Back in the early 1960s, before one could check such quotes on the web, a story circulated concerning Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934-1968). As I recall, someone asked the cosmonaut if he had seen God in the heavens during his spaceflight; to which Gagarin, a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, was to have replied, “I looked and looked and looked but I didn’t see God.”

The story is highly disputed. According to some sources, the quote originated from Nikita Khrushchev’s speech at the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU about the state’s anti-religion campaign.

I remember people responding to that quote, “Give it some time. You’ll see him.”

I’m not sure if such cute comebacks change anybody’s mind. A modern-day parallel is the bumper sticker, “Honk if you love Jesus. Text if you want to meet him.” People still text when passing such cars (and perhaps while driving such cars).

But the implications of such clichés should cause one to pause and think. Every day we get up not knowing how the day will go. Why is it so far-fetched to think that something lies beyond death that we don’t know? And like some days, what comes next may be really good or really bad.

In his classic work, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis responds to those who question belief in an afterlife. Specifically, a belief in a creature of evil in the afterlife. He writes,

“I know someone will ask me, ‘Do you really mean, at this time of day, to re-introduce our old friend the devil —hoofs and horns and all?’ Well, what the time of day has to do with it I do not know. And I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects my answer is ‘Yes I do.’ I do not claim to know anything about his personal appearance. If anybody really wants to know him better I would say to that person, ‘Don’t worry. If you really want to, you will. Whether you’ll like it when you do is another question.’”1

I doubt this little query will change anybody’s mind. But at least it crossed their mind.

“And the great dragon . . . that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world” – Revelation 12:9.

  1. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1952), 51.

2 Responses to Meeting The Devil.

  • I find it interesting that even among Christians, some believe that there is no hell or satan and to talk about it gets people’s dander up. I find it even more interesting that people feel uncomfortable speaking the name of Jesus out loud. Often they whisper it so others won’t be offended by His name in my office. Sincerely I wish more people speak the name of Jesus out loud. Thank you for proclaiming the Truth aloud in your messages here and for sharing from C.S. Lewis’ writings.

Leave a Reply

Welcome

Thank you for visiting. This blog is the result of a lifetime of reading C. S. Lewis and a desire to sit down opposite him over a cup of tea seeking his advice. His responses are based on his letters and books.

For more information on me or my book, True Myth: C. S. Lewis and Joseph Campbell on the Veracity of Christianity, please check out the "About - Our Pastor" tab at PerryvilleBibleChurch.org.