Is Satan real?: Years ago comedian Flip Wilson created a wonderful character named “Geraldine.” This popular bit on his television show quickly became a favorite and Geraldine’s GO TO excuse for her bad decision making was to say, “the devil made me do it.”
Flip was brilliant. Very funny. But the comedy was evidence of a very real and often disturbing fact of human nature. When we want something, we often don’t think about the consequences of our actions and we do as we please.
The Apostle Paul has a insightful dissertation on this in the Book of Romans, especially in Chapter 7. We live our lives tugged back and forth between good and evil. That’s an ugly statement so we soften it by saying we make good decisions/choices and bad decisions/choices.
We don’t believe in Satan
Humor aside, many people, even Christians, don’t necessarily believe in Satan, even though Satan is well documented in both the Old and New testaments. We pick and choose what to believe, like going through a cafeteria line and choosing between the prime rib and the chicken. “Oh, I don’t believe THAT.” This is code for “This is too frightening and I hope it isn’t real.”
He goes by many names—Lucifer, the Devil, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles. He is described as the father of lies, the Prince of Darkness.
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11)
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Jesus doesn’t stop Satan in the desert
Many people have heard this story, but there is one very large point of fact that is not mentioned at all. You can read this 100 times and you may not think of this important piece of truth. Jesus did not challenge the authority of Satan to do all that he said he could do. There are many references in the New Testament of Jesus warning people to be aware of Satan’s tricks and not to be fooled. The same Satan who tempted the Messiah is the Satan who tempts us.
Still, many Christians choose to not believe in Satan, or in the consequences of sin. Giving further proof to the warning signs shared by Christ. If you believe that Jesus did in fact spend 40 days in the desert being tempted by Satan. Then you must believe that Satan exists.
Understand that the only proof of Satan is found in the Bible. It is written that Satan is a threat here on earth. It is written that God is the ultimate power in the universe. We cannot prove the existence of God, nor can we prove the existence of Satan. But the evidence is there.