Mike McKinley

Do you believe in the devil? Most Americans would say no. Might as well believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Others believe in the devil so much that they attribute every bad thing that happens to Satan himself.

What is true? What does the Bible actually say about the devil?

C.S. Lewis said, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”

On today’s episode of the Great Stories podcast, Mike McKinley gets to the heart of what the Bible actually says (and doesn’t say) about the devil. According to McKinley, the devil is a real character who lies, fights with God’s angels, prowls, plans to outwit believers, and blinds unbelievers. The question is, what are we supposed to do about it?

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Is the devil real? To some, that question may seem absurd. Of course he’s not real. Might as well believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Lucky the Leprechaun who will steal your Lucky Charms cereal.

To others, that question may seem absurd for a different reason. Of course he’s real! He makes inanimate objects fly, he’s behind the witch doctors in third-world countries, and he’s worshipped by theistic Satanists.

So which is it?

Pastor and author Mike McKinley of Did the Devil Make Me Do It? (The Good Book Co., 2013) encourages us, that as with all questions of spiritual import, to turn to see what the Bible, God’s revealed word, has to say.

And God says, yes, the devil is real. He is the devil (Matthew 4:1); Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1); the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5); the evil one (Matthew 13:9); the prince, or ruler, of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2); the prince, or ruler, of this world (John 16:11); the god of this age, or world (2 Corinthians 4:4); Beelzebul (Luke 11:15); Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15); the accuser (Revelation 12:10); Abbaddon or Apollyon (Revelation 9:11).

He is a real character, who is lying, working, fighting with God’s angels, desiring, prowling, designing, and planning to outwit believers, blinding unbelievers, and angry, as McKinley writes.

It’s hard for Americans to believe in evil. In fact, 60 percent of us don’t believe in the devil, according to one poll. But ask anyone who has visited an African village and heard of children asking other children to come out at night and learn to fly, and they will tell you that he is real.

So the devil exists. But is he to be feared? No, not if we are in Christ. McKinley points out that the devil probably can’t even read our minds!

Especially during this week of Halloween, if you want to know what the Bible says about evil and its forces, turn to McKinley’s book, which is a brief (only 64 pages) yet extensive resource.

If you believe in Christ, then your future is sure: You will spend your days in eternity worshipping the King of Glory.

And take heart, for the devil’s future is also sure:

And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. —Revelation 20:10

Lindsey M. Roberts is the editor of the All About Jesus blog. After seven years in secular journalism, she is thrilled to explore in words how everything—from taking a walk to doing the dishes—is an opportunity to meet and glorify God. Lindsey lives with her husband and newborn son in Virginia.