Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Our adversary the devil

Over the years, I have shared the gospel with a few people. Many of my conversations with people have been based on the premise that God cannot be in the presence of sin. The line of thought went something like this: God lives in heaven, God cannot be in the presence of sin, you cannot go to heaven, you are sinful, you need to be forgiven of your sins or you will go to hell which is the only other option. This may “work” when sharing the gospel but it brings up a question: “If God cannot be in the presence of sin then why is Satan allowed in heaven?”

The fact that Satan is allowed in heaven can hardly be debated. The very first place that we see Satan in the Bible (Genesis 3) he is already sinful. He had already committed his act of pride against God. However later in human history we know that Satan was in heaven. In Job 1:6 Satan presented himself to God along with other angels. In Zachariah 3:1 we see Satan not just in the same general area as God but literally at his right hand. He was right there next to Him! Finally in Revelation 12:10 the fact that Satan is allowed in heaven is elaborated further by saying that he accuses Christians in heaven before God 24 hours a day 7 days a week. So we see that Satan’s access to heaven is not just occasional but constant.

How can it be that we see Satan in heaven if God cannot be in the presence of sin? In all actuality there is little biblical support for such a statement. God hates sin, and this fact is undisputable from Scripture (count the amount of times God says that something is an “abomination” to Him). The closest verse to support the before mentioned statement is Habakkuk 1:13 which states that God cannot look upon evil. However, context would clarify this verse further to mean “to look upon with approval.”

I think by making a statement such as “God cannot be in the presence of sin” and believing it, we can come away with the mentality that sin is some sort of “kryptonite” to God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is not “put out” by sin. Rather God has conquered sin and death. (1 Corinthian 15:56-57) While He never lost control over the situation when sin entered the scene, He completely realized His victory over sin at the cross of Christ. Sin doesn’t hold power over God, God holds power over sin.

What is important to remember from this is that Satan is in heaven accusing all believers right now, and will be until Revelation 12. But praise God we have an advocate with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1) Although Satan is our accuser, there is no accusation that will hold any weight in heaven before God that has been covered by Christ’s blood, which should give you and me great confidence to live today.

1 comment:

Dan said...

That's a pretty sweet thought, Jon. Good thinkin.