2 Corinthians 4:4 (Good News Translation)
They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
"The evil god of this world" refers to Satan, and "the light" is Jesus (as we will see soon) - Satan is in control of this world although God is its rightful ruler
Satan is on the side of evil, God is on the side of good - that's how we can tell the difference between the two, that's how we can tell if a thing is of God or of Satan: is it good or evil?
Satan and Jesus are opponents and are engaged in a spiritual struggle - a struggle in which the battlefield is the hearts and minds of individual humans
Jesus wants to save as many people as possible
Satan wants him to save as few people as possible
Jesus was sent to oppose the rule of Satan and put God back in charge (which will happen someday)
Satan aims to prevent Jesus from bringing salvation to humankind
Christ and Satan are both trying to confound each other's efforts to influence the world
It is a kind of cold-war, thankfully the conflict is mostly peaceful and non-violent
How individual humans and behave and believe will help determine the outcome of the struggle!
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus seeks to illuminate, Satan seeks to extinguish
Jesus brightens the world, Satan seeks to darken it
Jesus wants you in Heaven and Satan wants you in Hell
Jesus is good, Satan is evil
Jesus wants you to be a good influence in the world, and Satan wants you to make it a worse place than it always is!
Jesus is all about life, Satan is all about death
Following Jesus brings rewards in the after-life whereas following Satan will ultimately have negative consequences - Jesus loves the people who follow him, whereas Satan does not love is own followers. Jesus is the friend of everyone, Satan pretends to be peoples' friend - and uses and abuses them.
He lies, whereas Jesus tells the truth!
Being on the side of Jesus has much better consequences than being on the side of Satan!
Ask yourself: Do I want an evil master, or a good master? - then behave accordingly!
People don't believe in Jesus because Satan is obscuring Christ's light. Satan works to keep people ignorant of Jesus and away from his influence. Christ's light is divine and is good. Satan's darkness is in opposition to Christ's light.
What Does This Mean for Christians?
- We need to adopt a spiritual warfare mentality
- We need to help others see the light
- We need to help others overcome the darkness of Satan
- The more people who come to Christ, the brighter the world will become
- We need to support Jesus in his efforts and resist the efforts of Satan