A World Held Captive?

Three young women were recently rescued from their kidnapper. The Bible tells us that the entire world has been kidnapped, and it shows how we will be rescued.

A nightmare for three young women in Cleveland, Ohio, is over. Kidnapped over a decade ago, they have been freed from their captor. Now they must learn to find some normalcy in their lives and try to replace their fear with peace.

In a similar way, the world we live in is being held captive by a powerful spirit being called Satan the devil. The Bible tells how he kidnapped mankind and continues to hold us captive.

Humanity is kidnapped

Long before God created humanity, He created untold numbers of angels. One of these was a powerful angel called Lucifer. Over an undisclosed length of time, Lucifer became filled with pride and became self-absorbed and selfish. He became dissatisfied under God’s authority and rebelled against his Creator.

Lucifer apparently convinced a third of the angels to follow him and tried to overthrow God, but he was cast to the earth, along with his followers (Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:4).

Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan, which means “adversary.” The angels who followed him are now called demons.

When God created Adam and Eve, Satan was on the earth; and like many kidnappers, he was just waiting for his opportunity.

God taught our first parents the right way to live, and He used the tree of life to represent following God and the way to eternal life. And conversely, He used the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to represent living apart from God—the wrong way to live that leads to death (Genesis 2:9, 16-17).

Satan is very cunning. He did not approach Eve and say, “Follow my evil ways!” No, he used tactics that caused Eve to follow him of her own free will. This is how many kidnappers get young children to go with them. Children are not aware enough to realize they are becoming a victim of a captor.

Adam and Eve followed Satan willingly. And when they listened to him and took of the forbidden fruit, they were kidnapped!

Humanity is still being held captive

By partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, our first parents chose to try to decide for themselves what is right and wrong, thereby rejecting God’s authority. Instead of following God, they followed Satan who had originated that rebellious reasoning.

Satan continues to broadcast his evil influence to all of mankind today (Ephesians 2:2). We can deny it all we want, but we are influenced by him.

Yes, the Bible says Satan has deceived the entire world (Revelation 12:9)! Many times captives begin to empathize with their captors. This is what mankind has done. We practice Satan’s self-destructive way of life, thinking it is okay.

So, not only has Satan kidnapped us, he has brainwashed us also!

Who will pay the kidnapper’s ransom?

Many captors threaten to kill their victims unless a ransom is paid. But Satan doesn’t really want mankind to be rescued. He wants all of us to die because he doesn’t want us to become children of God.

But God greatly desires for us to be in His family. And He has paid the ransom needed to redeem us from certain death. The ransom that God paid was the death of Jesus Christ—an incredibly high price that shows how much God wants us in His family (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:4-6).

The captor captured

Satan is a major influence in tempting us to sin. One of God’s festivals is the Day of Atonement, which pictures the removal and binding of Satan and his demons.

In ancient times a ceremony took place where the sins of Israel were symbolically placed on the head of a goat that represented Satan (Leviticus 16:21). This represented Satan’s role as the cause of so much suffering on the earth.

When Jesus Christ returns, an angel will take hold of Satan and place him in a spiritual prison where he can no longer influence anyone (Revelation 20:1-3). For the next thousand years peace and righteousness will abound on the earth because of the leadership of Christ and His saints—and the absence of Satan.

Humanity will be rescued

Just as family members never gave up hope of finding their missing loved ones, there is real hope for humanity. God is in control. Even though He has temporarily allowed Satan to hold the world captive, God will rescue mankind.

And when God sets His hand to deliver us from captivity, a better world will appear—a world of peace and prosperity where no one will be afraid (Micah 4:1-4).

Take time to click on these links and learn more about God’s incredible plan and your wonderful future in the Kingdom of God.

Topics Covered: Prophecy, God’s Plan

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves attends the Jefferson, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, where he serves as a deacon. 

He has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 30 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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