We are not ignorant of his schemes!

(Christopher Ash, "The Priority of Preaching" adapted)

"So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes!" 2 Corinthians 2:11

Three apprentice devils were being trained by Satan.

"What are you going to try today?" asked Satan.

The first apprentice replied, "I'm going to tell people that there is no God."

"Well," says Satan, "you can try. A few fools will believe you. But the universe shouts the existence of God. There is evidence all around, and you will not do very well. Indeed, even in the secular twenty-first century — you may find yourself witnessing the slow death of atheism. Any other ideas?"

The second apprentice answered this: "I'm going to tell them that there is no judgment."

"That's a better idea," says Satan. "You will persuade more people of that, especially some of the clergy. But human beings have a gut sense of accountability — that actions have consequences. They know what it is to feel guilty, even when their therapists tell them not to. So I think you'll find it an uphill struggle. Anyone else have an idea?"

A third apprentice piped up, "I'm going to tell them that there is no hurry."

"Brilliant!" says Satan. "That is just what you need to say. You will have great success. Let them listen to the Word of God, and then whisper in their ears: This is good stuff. One day you ought to do something about this. But tomorrow will do."