Screwtape Letters  

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Brothers of Mercy

 (This concept is C. S. Lewis,’ though creatively adapted). 

Satan needed to hire a devil to be second in command and there were three devils vying for the spot.  He asked them a question to test their ability.  “What would you do to bring about the destruction of souls?”

The first devil approached Satan and said, “I would tell them to suck all the marrow out of life and live life to the fullest.  Don’t worry about the right or wrong.  Eh!  Let that stuff take care of itself.”

Satan only grimaced and lowered his heavy countenance to the ground.  “This will never work.  When people compare a life of pleasure followed by an eternity of Hell, to a life with a cross followed by an eternity of Heavenly bliss, surely, they will opt for the second.”  And all the devils waved their great pitchforks in the air, and they laughed him to scorn.

Now the second devil approached Satan and said.  “I will tell them that there is no God, so sin all you want and live it up while you still can.”  Satan smiled a half smile and a glimmer of fire sparkled in his eye.  “This is better, but this will not work either.  When people compare the possibility of a life with pleasure followed by an eternity of nothing, to the possibility of a life with a cross followed by an eternity of Heavenly bliss, surely, they will hope for the second.  After all, what do they have to lose if they’re wrong?  An eternity of nothing!”   and Satan bellowed a deep James Earl Jones laugh and all the devils waved their great pitchforks in the air, even higher than before, and they laughed him to scorn.

Now the third devil approached Satan and his knees were a bit trembly.  He saw what happened to the other devils.  He stuttered.  “I . . . I . . .  wwould tell them th . . . they can be a ssaint.  Th . . . they can be holy . . . but they don’t have to do it today, th . . . they can do it tomorrow!”

This time, Satan smiled a deep, wide grin.  “Brilliant, my son! There is always tomorrow!  You are hired.”  And the fiery realm of Hell howled with delight.

Isn’t this the greatest temptation?  For us to put off what we should do today for tomorrow?  Although we should trust in God’s mercy and forgiveness, we should fear complacency.  We don’t know how much time we have.