The most troubling part of this film to me was the representation of Jesus as desperate to try to save a man, even pleading with Him to change his mind. When it becomes clear the man is not going to believe, the Devil brags on his victory, while Jesus, who is very sad for the one who got away, reminds the Devil that while He has lost one soul, He has gained three.
Is this really an accurate representation of biblical theology? Do we see Jesus begging people to believe in Him in the Bible? Do we see the Devil winning some and Jesus winning some? If more are ultimately lost than saved (Matt. 7:13-14), will the Devil be able in some sense to say he won a greater victory?
So consider -
Did Jesus ever beg anyone to believe in or follow Him?
Jesus told the twelve to follow Him and they did, Mark 1:16-20, 2:13-14.
Jesus does not beg the disciples who want to depart from Him to stay in John 6:60-71.
Jesus does not beg the Pharisees to follow Him, He promises them judgment, Matt. 23:1-36.
Now it is true that Jesus grieves for the spiritual condition of those who don't believe, Matt. 23:37-38.
And Jesus makes offers of salvation and peace that will apply to all who will receive them, Matt. 11:28-30.
However, with that said, Jesus is never portrayed as chasing after someone, begging them, or even trying very hard to change their minds about Him. In fact we read passages that would make the idea of Jesus begging unbelievers to believe completely ridiculous.
Matt. 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
John 17:6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Eph. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Why does Jesus not beg people to believe in and follow Him? Because He knows that none will unless it has been granted by the Father, according to His plans that were in place from before creation, and likewise, all the Father had planned to save from before time began, will actually be saved as they believe in Him.
This also answers the question about whether the Devil will ever be able to be said to have won a victory over God? No, the way things turn out is exactly as God planned! Some will be born again and believe, in keeping with God's plans, while others will be left in rebellion against Him with their leader the Devil. In the end these enemies of God will be punished with their leader, and those who believe will be saved!
Satan, gets zero glory; he is a created thing like us, and he will have not one single victory over God's plans to redeem His people in Jesus -
Psalm 33:6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses.
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’
1 Cor. 1:26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Does this sound like a God who ever looses?
I think not!
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."