>Sort-of-sorry for the title, but these words from J. C. Ryle, a century or so old, have never been more contemporary:
Does anyone foolishly suppose that the devil is asleep, or dead, or less mischievous now than in the past? Nothing of the kind! He is still “walking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He is still “going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it” (1 Peter 5:8; Job 1:7).
It is he who goes among heathen nations and persuades them to shed oceans of blood in the worship of idols or murderous wars.
It is he who goes to and fro among fallen Churches, persuading them to throw aside the Bible, and satisfy people with ‘formal worship’ or groveling superstitions.
It is he who walks up and down in Protestant countries, and stirs up party spirit and bitter political strife, setting class against class, and subjects against rulers, in order to distract people’s minds from better things.
It is he, above all, who persuades foolish people that there is no such person as a devil, no future judgment after death, and no hell.
In all this fearful list of things I firmly believe that the devil lies at the bottom, and is the true root, reason, and cause. Can we suppose for a moment that he will let true Christians go quietly to heaven, and not tempt them along the way?
Away with the silly thought! We have need to pray against the devil, as well as against the world and the flesh. In the great trinity of enemies which the believer should daily remember, the devil perhaps is the greatest because he is the least seen.