We have now seen enough evidence in our study of “The Gospel According to Satan” by Jared C. Wilson that the devil comes to us, not with a command to disobey God, but with a questioning of the truth of who God is with the question “Did God really say?” Although we now know that we are not just supposed to be happy in this life and that this life is not all we get, what is true about the life we choose to live? Is there an ultimate truth or is truth relative?
Even though we live in the information age where all the facts about any topic are at our fingertips, truth has never been more disputed. Celebrities and writers excuse any decision with the lie that they are only living their truth, and the rest of us must accept this or be labelled intolerant.
We have made extraordinary advances in playing fast and loose with the truth. And the devil is loving it.Page 47, The Gospel According to Satan, Jared C. Wilson
In one of Jesus’ many arguments with the Pharisees in the temple in John 8, they accuse him of being demon-possessed. Jesus becomes frustrated and turns the accusation back on them by showing them that they are the ones who are under the influence of their real father: the devil.
Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does…He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies…
Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.John 8:43-47
This is not simply a matter of accusatory words between opponents but rather a battle between good and evil or life and death. Jesus shows them that he is the answer to their longing for fulfilment and enlightenment, but they can’t accept that because they do not believe he is true God. Therefore, when we choose to ignore God’s truth, we are also declaring that we don’t belong to God.
Satan wants us to keep us stupid
The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’Psalm 14:1, 53:1
Even if we declare with our mouths that God is Lord of our lives, we often do not live as if he is in charge. If we give our hearts to anything or anyone other than God, we are practising practical atheism. With our behaviour, we declare that there is no God worthy of glory or allegiance. We convince ourselves that God’s instructions do not apply in our situation, and we are the exception. We live our own truth.
In 2 Timothy 2:25-26, Paul writes that when those who oppose the truth of God need to “come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap.” This trap is subtle. We have seen many times that Satan doesn’t demand outright that we disobey God. With every sin, and in every temptation, he just plants a seed with his question “Did God really say?”.
What the devil is after is your allegiance to him by way of your allegiance to yourself, but he rarely starts with that.Page 53, The Gospel According to Satan, Jared C. Wilson
Allegiance to our own will is allegiance to the devil. When we deny “the truth” for “my truth” we declare that we don’t care about God’s truth and that we subscribe to the belief that we only live once. At the end of our lives, we will have to answer to the “author of truth” why we traded eternity for temporary satisfaction.
The answer to this question is simple. We choose our truth over God’s truth because it feels good at the moment and because it is unfashionable to live in God’s truth. Like all of Satan’s lies, he uses moral relativism to tempt us to trade eternity with Jesus for instant gratification.
There has never been a time in history when truth has been more relative. Apostle Paul could not have known how true his words to Timothy would ring today:
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.2 Timothy 4:3
This is the explosion happening in “branches” of Christianity such as progressive and prosperity churches that is tempting every Christian on their social media feed. Scripture is twisted and fished out of context to suit the word and the message. Sometimes the words of Jesus are even adapted or removed from the Bible to prove a point. Similarly, definitions are changed to transform the meaning of the personal gospel.
Just like the Pharisees who were the closest to the truth (the Torah) struggled to see the truth of Jesus, in this information age, with all the information at our disposal, the truth has never been more relative. When we change the truth to suit our needs, we fall into the devil’s trap to raise our feelings and appetites above God’s unchanging standards.
Your truth is relative. The truth is not.Page 61, The Gospel According to Satan, Jared C. Wilson
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of the books studied by Nettie’s Book Club. I am not profiting from the sale of these books. I will carefully select books that have had a significant impact on my faith. My goal is simply to share the wisdom in these books with others so we can assess and apply the wisdom of these authors to grow in understanding of our faith together.