The movie “Catch Me If You Can,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is based on the life of Frank Abagnale, one of the greatest con men ever. The movie shows several of the schemes he pulled off, and how an FBI agent (played by Tom Hanks) ultimately caught and brought him to justice.
As a young man, Frank passed himself off as an airline pilot, doctor, and lawyer. He swindled banks out of millions of dollars with clever forgeries. He was young, good looking, charming, courageous, and risk-averse, and he tried many ways to get rich and avoid the law.
He fooled a lot of people before he was caught, and many were hurt by his actions. As the movie portrays, after serving time in prison, the FBI asked Frank to put his unique skill set and knowledge to work for good. He agreed and accepted an opportunity to help law enforcement leaders and financial institutions detect phony bills and forgeries.
Read Isaiah 14:12-15.
Scripture describes another imposter with a record of deception and who goes by several names: Satan, Lucifer, the devil, and the evil one, for starters. The apostle Paul says Satan “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Jesus said in John 8:44 that “the devil was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Scripture presents a narrative that Satan (a created being) was deluded about his own importance from the beginning. In Isaiah 14, we learn of his aspirations: “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God…I will make myself like the Most High” (v 13-14). God judged Satan’s tricks, lies, and actions and he was cast down from heaven (v 12).
This fallen creature has worked hard to imprison many people and systems under his deceptive influence. Those that refuse to hear about the Most High God and His wonderful character are blinded in part due to the devil’s efforts (2 Corinthians 4:4). But Satan is not content with having just part of the human race under his lordship. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy everything God has made and that includes every human being. He plots and tempts Christians to live lives that are impossible to tell apart from unbelievers. He works to shake the faith of followers of Christ in their Lord and Savior. He attacks believers and entices them to sin.
Just like he did with Adam and Eve, Satan rolls out his all-time famous lie (and tired con) that Almighty God cannot be trusted. The enemy of your soul purposes to create doubt in your mind about who God is and suggest His character is not trustworthy. Thankfully, Jesus defeated Satan at the cross and can help you withstand his deceptions (see Ephesians 6:10-18).
Scripture teaches this con artist will not always have the opportunity he now has. He will not elude God’s justice much longer, but one day will be apprehended by God and cast into final judgment (Revelation 20:2,7, 10). Think theologically. Learn and be aware of the devil’s schemes. Do not make the mistake of pretending the real evil one is not around. Fear not. Jesus said in John 8:12 that He came to bring light, and in John 10:10 He came to bring life. Use the clarity of Scripture to reveal the truth of God’s character in contrast to the illusion of the devil’s.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz