Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Is Satan At Large Today?

One of the ways to minimize Satan and his minions is to deny their existence, but another is to claim they are currently off the scene. However, Scripture pictures Christians in continual battle against such foes (Ephesians 6:10-13; 1 Peter 5:8,9; 2 Corinthians 11:1-3). Now it says the demonic powers were defeated at the cross (Colossians 2:15), but that does not mean they are not active. The cross was a definitive victory, but its final results are yet future. Satan's falling from heaven like lighting and being bound seem to refer to the immediate results of Jesus' and the disciples' ministry, not a permanent change of condition (Luke 10:18; Matthew 12:29). Now there are a couple of highly contested prophetic passages that come to play here. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 seems to refer to a specific limitation on a specific entity, the man of sin. I have considered both sides of the issue on Revelation 20:1-10, but I am convinced the most straightforward way to understand it is as something future, after the Second Coming. But if it is applied to the present time, I am convinced that whatever limitations are put on Satan here must be very qualified if they are to fit in with the rest of Scripture, which is one problem with that interpretation of this passage. It is clear that Satan's actions are to some extent limited in the present time (Job 1,2). But he is obviously not off the scene. 

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