What did the following people have in common - Al Capone, John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker and Machine Gun Kelly? They each held the title of PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE. Their malevolent criminal activity, often punctuated by merciless slayings, was responsible for their infamous ranking as America’s worst enemies.
Yet the Bible divulges an infinitely worse villain who is behind all lawless activity – the DEVIL. He is described as a MURDERER – John 8:44; LIAR - John 8:44; RULER OF THIS WORLD – John 16:11; GOD OF THIS AGE – 2 Cor. 4:4; PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR– Eph. 2:2; TEMPTER – 1 Thess. 3:5; and THE WICKED ONE – 1 John 2:13, 5:18.
Although he is an expert at tempting people to do wrong, his main objective is to CAUSE US TO BE LOST and BURN IN HELL. Since he is already destined for hell – Rev. 20:10, his only consolation is to take billions of souls with him. Thus he relentlessly plots and schemes to dupe, deceive and doom souls. And he is VERY good at doing so; Rev. 12:9 says that he DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD!
Satan is not a fictitious character sporting a red suit, horns, tail and carrying a pitchfork. He is real. Peter warned, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Thus we must watch out for him EVERY WAKING HOUR!
His main weapon is the lie. Jesus said, "When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a LIAR and the FATHER of it"(John 8:44). His lies invariably contradict God’s commands. He typically tries to convince us that certain sins are not truly sinful, or that doing right can wait.
Satan is also a master of disguise. "For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14). He and his confederates appear sincere, even religious. Yet countless Christians have been led astray by “innocuous” spouses, relatives, and friends.
Satan is Public Enemy Number One. Don’t be an easy target. Be aware, be prepared, and be careful. "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (Jam 4:7-8).
Jesus, always Jesus!