By Merrill Olson
Satan is called many different names in Scripture. He is referred to as “the dragon who gave power to the beast [Antichrist]” (Rev. 13:4); “a great, fiery red dragon” (Rev. 12:3, 7, 9); He is the “devil” (Matt. 4:1); “Beelzebub” (Matt. 12:24}; “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11); “the evil one” (John 17:15); “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4); “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2); “serpent of old” (Rev. 12:9); and “the accuser” (Rev. 12:10). However, these have not exhausted the names.
However, we can tell why from Scripture he is called “the god of this age [world]” because the world’s evil, godless system is under his control. Therefore, he controls the opinions, ideologies, viewpoints, aims, goals, and hopes, that are presently part of this world system as he has always done (2 Cor. 10:3-5). All of them individually “exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (v. 5). He is also behind the evil world’s system of education, psychology, philosophy, economics, sociology, and ethics. Every godless and unbiblical thinking is Satan’s work as “the god of this age [world].”
Yet, one of Satan’s most powerful influences in the world is false religions. Millions are going to hell with him because they totally deny the deity of Jesus Christ and that He is the only way of salvation, and the only way to the Father (John 14:6). The Bible says, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:3-4)
But false religions can include those local churches that do not believe, teach, and preach that a person must be “born again” to get to heaven (John 3:3, 7). They may believe in the deity of Jesus Christ but treat people in their churches as going to heaven because they participate in the sacraments while their eternal destiny is without Christ. Tragically, many ministers appear to be “ministers of righteousness” but are really that of Satan (2 Cor. 11:12-15).
Therefore, it is not too difficult for true believers in Christ to understand and explain to others why the world is filled with evil, suffering, pain, hatred (even in politics) confusion, people filled with lies, immorality, chaos, confusion, and contempt for the Lord Jesus Christ. The minds of people are controlled by the Dragon, “the god of this age.”
This same evil one will be in control during the Tribulation period. It will be a time when God gives the Dragon full control as people are at his mercy, which is none (Rev. 13).
But the good news is that when we trust in the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior, God delivers us “from the power of darkness and translates us in the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col. 1:13). He saves us and gives us eternal life. “In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7). “For the wages of sin is [eternal] death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Merrill Olson served as a senior pastor for thirty-four years. He received a B.S. from Minnesota State University-Mankato, an M. Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a D. Min. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He is currently involved as an interim pastor along with a teaching and writing ministry. His emphasis is on apologetics and training believers to defend their faith in Christ from God’s Word. He is well versed in Bible prophecy as it pertains to end times. He is a gifted speaker with the conviction that only by the Word of God can people experience inward transformation by the Holy Spirit. He and his wife, Jan, reside in Minnesota and have two daughters and four delightful grandchildren.
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