Published August 20, 2013

Paul's Epistle...
"Somebody Hates You"

Somebody hates you.

If you are a born-again, Bible-believing, Christ-loving, Spirit-motivated, washed-in-the-blood Christian, there is somebody out there who really, really, really hates you.

Satan.

You're driving him crazy. You're overcoming the worst stuff he can throw at you – not through your own power, of course, but through God's power flowing through you, activated by your faith.

Oooooo.... That really riles ol' Beelzebub. You're putting the lie to everything he's trying to do. And lying is supposed to be his business. He's good at it. Very good. He is, after all, the father of lies (Matt. 8:44).

You and your "overcoming in Jesus' name" – oh, he really hates that. He'd like to get rid of you. In fact, the Bible pictures Satan as "a roaring lion ... seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). You're interfering with his work while you're a walking billboard for the benefits of righteousness. Eeeww, you just make him sick.

I'm sorry to tell you this, but the stronger your testimony is, the more he'd like to get rid of you – and the greater will be his attacks against you.1

Among New Testament characters (other than Jesus), who had a stronger testimony than Lazarus? I mean, he had been dead for four days.  Dead!  Everybody knew that. His body was decaying — it stunk, already (John 11:39). But what happened? Christ raised Lazarus from the dead. No sweat. There Lazarus was – alive again! No sign of the illness that had caused his death. Walking around! Talking! Praising God! Who could successfully contradict what he said? Nobody! In this case, seeing truly was believing.

And yet, for that very reason – because he was so obviously a testimony to the power of Christ – even "the chief priests took counsel that they might also put Lazarus to death, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus" (John 12:10-11).

Even Lazarus' very presence – his very existence as a living, breathing man – gave lie to the stories told by those who denied Christ. Satan really hated that.

Satan really hated the Apostles. All of the original twelve (but one, John) were eventually killed for their testimony. Even Paul had an unidentified physical "thorn in the flesh," which he called "a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure" (2 Cor. 12:7). But did you see that? Paul's "thorn" may have come from Satan, but he knew exactly why God allowed it – to keep him humble, and thereby protect his witness.

Satan hated the church back in the first century and he hates it even more today because he knows his time is short. That's why even here in the States you see an unprecedented barrage of anti-Christian rhetoric in the media, in government and everywhere. Satan loves that. If Satan ran the TV networks, they would look, well, pretty much like they look today. If he can make Christians look like stick-in-the-mud neanderthal knuckle-dragging imbeciles, he'll win. He thinks. Ridicule, ridicule, ridicule – the name of the game. "Those stooopid Christians!"

The problem with all this is that – although he refuses to accept it – Satan has already lost. We may still be playing in the fourth quarter, but the game's outcome is already decided. The goal posts took the form of a Cross. And Christ won the victory at Calvary. It's over. Satan may sometime seem to have the upper hand in this world, but the good news is that Christ plainly said, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). And the time is rapidly approaching when this will be clear to everyone. Everyone!2 After all, for a Christian, "...greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). Remember that. And remember this:

Satan hates you. He'd like you to die.

Christ loves you. So much so that He died — for you.

- Paul

1. That's why Paul counsels us to "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). Paul clearly implies that putting on the "whole armor of God" will successfully enable us to stand against whatever the devil throws at us.
2. Philippians 2:9-10: "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..."

Comments on this? paul@thegospelgreats.com

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