Many Christians translate their New Testament’s this way: “Greater is he that is in the world than He that is in you” (1 John 4:4).
Here’s what the text actually says:
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
The Bible makes several things clear about Satan and his demise. He has been disarmed, defeated, and triumphed over (Col. 2:15; Rev. 12:7f; Mark 3:27). He is “fallen” (Luke 10:18), and was “thrown” down out of heaven (Rev. 12:9). For the early Christians, he was crushed under their feet (Rom. 16:20). He has no authority over Christians (Col. 1:13). Jesus tied him up, binding him so that the nations could no longer be deceived (Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27; Luke 11:20; Revelation 20). Satan has been “judged” (John 16:11) and cast out (John 12:31). He can’t touch a Christian (1 John 5:18). All his works have been destroyed (1 John 3:8). Satan has nothing (John 14:30). He flees when resisted (James 4:7). He is alive on planet Earth, but he is a defeated enemy moping around in his own bitterness.
Gary North writes:
Why is it that Satan’s earthly followers, who violate God’s principles for successful living, supposedly will remain in control of the world until the Rapture? Are we supposed to believe that Satan’s principles produce personal failure but cultural success, while biblical principles produce personal success but cultural failure? Does this make sense to you? It doesn’t to me.*
It doesn’t to me either, Dr. North. The world belongs to King Jesus; Satan has been dethroned, dispossessed, and defanged. So why, dear Christian, do we act like we won’t win? Surely the empty tomb is more powerful than the works of a fallen angel!
*Quoted in The Reduction of Christianity by Gary DeMar and Peter Leithart. (pg. 129) [Emphasis mine]
**Helminth: a parasitic worm.