My friend, the late Paul Crouch used to chide me about the title of my book, “Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth.” He said I gave the devil too much credit. Paul would say, “He’s alive, but he’s not well.”
He said it in a good-natured way and I was never offended. I also knew he was making a serious point. Satan is a defeated enemy. He’s headed for hell, a place created specifically for him and his cohorts. It is Satan’s destiny to bow down before Jesus Christ, and to confess that Jesus is Lord.
But, until then, Satan has a major role in God’s plan.
When I wrote “Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth” back in 1972, college campuses were buzzing with “spirituality.” Their mantra seemed to be: “All that is spiritual is good, except for Biblical Christianity.”
The Church of Satan had been founded in San Francisco just six years earlier. “The Exorcist,” one of the biggest box office hits of all time, was about to arrive on the scene.
There is an ebb and flow to these things, but over the forty years since that time, the world has continued its dramatic move toward spiritual darkness. The secret rituals of yesteryear have given way to a new open emphasis on Satan. Just a few weeks ago, I told you about Katy Perry’s Grammy Awards performance. She performed what appeared to be a Satanic ritual. In fact, some who were present insist she summoned Satan onto the stage! Today, it seems there’s a new competitiveness among entertainers to each be more evil than the other.
What attracts men to Satan? It’s called the “sin nature,” something all human beings must confront. The problem today is that Satan can be influential enough when he’s not seen, but when he’s made the center of things, he can be downright devastating.
How bad can it get? In the Old Testament, when the people had turned fully from God, they came to the point of sacrificing their own children to their new demon gods. (Jeremiah 7:30-31) It’s hard to imagine such a thing happening in America. But in those same forty-odd years since my book came out, Americans have sacrificed more than 54 million children on the altar of promiscuity and convenience.
Back in 1972 when I said Satan was alive and well, I was right. In 2014, he’s still alive and, in every measurable way, he’s become an even bigger success in the intervening years. But Paul Crouch was right, too. Satan is a defeated foe. His doom is sure.
Contrary to what President Obama declared in his speech to the Turkish parliament a few years ago, America IS a Christian nation. Just ask the CIA! At the time, the CIA World Factbook gave the stats to prove that the United States is the most Christian country on earth. Now that’s information compiled from strictly secular census data, not based on the Biblical definition of a Christian. But it doesn’t really matter to the rest of the world. They have no problem identifying America as the world’s representative Christian nation. That’s why the Muslims see a giant bull’s eye when they look at the United States. (And it probably doesn’t help when they watch American television and movies and see us portrayed as rich, greedy, lascivious, lazy, moronic, self-centered, foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed, and gender-bending perverts!)
However, as authentically Christian as it really is, America doesn’t seem to be present in the prophecies of the Tribulation period. The Apostle Paul offers perfect descriptions of a declining, self-imploding society (America?) in the run-up to the Tribulation, but it seems to be absent from the action of that terrible time. The Apostle John even describes the modern church in his depiction of the church at Laodicea. But there’s no America having an impact on the Tribulation scenario. Why? I’ll discuss possible explanations this week.
Finally, I’ll take a few moments to remind all of us that, no matter how confusing or threatening or frightening the future appears, we are of all men the most blessed because we have hope — a blessed hope!
God Bless, Hal Lindsey