And then he killed 9 of them.
The devil may have laughed, but don't think for a minute that he won. He didn't. Jesus said, "On this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18). The language is active, speaking of a church moving forward to attack hell itself. That means when we are fighting the right battles, we get close to the gates of hell, and the fires might singe us. But Jesus promises victory is certain.
This church's love was evident to the end. Love won the victory. It didn't die with them. The gates of hell did not prevail. That's the all-important religious aspect to this story, something we all should remember.