Satan exist?,” what would you expect to find? What level of interest and research is there, do you suppose, for those two crucial questions?
The feedback from one popular search site was, to me, stunning—not so much for the first question, but for the second. It found information on “Does God exist?” on 562,000 Web sites, but only a paltry 3,130 sites for “Does Satan exist?”
Maybe those aren’t the right questions, I thought, so I tried “Is there a God?” and “Is there a devil?” Same results: The God question hit 243,000 sites, but only 718 resources explore the devil’s existence.
So what does one learn from this exercise? Only that it confirms what other surveys say: People don’t take very seriously the existence of the devil.
It’s strange that in the great debate over whether God exists, few people ask, “But what about Satan?” Doesn’t it follow that if God exists, then a spirit realm also exists? Of course, questions would remain regarding the nature of that spirit realm. Are there other spirit beings? And if so, are some good and others evil?
Some surveys show that while most Americans believe God exists, many of those same people deny that a devil exists. And of the minority who believe that Satan does exist, most of them don’t think he actually exerts any real influence over people. They believe the biblical Satan and his demonic cohorts are merely “symbols” of evil.
How can people seriously explore whether God exists, decide that He does, then dismiss what He reveals about the existence of other beings in the spirit world? Shouldn’t we consider the reality of Satan?
Ultimately, to diminish or dismiss Satan’s role in the universe is not a statement we make about Satan— it’s a statement we make about our regard for the Bible and its Author, God! It shows a disturbing lack of respect for what Scripture says—especially disturbing when some who dismiss Satan regard the Bible as the Word of God!
The Bible says plenty about Satan’s origins, his motives and his methods. It emphatically warns us about the dark side of the spirit realm, urging us to grasp the scope of Satan’s influence on the world and on our personal relationship with God.
Indeed, understanding Satan’s influence helps explain many great philosophical questions. Why evil? Why suffering? Why do we behave so self-destructively? What can we do about it?
The Bible, which can be shown through many proofs to be the true Word of God, doesn’t take Satan lightly! So if we casually dismiss Satan’s existence, or play down his influence, we cheapen God’s Word itself! With the stakes so high, can we afford to do that?
We must address the logical string of questions: If God exists, then do other spirit beings? If they do, are some evil? If evil spirits exist, do they have a leader—Satan the devil? And what does this have to do with you and me?
God’s Word, combined with human history, clearly teaches that our core problems are spiritual in nature, and spiritual problems require spiritual solutions. The fact is, either God’s or Satan’s spiritual influence will rule your life. Instead of searching the Internet for answers, try the Bible. This issue of The Good News will help you explore what God reveals about the power of the spirit world. GN