Pretend you’re Lucifer, meaning “light bringer” in Hebrew… formerly of the “heavenly host” (Judges 5:20; Daniel 8:10; Jude 1:3; Revelation 1:20)… a cherub (Ezekiel 28:14, 16) …perhaps an angel (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:9; Job 1:6, 2:1; 2 Corinthians 11:14; 2 Peter 2:4).
You were created perfect, but your desire (James 1:14-15; Genesis 3:6) made possible the birth of sinful pride within you (Ezekiel 28:15-17). So you rebelled against your Creator God, wanting to set yourself up to be worshiped above Him (Isaiah 14:13-14).
Now you’re know as “Satan,” another Hebrew word meaning “enemy.”
You’ll never be worshiped like God, but you crave it nonetheless. You’re pretty bitter about your big breakup with the Boss (Revelation 12:12), and you have nothing to look forward to but an imminent eternal death sentence (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Revelation 20:10).
If I were you (and I’m glad I’m not) I’d do something about it.
Hell is simple. Here’s a rundown.
God gives and sustains life. He radiates it. All physical and spiritual life support systems in the universe are maintained by Him. So everything in proximity to God lives; everything apart from Him dies (2 Thessalonians 1:9) — your body, your soul.
Genesis 1:2 describes how the Spirit of God “moved” over the face of the earth. The Hebrew word for “move” describes a warming, cherishing, inwardly life-giving power. And Jesus (God incarnate) describes Himself as “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6, emphasis added)
Sin gets you “eternal death,” a.k.a “the second death,” a.k.a HELL!
If life in heaven is sustained by God’s life-giving presence, death in hell is perpetuated by His absence. Both are eternal.
Maybe it’s like being held underwater, gasping, almost drowning but never at least being relieved of consciousness. Imagine it’s a lake of gasoline. And it’s on fire. Forever.
To add insult to injury you’ll have complete enlightenment, knowing all truth! You’ll know you deserve hell’s hopeless torment, how simply avoidable it was, and you’ll stew in eternal regret for rejecting God. Think about it. If in heaven you will have the mental and physical capacity to know the eternal God and absorb His love, in hell you must have the capacity to know what you’re missing and absorb His full wrath.
But, as the devil, your plan hinges on convincing the world none of this is real!
One way to express love to someone is to love someone they love, e.g. touch a child’s heart and you’ll touch their parent’s heart vicariously.
Conversely, one way to torture someone is to torture someone they love (1 Peter 5:8).
But the ultimate torment is forcing a parent to destroy their own child (Matthew 25:41).
Nothing would be more eternally agonizing for God than condemning His children to eternal death (Ezekiel 33:11).
Defile God’s bride
And that just torques you!
It gets better.
Creation represents the ascension and exaltation of mankind as a “wedding gift” from God the Father to God the Son (Ephesians 1:4-12; Colossians 1:16). Jesus wants such an intimate relationship with humans that He likens it to a marriage (Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 62:5; Ezekiel 16:1-14; Hosea 2:19-20; Ephesians 5:25-27; John 14:1-3). In fact, God gave marriage to mankind as a gift — a symbolic reminder of that relationship (Genesis 2:18, 21-24).
So here’s an idea. Crash the wedding!
Make them bitter enemies.
Feed the kids cake for breakfast
Nurture “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life” (1 John 2:16) to breed sin and rebellion.
Because “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)
If the kids want cake for breakfast, give it to them. Who cares it’s good for them!
Seduce mankind’s forebearers into following in your rebellious, sinful footsteps (2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV) by nurturing their desire. Then, sin will have been genetically engineered into his descendants’ DNA forever (Romans 5:12).
Exploit free will
Find yourself an influencer — someone close to the decision maker — and make the pitch.
Sell it to Eve; she will sell it to Adam.
First, cast doubt of God’s love.
“[Satan] said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?”‘” (Genesis 3:1)
But don’t ask it slyly. She’s too smart for that. Use the right tone to send the right message. Something like, “Pfft! Can you believe God just told you not to eat of any tree in the garden?! Seriously? Are you supposed to starve or what?”
“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”‘” (Genesis 3:2-3)
And you’re like, Oh, I stand corrected, Eve.
Nice! You misquoted what God actually said, and then Eve herself only gets it half right! (God never said, “Don’t touch the tree.”)
Now suggest God’s being disingenuous, and that Eve could get a way with a taste. And what is this “death thing” anyway?
“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:4-5)
By now Eve’s probably thinking, What is God keeping from us?!
Cynicism breeds hatred; hatred breeds rebellion. Now she’s thinking emotionally. People make decisions intellectually, but they buy emotionally. Close the deal by offering her a shortcut to her — and your — ultimate desire: “[Y]ou will be like God…”
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6, emphasis added)
Become man’s biggest fan
God is perfect — perfectly righteous, perfectly just, perfectly everything. So He must banish the stench of sinners from His perfect presence.
No one gets a pass — not you, not anyone (2 Peter 2:4) — otherwise He’d violate, and thereby im His own character, and wouldn’t be God. Somebody has to pay.
Time is short (Matthew 24:3-48). Move fast! Launch a spiritual kamikaze attack on mankind.
Pretend to care about them. Be their biggest fan, the ‘cool uncle’, the quintessential humanist, never judging them, never rejecting them.
Introduce them to hedonistic lifestyles. Nurture every sensual desire. Teach them to use God-given gifts in God-forsaken ways.
Empower people to be self-reliant, self-absorbed, self-centered, self-indulgent.
All along characterize God as a sadist who gave mankind incredible gifts but made them off limits.
What if God had already figured out how to pay mankind’s debt, reconcile with them, and commute their death sentence — all without compromising who He is? What if he made it free and easy — a gift — their’s for the asking?
Isolate the lost, and crush the saved. Contain the salvation message.
With any luck the rebels will stay rebels, and the saved will either live like refugees or choke on prosperity. Whatever works. Just inoculate humanity from salvation’s evangelistic contagion.