If Jesus defeated the devil, why is he still allowed to walk the earth? This is a question that many folks ask of us Christians. It’s a question we Christians often ask too, especially when we see the way our world has been turned upside down in every way and our own disappointments and failures seem to mount up daily.
We see that demon at work in every area of life and he almost seems to be gaining more and more control. Is it possible? Is he winning? Has he broken free of the chains God encased him in when His own Son died on the cross for our redemption and rose from death to give us freedom.
We look at the evil erupting through radical Islam and a holy war which seems hell-bent on destroying everyone who doesn’t believe as they do. We see violence erupting in our streets on a daily basis. We see young children experimenting with mind altering drugs to cope with the stresses they should never have to face. We see the elderly praying for their lives to end so they can enjoy the benefits of heaven. We see corruption all around us – in government, business, the workplace, even in our churches. We seem to be exposed to inconceivable acts of inhumanity even within the walls surrounding families today.
WHY? Why does God allow Satan to do his dirty work?
James 4:6-7 talks about how we have been given the opportunity to decide for ourselves. God is not a great puppet master, controlling us from heaven. He created us with logical minds; with the ability to choose; with free wills. He wants us to be the decision makers. I believe that God gives us this time to do just that. It’s our time of grace – our time of decision – our time to share with others.
Satan has been defeated! He will never be able to control those who put their faith in Jesus. Christ gained the victory over him, but not all of us will enjoy the benefits of this amazing work. If we choose to live by His commandments, trust in His promises and give ourselves fully to Him, we are guaranteed a place in heaven. If we choose to go our own way and follow the evil offered by this world and the father of lies, we can count on eternity in hell. It’s as simple as that.