I want to dwell for a moment on the hatred satan has for Jesus and the people of Jesus. It is not a pleasant subject, but a necessary one to examine. We are warned repeatedly in the bible that satan prowls around like a lion-
“The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” (Job 1:7)
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
He has schemes; and those schemes are not for our good-
“in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:11)
Satan has pride and plans and a purpose. It is to be higher than God. It is to usurp God.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit“. (Isaiah 14:13-15)
It is good news that in the end God will calmly and easily flick satan into the Lake of Fire, but until then, we are on his world and we are prey to his prowling which seeks to devour and destroy us.
Do you know how much satan hates us and hates Jesus? Do you have an inkling? Just as God’s love is incomprehensible, satan’s hatred of the Holy One is inchoerent, yet, it is relentless and it is horrific. This hatred extends to you and to me, as His children. His hatred is unreasonable, impenetrable, unfathomable. I want us to try and fathom it, for a moment.
Here is one example of satan’s hatred. We can’t plumb the depths of it, because there is no end to this hatred, but here is one earthly expression of the hate that satan has for Jesus and His children:
Darwin Bedford is a Canadian man on a mission. He calls himself an atheist messiah. His message is simple and it is straightforward. It is this:
Bedford says “If Earth is to remain an everlasting paradise, then socially we need to denormalize religion because it is so harmful.”
It goes without saying that Bedford is on a mission to stamp out religion. You notice that he focuses on Christianity as the sole cause of the world’s ills. Muhammad is [supposedly] coming back, but Bedford doesn’t mention that. His rabid focus on Jesus and the death of Jesus is due to the work Jesus did on the cross, atoning for the world’s sins. He mocks it with a typically darkened understanding of the plan of God to forgive sins, saying that we need to kill Jesus over and over in order to atone for the living people who have not yet had this ‘benefit’. he says,
“Will you please help me kill Jesus should He return? I’m thinking of forming an official society under the Societies Act for the purpose of killing Him should he return. And should God send us His only daughter in flesh instead (for the purpose of dying for forgiveness of sins) then we should kill Her too.“
In days of yore and not so long ago, a position like Bedford’s would have been unthinkable to speak out loud. Simple peer pressure from the majority who believed in Jesus would have kept those with extremist and utterly blasphemous views like his from even being spoken aloud. Now, not only does he appear at political events with his sign, but Bedford has alliances with other organizations who believe the same.
Such hatred of Jesus is shown to us in the bible. At the end of time, satan successfully incites all of the world’s armies to assemble at the plains of Armageddon. Most people think this is so that they can fight each other. The world will have been in a perpetual state of war by the time the 7th year of the designated tribulation period arrives, so the assumption is logical. It is not entirely correct, though. (Revelation 6:4). While peace is taken from the earth, the moment at the time when all the world’s armies are ready to fight is not so that they fight each other. It is so they can fight and kill Jesus. Here is the scene.
Jesus is introduced in Revelation 19:11 as the returning rider on the white horse. Jesus in His glory is described, and so are His armies. Then a few things happen. Finally in Revelation 19:19 we read the following:
“And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.” [emphasis mine]
The armies are ready to fight Jesus, who is returning on His horse. The eons-long hatred of satan against the Holy One will culminate ins a fruitless assembly of the world’s military to fight Him who is called Faithful and True.
Of course it is over in a moment. Jesus utters a word and they all fall. Satan is captured and locked up and the antichrist & false prophet, who are leading the armies, are captured and thrown into the Lake of Fire. This scene is previewed for us in John 18:6. When the soldiers who had come to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane asked if He is the man they are seeking, Jesus replied ‘I AM He’. And the soldiers all fell to the ground under the power of His name. They will do the same at Armageddon. And the vultures will feast on their dead carcasses.
In 2 Peter 3, Peter is writing reassurances to the Christians at that time (and us at this time). He reminds His flock that the prophets of old have much to say to us about this time (2 Peter 3:2). He moves on to say that mockers and scoffers will try to intimidate us by their ridicule, but don’t worry (verse 4). He specifically reminds us that thought it may seem slow in coming, His Day will arrive on perfect schedule. (vv9-10).
Then Peter says, since we know all this, what kind of people shall we be as we are “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” ?
“be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. … You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 2:14b, 17-18)
“Knowing this beforehand”…we know how much satan hates us, so let’s be holy and diligent. Why diligence? Because of the satanic hatred leveled at us every second of every day. (Ephesians 6:10-20). What is diligence? Pray ceaselessly. Read the bible daily. Encourage one another constantly. Tithe or donate sacrificially to meet needs. As Peter urged, remain stable – and that stability is only on the Rock. Cling to the love of Jesus, but don’t relax in knowing satan’s hate will try to knock you off your game. Don’t underestimate his prowling and his constant and sole goal of destruction
No matter how or where or why satan has his schemes, no matter how deep his hatred is for Jesus and by extension, of us, it will all come to naught. Our momentary afflictions are but a wisp of time and almost weightless compared to the glory and joy awaiting us in heaven.