This post is a follow up to a post I had written in January, “So what’s is the reality of Satan, demons, and the spiritual world? Truth or Fiction?”
The major dilemma I discussed in the existence of demons is there purpose. Traditionally it has been taught that demons temp mankind to sin. However, this contradicts Scripture. For it’s written, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed (James 1:14).” Therefore if man’s lust and pride is the root of sin, what then is the purpose of demons?
Yet, after spending time reflecting on this issue and talking with others I feel I have come a suitable answer.
To deny the existence of demons would be to deny the reliability of the New Testament and it’s witnesses. Demons were not just an expression of the “primitive” minds of the 1st century. Luke in his gospel account records both sickness and demon possession. Demon possession was not a misdiagnosis for the unknown illnesses.
Thus, if demons are real, as the New Testament claims, what is their function? It seems that they function like an accelerant to mans sin. Man does sin because he wants to, because he chooses to, because of his own lust and pride. Demons only add fuel to this fire accelerating mankind’s temptation. Present within Adam and Eve was the pride to “be like God.” All Satan did was hasten there fall by feeding them misinformation; misinformation that tickled the ears of Adam and Eve so that they felt comfortable sinning.
The same principle could apply to Jesus at the end of his 40 days of fasting in the wilderness. He was hungry, so the devil took advantage of his accelerate his desires. Likewise when he tempted him in the other areas. And when Jesus has resisted the devil for the third and, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time (Luke 4:13).”
The devil only exploits opportunities. He does not create them. The human heart is wicked. Jeremiah 17:9 declares, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
So we cannot pass the blame of sin onto demons, nor are they the unseen cause behind our temptation. Mankind is still responsible for their outworking of their pride and lust, which is sin. Demons only exploit the opportunity of our fallen nature.