Afraid of the Devil?

This week, lots of people will be watching television repeats of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, SAW and Scream. These celebrations of blood and gore have replaced the bloodless movie monsters like Lon Chaney’s Wolfman, Bela Lugosi’s Dracula and Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein. But like those old movie monsters, the modern incarnations of our greatest fears on cinema are highly popular.

We usually outgrow our fear of movie monsters. But the New Testament talks about a real evil, a monster that opposes God and has great power in this world. This monster is called the Enemy or Satan. Tradition says that Satan started out as an angel of God, but he rebelled out of pride.

One of the great victories of Satan is to convince people that they should be afraid of him. Sometimes he does this through those scary movies we watch at Halloween. But the New Testament has one thing to say about being afraid of Satan. Don’t.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur…” (Revelation 20:10).

This monster is real, but he has no power over people who belong to Jesus. Faith in Jesus overcomes fear of Satan.

Love in Christ,

Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC

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