In the Garden of Eden, Satan persuaded Eve to believe a blatant lie by being very crafty in his tactics. He questioned God’s Word, he denied God’s Word, and he reversed God’s Word.

     “Did God really say you will die if you eat of that tree? That’s not true! You will not certainly die! God does not want you to be wise like him, knowing good and evil. The beautiful, tasty fruit of that tree will open your eyes, and you will gain wisdom!” (see Genesis 3)

     We know the rest of that tragic story. Seduced into believing Satan’s lie, Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who also ate, and their eyes were indeed “opened.” In an instant, the purity and holiness of man were gone, overwhelmed by the understanding of evil. The consequences of their sin separated them from God and brought death and destruction to all of creation. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden. And the world has been reaping the awful consequences of their disobedience ever since.

     Satan has not altered his tactics much over the years. Even though the Bible pronounces a curse on those who “call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20), humans are weak, and we fall for the same bogus lies of Satan again and again. Jesus warned us that Satan “…was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” (John 8:44-45).

Even with God’s warning, we continue to be easily seduced by Satan’s whispers:

     “Did God really say He created the world? (As stated in Genesis 1:1). That’s not what the science shows! It was clearly the result of a big bang, with the earth developing over millions of years through evolution.”

     “Did God really say the Bible is His word? (As stated in 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Surely not the whole ‘Bible,’ including all the clobber verses or Genesis 1, which says the world was created in six days! And since those verses are obviously not what God said, why should you be subject to any portion of the ‘Bible’?”

     “Did God really say He made male and female genders(As stated in Genesis 1:27). Surely, that is a limited understanding of how God created your innermost being. You are divinely made and thereby divine! So, choose your gender and live as your true inner self!”

     “Did God really say sexual intimacy is only to be enjoyed by a married man and woman? (As stated in Genesis 2:24). If God is all loving, and love is love, isn’t it man who has defiled love by making it restrictive and repressive?”

     “Did God really say that He knows and ‘knits together’ the child in the mother’s womb? (As stated in Psalm 139:13-14). Of course, ancient man might think that. Shouldn’t she who makes a child in her own body and gives it birth be trusted to choose what is best?”

     “Did God really say you are to forgive others when you are offended or disrespected? (As stated in Ephesians 4:32). Surely God expects you to protect your honor and object to such injustices!”

     “Did God really say we are to show compassion for the poor? (As stated in 1 John 3:17). God helps those who help themselves. People gain self-respect by pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps.”

“Did God really say everyone has sinned and is destined for hell? (As stated in Romans 3:23 & 6:23).  God is all-loving and would not condemn or punish us. Love conquers all! So, in the end, love wins.”

     “Did God really say Jesus is the only way to salvation? (As stated in John 14:6). That is so exclusive! An omnipotent God cannot be restricted to one man or your ‘religion.’ There are so many ways to discover and know God.”

     “Did God really say love hates that which is evil? (As stated in Romans 12:9). How can ‘love’ hate? Love cannot hate. Love is kind and patient and tolerant and understanding.”

     “Did God really say parents are responsible for instructing their children about God? (As stated in Ephesians 6:4). We know children are impressionable, so it takes a village. And the village must ensure children are safe and not taught repressive and hateful ideologies.”

     “Did God really say a man (husband/father) is responsible for leading the home? (As stated in Ephesians 5:23). Of course, men from ancient patriarchal societies would suggest such a repressive ideology. Surely God intended for a marriage to be a 50/50 partnership, with both being in equal submission only to him?”

     “Did God really say the world is lost and condemned without Him? (As stated in John 3:16-17). That is not true! The world can make progress by bringing all people together, from all walks of life, from every tribe and every nation, who have the initiative to make positive change. By each of us being accountable to all parts of society, we can blend our uniqueness to collectively make the world a better place.”

     The Bible alerts us that Satan will gain control in the end times through blatant lies. He “… deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason, God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

     That is why Jesus prayed for us in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).


Bob Russell is Retired Senior Minister of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.