When we are first introduced to Satan in the Bible, he has taken the form of a fork-tongued serpent and this gives us an apt indicator of how he tries to influence each and every one of us. He always uses one of two sides in his approach because if he can’t get you one way... he’ll try the other.
Ever since Satan did his nasty work in the Garden of Eden in deceiving Eve and causing Adam to sin, each one of us has had the need for a restored and right relationship with our Creator, because sin separates us from a holy God. Just as he lied to Adam and Eve in the beginning of time, Satan continues to tell his lies to mankind. He is interested in destruction and in ruining everything that God created as good, so Satan tells lies that destroy: one hit of that drug isn’t going to hurt you, your husband/wife will never find out you’ve been unfaithful, it’s just a little white lie, everybody cheats on their taxes, sure you’re fine to drive – you haven’t had too much to drink, you’re stupid/fat/ugly/useless/worthless and will never be able to do better... All of us have heard Satan whisper one or others of these ugly nothings in our ears at one point or many during our lives. But the most damaging lies of all those that Satan tells us are the ones that have the ability to keep us separated from God forever.
There are two different lies that Satan tells to keep everyone separated from God depending on who they are and what has gone on in their lives. For the people who are basically “good” people – the ones who hold down jobs and pay their taxes and keep their lawns trimmed and are nice to their neighbours – Satan has this lie: you’re a good person, you don’t need God to save you, you haven’t done anything really bad or wrong in your life. Sure, you may have told a lie or two, didn’t give back the extra change that the grocery clerk gave to you by mistake, but you’re not a murderer or a thief or anything horrible like that. So in the end when God balances your good deeds against your bad ones, you’re sure to come out on the good side. You don’t need to bother with this needing Jesus Christ as a Saviour stuff. The truths to counter that lie are found in several passages in the Bible. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” James 2:10 that it doesn’t matter if we have only done what we would consider to be “minor” sins, we are just as guilty before God as an armed robber or a murderer: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” “Good” people need a Saviour too – so if Satan has told you this lie, make sure you recognize this as a lie, confess your sins and get right with God. I pray that you will.
The other lie Satan tells are for the “bad” people – the ones who lie and cheat and steal or routinely give into other sins as a way of life. Satan whispers these words to them: you’re so horrible that no one and nothing can save you. You deserve every bit of every bad thing you have coming to you in this life and in the next. You are beyond forgiveness. God can never forgive or forget the horrible things you’ve done in your life. You are doomed and you are going to hell, so just forget about trying to get right with God – there is no way you ever can. The Bible has many responses to this lie as well. When you look at the life of Christ and read through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you’ll see that Jesus sought out these very kinds of people the most. He didn’t waste time or effort on the self-righteous but spent time with the publicans and the sinners. John 3:16 tells us that “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” God loves everyone and does not want anyone to perish. Every person ever born into this world is included in Jesus’ call to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” If you’ve avoided facing your sins because you have fallen victim to Satan’s lie that you’re too terrible to save, please recognize the truth that God’s salvation is really available to you. I pray that you will welcome and accept His loving forgiveness.