Has the thought ever occurred to you that everyone would become Christian if only they truly understood what Christianity was about? That if we could just really convince everyone that the Christian faith is truly centered on love, and that Jesus really came and died for all of us and rose from the dead, and promised eternal life in Heaven to those who believe—if people really got that—then surely no one would reject the Gospel.
I often feel that way. And I do think it’s partially true that many people just do not have a proper understanding of the faith, and that’s largely our fault as members of the Body of Christ; and it needs to be rectified through the actions of our daily lives.
But still, we have to remember: Pride is not the same thing as ignorance. Satan knew from the beginning who Jesus was; and that God planned to bring about salvation through Jesus.
“The dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth” (Revelation 12:4)
Satan hates Jesus. So much so that from the moment it was revealed to Him that salvation would come through a man in history, he went to wait for the moment of Christ’s birth so that he could “devour him.” He hates Jesus not because he doesn’t understand Jesus’ role in salvation. He hates Jesus precisely because he understands, but refused to bow down and worship a man.
Think about it. Satan fully realized the implications of his choice. God, the creator of everything (including Satan), creates everything for a specific purpose. Everything is created for a rightful end, its telos. The goal of creation is to be united to God, the creator. It logically follows that anyone that does not reach this proper end will not be completely and lastingly fulfilled (read: happy). So God provides a way for creation to be united to Him; and that way is Jesus Christ.
When presented with the choice after God’s will is revealed to them, the options are clear in the intellect of the angels: Worship Christ, and be eternally fulfilled being united to God in Heaven; or refuse to worship Christ, and be eternally separated from God (read: unhappy, unfulfilled, Hell).
Again, Satan understood the implications of his choice. But to worship a man was too much. God should have done it a different way.
If that’s what it takes to be happy, well then I’d rather be miserable.
Pride is not the same thing as ignorance— for Satan or for us.
This isn’t an excuse to give up on people and equate them with Satan. On the contrary: it’s a reason to repent of our pride, and to pray that love of God may eradicate the prideful tendencies in the hearts of all people, so that through Jesus Christ we may all come to enjoy full and lasting fulfillment with God in the Kingdom of Heaven.