The Devil's Delusion
(Arthur Pink, "Another Gospel")
"If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:3
Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers through hiding the light of the Gospel of Christ, and he does this by substituting his own gospel. Appropriately he designated, "that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray!" (Revelation 12:9)
The gospel of Satan is not a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war—but aims at peace and unity. It does not seek to drag down the natural man—but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation, and appeals to the "best that is within us." It endeavors to occupy man so much with this world—that he has no time or inclination to think of the world to come. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, charity and benevolence; and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts—that by nature man is a fallen creature, alienated from the life of God, dead in trespasses and sins, and that his only hope lies in being born again.
The gospel of Satan teaches salvation by works. It inculcates justification before God, on the ground of human merits. It is a bloodless gospel, and presents a crossless Christ, who is received merely, as the Ideal Man.
The apostles of Satan are not saloon-keepers and white-slave traffickers—but are for the most part ordained ministers! Their message may sound very plausible, and their aim appear very praiseworthy—yet we read of them, "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness." (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
In Proverbs 14:12 we read, "There is a way that seems right to a man—but in the end it leads to death." This "way" which ends in "death" is the Devil's Delusion—the gospel of Satan—a way of salvation by human attainment. It is a way which "seems right," that is to say, it is presented in such a plausible way that it appeals to the natural man. It is set forth in such a subtle and attractive manner, that it commends itself to the minds of its hearers. By virtue of the fact that it appropriates to itself religious terminology, sometimes appeals to the Bible for its support (whenever this suits its purpose), holds up before men lofty ideals, and is proclaimed by those who have graduated from our theological institutions, countless multitudes are decoyed and deceived by it!
It as been said with considerable truth, that the way to Hell is paved with good intentions. There will be many in the Lake of Fire who lived with good intentions, honest resolutions and exalted ideals; who were just in their dealings and charitable in all their ways; men who prided themselves in their integrity—but who sought to justify themselves before God by their own righteousness; men who were moral and kind—but who never saw themselves as guilty, lost, hell-deserving sinners, needing a Savior. Such is the way which "seems right." Such is the way that commends itself to the carnal mind and recommends itself to multitudes of deluded ones today. The Devil's Delusion is that we can be saved by our own works, and justified by our own deeds!
"He saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy." Titus 3:5