Can a person sell his or her soul to the devil?

The Bible does not record any person selling his or her soul to the devil nor hint that doing so is a possibility. Unlike the popular tale of Dr. Faustus in which he sells his soul for 24 years in exchange for supernatural power, no person in Scripture makes such a deal with Satan.

However, Satan clearly has operated and continues to operate to cause problems in the lives of people today. Jesus referred to Satan as the "ruler of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30). Paul called the devil "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4). First John 5:19 adds, "the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." The devil certainly has much power that is used to tempt people to sin.

If people do not sell their souls to the devil, in what ways do people cooperate with the devil? To some degree, all people sin and fall to temptation. God challenges His followers to "resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). First Corinthians 10:13 promises, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

In addition, some people are influenced by evil spirits. Jesus and some of His early followers cast evil spirits out of people who suffered in this way. For example, in Acts 16:16-19, a young woman was controlled by an evil spirit of divination. Paul cast the spirit out of her by the power of Jesus.

But what about those who claim to have sold their soul to the devil? A person may make a sincere commitment to perform some duty for Satan in exchange for something in return, but this does not make it true. Satan is called a liar and father of lies (John 8:44) precisely because he uses deception of many kinds to lead people to sin.

Instead, the Bible teaches all people have sinned and stand in need of God's grace and salvation (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8-9). Even Christians must be alert against the devil's schemes: "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).

First Peter 5:8-9 also teaches, "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith." Believers in Christ are to be alert, watchful, resistant, and firm in faith. Only through diligent commitment can those with God's Spirit stay strong against the temptation of the evil one.

Related Truth:

Who is Satan?

What does it mean that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)?

Satanism – What is it?

Does Satan have to ask for God's permission before he can attack us?

Spiritual warfare - What does the Bible say?

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Truth about Angels

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