Satan wants to keep people from seeing the beauty of Jesus.
While The Bible doesn’t say a lot about what Satan does to unbelievers, one of the things that it does say is found in 2 Corinthians 4:4 where Paul is explaining one of the reasons they don’t appreciate the gospel message.
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
When it comes to telling unsaved people about Jesus, we are kind of like tour guides at maybe Victoria Falls with a bunch of blind people in our group. If you are a tour guide of a bunch of blind people, you can talk for a long time but there’s only way at the end of the day those people are going to appreciate how beautiful Victoria Falls is, and that’s a miracle.
When unbelievers aren’t seeing how great Jesus is, we sometimes get worried and think, ahh man, maybe I need a new strategy, and what I mean by that is we start to think, maybe I need a better strategy than the one I find God giving me in Scripture, but there are no man-made tricks that can cause a blind person to be able to see, only a miracle can do that.
And that’s actually what Paul says happened in our lives.
In 2 Corinthians 4:6 he says, “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Paul says you know how you came to see how great Jesus was, the same God who spoke back at the creation of the world and light happened, spoke into your life, and instantaneously and miraculously turned on the lights in your heart so that you could see Jesus.
Now once that’s happened, let me say this, don’t think Satan’s done trying to keep you from seeing the beauty of Jesus. He can’t blind you the way he did before you were saved, but you know what he will try to do, he’ll try to distract you from your love for Jesus.
In fact Paul was concerned about that happening in the Corinthians lives actually. If you turn over to 2 Corinthians 11:3, he says this straight out.
“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
One of the ways he does that is through false teaching about Christ. That’s what Paul’s concerned about in 2 Corinthians. In the very next verse he says the reason I am afraid you are going to be led astray is because “if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
How does Satan scheme to lead these people astray?
It’s not by coming and telling them to stop being religious. He doesn’t come and say stop trusting Christ. Instead he comes and he starts preaching a different Christ and a different gospel. He keeps the name, Christian, but changes the content.
And look, this is not always obvious.
In 2 Corinthians 11:13 verse 13, Paul describes false teachers like this. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” What is a disguise intended to do? Trick you. “And no wonder” Paul goes on, “For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”
What’s he saying? He’s saying that when Satan comes to lead Christians away from Christ he doesn’t usually announce his intentions and say, I am coming to lead you astray from Christ but instead uses men who claim to be speaking for Christ, and these men use a bit of truth, twist that truth, and by twisting the truth make it a lie that leads people astray.
This is why when you listen to false teachers, you usually hear a little bit of truth because Satan needs that little bit of truth to make it sound all right to Christians, but he mixes that truth with lies in his attempt to keep us from going deep with Christ and seeing how truly beautiful He really is.