In the last blog I shared how the serpent lied to the first couple about what God said. We now see that deception in our culture’s rejection of God’s Word, the Bible. Let’s look at more lies the enemy uses to deceive people today.
“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'”
The serpent’s second strategy is to falsely deny the consequences of God’s punishment for disobedience.
Most beliefs that oppose God are based on lies about him or what he has told us. If God is real then you are accountable for your actions and what you do with your life. The Bible says that you become deserving of death for defying a holy and just God when you sin by committing any act that falls short of God’s standards.
The final destination for all sinners is eternal torment in what John in the book of Revelation calls the lake of fire. This is inconceivable for those who want to do whatever they want without any regard for their Creator and his statues. Their response is to either deny there is a Law-giver or deny that there is an absolute Law that makes us accountable.
Those who deny there is a Law-giver want to eliminate the prospect of facing punishment in hell for breaking the Law. If there is no hell then there are no eternal consequences for how anyone lives. Everyone is therefore free to do as they wish. It is believing that God has no say in any aspect of their lives. To them, he is simply the figment of people’s imaginations or a way of dealing with deep seated insecurities. It gives them a false sense of security that comes out of their intentional spiritual blindness.
King Solomon explains, “a fool says in his heart there is no God”. Wilful ignorance of God’s existence and by implication his judgement is equated to foolishness because his righteous indignation towards sin does not cease to exist simply because someone wishes it away. God’s wrath still remains on all who deny him.
Then there are those who deny that there is an absolute Law to which all people are accountable. It is particularly concerning that even some who profess to believe in God downplay the seriousness of sin and the Law that reveals it. Jesus says that he came not to abolish the Law but to fulfil it.
Therefore God’s Law still applies to every person. The problem is that you and I fall short of his standards and, as we’ve already seen, the result is eternal torment in hell. When God says something he means it. No-one can legitimately change God’s Word to mean anything other than what he intended.
The serpent may tell us “Relax, there is no God and there is no hell” or “Don’t worry, God doesn’t mind that you’re living a sinful life” but it is up to each of us to recognise and reject these lies. There will be consequences – good or bad – for how you respond to the problem of sin.
The serpent’s third strategy is to displace God as the foundation of your existence and morality.
A common misconception is the belief that right and wrong can exist in a real or meaningful way independent of God. Let me explain. It is obvious that most people have a sense and understanding of morality even if they don’t describe themselves as being religious. The question though is on what do they base of their morality and why should it apply to anyone else?
The fact is that morality without God is simply an expression of the preferences and opinions of fallible people at a given point in time. An atheist may see morality as an illusion of our consciousness that admittedly may have benefits for humanity. To the agnostic who claims not to know if God is real, morality is possibly the best system people can come up with to work out what we value. Both these approaches to morality are flawed because they relegate good and evil to abstract concepts that can change over time.
When humans become the measure of what is right and wrong, morality becomes an expression of the preferences of those who have power over those who don’t. Morality becomes a tool for exercising and justifying your own will if enough people agree with you. Or as the serpent says, “you shall be as gods.” This view of morality is summed up by the idea of tolerance that we see taking over our world today. Tolerance is treating all beliefs as equally valid as long as those beliefs are tolerant themselves.
Tolerance is completely hostile to God’s laws and the truth he has revealed. It is a man-made system of morality that is as old as time itself in that its seeds were sown in humans hearts in the Garden of Eden. What makes tolerance so appealing is that it promises freedom to do whatever you want without any judgment. It encompasses the enemy’s plan for us to reject God in favour of worshipping Self. The worship of Self is in reality nominal satanism: the belief that you must “Do what thy wilt” (“Do what you want”) according to the satanic commandments.
For people who reject or ignore God, all of this may seem far-fetched and unbelievable. The subtlety of deception though is that it contains elements of truth that make it easier to swallow. Such deception acknowledges the Bible but dismisses its relevance. It acknowledges physical death but not spiritual death. It recognises worship but makes humanity the centre of spiritual devotion.
Keep in mind that the enemy appeals to our pride by getting us to: doubt God’s Word, deny the consequences of our disobedience and displace God as our loving and holy ruler. But what is his end game? Why does he go to so much effort to fool us and why do people readily buy into it?
I share my thoughts in the next blog.