June 13, 2015

Hindsight's 20/20 - or is it?  When Satan instigated the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, he didn't attack them outright.  There were no swords drawn, missiles dropped, or bombs planted in their path.  No, he was smarter than that.  He planted seeds of doubt that God really meant what He said and then sat back and watched them destroy their own blessings - they lost their perfect, sinless nature, their immortality, their ideal life in God's garden, and their untainted fellowship with God.  All it took was a few well-chosen words that inspired poisonous thoughts.  Notice how Satan picked on Eve, the weaker of the two?  (1 Peter 3:7)  She brought down Adam without Satan having to say a word personally to him, because Adam trusted Eve and cared for her.

Today, many Christians are being deceived by Satan into questioning what God really said.  That's still all it takes is a seed of doubt planted in a gullible mind.  If only Eve had thought for herself and trusted that God meant what He said and said what He meant.  We would still be in the garden today.  But here we are, telling each other that God will understand why we ignored His word and went our own way.  We think He won't mind that we're in outright rebellion against his instructions.  Instead of the stronger Christians (Adam) helping weaker Christians (Eve) understand right and wrong, many of us are just going along with them.  We think we're showing love to our brothers, because we care for them.  Looking back and seeing all of the grief that the original sin caused, can anyone really believe that what Adam did by going along with Eve's disobedience was the best choice?  Should we really follow in his footsteps and do the same thing?  Back then, they looked forward to the Savior, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, who would provide a way for mankind to be restored to a right relationship with God.  Today, we have the benefit of knowing that work is already accomplished. 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8 

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  Isaiah 5:20

"If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell."  Matthew 5:29-30

"But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea."  Matthew 18:6

"Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!  If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell."  Matthew 18:7-9

Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."  John 8:11b

“The most important command,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:29-31

The question then may be - what is the definition of love?  Is it "loving" to go along with anything and everything that people we care about suggest?  Is that what Adam would say now, in hindsight?  Eve allowed Satan to plant doubt in her mind about what God really said.  She acted on those doubts and then suggested Adam do the same, which he did without questioning.  Look around you at the dire problems of this world, all caused by just a few deadly errors.  There is not going to be another Savior.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  God's remedy for the sin-fallen world is already in place.  Will we believe Him, and accept His Way this time, or will humanity continue to insist after all this time has passed on going our own way, even though we have hindsight in our favor?  

"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."  John 14:21

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."  Matthew 7:13-14

But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. For you happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.  2 Corinthians 11:3-4

These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.  2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is in you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.  2 Corinthians 13:5

Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.  Ephesians 4:14-15

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19

Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:17-20

As for me, I have all I need.  I have Jesus.  Whatever He wants is what I want.  Whatever makes Him happy is what makes me happy.

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