Many years ago the Coca-Cola Company devised a marketing scheme that they thought would bring in millions of dollars. They thought their customers wanted something new. So, they marketed New Coke. Bill Cosby was the celebrity spokesman pushing the new product. But the company discovered their customers didn’t want New Coke. They liked Coke just the way it was. There was something too artificial about the new product. So, Coca-Cola discarded the new product and returned to the “Original Formula.”
Do you ever feel like you live in an artificial world? I find myself squeezing the leaves of plants to see if they are real or artificial. Athletes play on artificial grass. Some trees are artificial. They have formulated artificial pine straw. Scientists seem well on their way to developing artificial intelligence. Many argue over the morality of cloning or making artificial human beings.
Can Satan clone a Christian? Our culture is full of artificial, synthetic Christians. The world is confused by bogus Christianity. True Christians are burdened and disgusted by the fabricated sham. The voices of millions of genuine Christians are added to the voices of a million angels and they cry out for the original formula, they want the real deal because it is the only Christianity that can bring honor and glory to God.
Rev. 12:9 refers to Satan as the great “deceiver of the whole world.”
Jesus said of Satan, “He is a liar and the father of lies.” He has been a liar from the beginning.
Adam and Eve were pure. They had not been corrupted by sin. They weren’t born with a sinful nature like you and I. Yet they fell from grace. Satan, the master deceiver slipped up on Eve in the garden and said to her, “It’s OK to eat from the tree of knowledge. If you eat your eyes will be opened, you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So she ate and she shared the deception with her husband Adam.
(Gen. 3:13) “Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
But God held Adam and Eve responsible for believing the lie. They couldn’t shuck it off on Satan. They failed to cling to the truth and they gave themselves to a lie.
Over the millenniums, Satan has employed two methods in his attempt to destroy man.
1.) He persecuted the church. This method backfired on him. It was Tertullian who observed that “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” It was like cutting a star fish in half. The star fish has an amazing ability to regenerate. It doesn’t die, it becomes two star fish. Killing a Christian didn’t mean you have one less Christian. A Christian’s death only served as a testimony that influenced ten more to give their hearts to Christ. The church grew exponentially.
Distressed by his failure to destroy the church through persecution, Satan devised a more effective method.
2.) He infiltrated the church. This method seems to be working quite well for him. Just sow weeds among the wheat. Throw in a few hypocrites and counterfeit the real thing. Post an artificial Christian here and one there. Infiltrate the ranks with a lot of shallow, weak, empty hearted nominal Christians. Christians who think they can live like the world lives. When they share their testimony the non-Christian will look at them and say, “There is no difference between you and I. You do the same things I do. You use the same language I use. You go to the same places I go. Why would I want your Christianity? It obviously has done nothing to change you!”
Satan is the master deceiver. He is an expert at persuading people to believe in something that is not true
Think of the devil as a good fisherman. You can’t just put a hook on a line and throw it in the water. No fish is going to swallow an empty hook. You have to deceive the fish. There are many different fish so you have to consider what the fish wants. Some fish are attracted to bright colors so you put on a flashy lure. Some fish want the real thing so you put on a thick, juicy worm. Some fish are not as smart as others and they will fall for a plastic worm. Satan isn’t doing this because he wants to feed the fish. He is doing it because he wants to eat the fish.
Beware of counterfeit Christians, beware of false prophets and false doctrines that Satan has weaseled into the true church of God. Be a Berean Christian and test the words and doctrines that are being taught from the pulpit and in small groups. “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
“Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 4:8)