Billy Graham has shared the two important things Christians must remember about Satan, explaining that while Jesus has defeated the devil, he is still very powerful - and determined to destroy all of humanity.
In his advice column published Thursday in The Kansas City Star, the 98-year-old evangelist said that while the Bible clearly states that God is eternal (Isaiah 57:15), it doesn't tell us exactly where the devil came from. However, the Bible is clear that Satan is a very really and dangerous enemy.
"He apparently existed before God created the world (as did the angels), Graham said. "He actually may have been one of the angels God created until he rebelled and tried to take God's place."
The founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association then shared two important truths about Satan.
"First, he is a very powerful spiritual being who is absolutely opposed to God, and he will do everything he can to block God's plans," Graham said. "He tempts, he deceives, he destroys and he even kills when it suits his purpose. The Bible says, 'Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him' (1 Peter 5:8-9)."
Second, it's important to remember that despite his best efforts, the devil is a defeated foe.
"By his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ overcame the power of sin and death and Satan and hell," Graham said. "And some day his victory will be complete; Satan will be bound and his power destroyed, and Christ will rule forever and ever. Is your hope and trust in him?"
In a survey conducted last year, Gallup found that while nearly 90 percent of Americans believe in God, only 61 percent believe in Satan.
"Gallup asked the question that includes the 'not sure about' option in random rotation with questions about belief in four other religious concepts: angels, Heaven, Hell and the devil," reported Gallup.
"Americans' belief in all of these is lower than their belief in God, ranging from 72 percent who say they believe in angels to 61 percent who say they believe in the devil, with 12 percent unsure on both. Belief in these four concepts is down at least marginally from when last measured in 2007, following the same pattern as the trend in belief in God using this question format."
Last year, Graham warned that the devil is very real - and people should not be fooled into thinking otherwise.
"I also know Satan is real by looking at the world around me, and even within my own heart. How else can we explain terrorism, or racism, or injustice, or a hundred other examples of evil and destruction and brokenness?" said Graham. "Satan, the Bible tells us, 'was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him' (John 8:44)."
Ultimately, Graham urged people not to believe Satan's false promises and instead seek God's help and forgiveness. Jesus is the only"way, truth, and life," and He alone can help people overcome the temptations of Satan.