By Edwin Crayton/Opinion
Make a list of your worst enemies. Now, look it over. Did you remember to include yourself? Add a point if you even put yourself at the top of the list. That’s because the history of humankind has proven century after century that we humans are both collectively and individually our own worst enemies. In fact, it has been this way since the first man and woman reigned in the blissful Garden of Eden. If you are a Christian, I have no doubt that you are familiar with the story. God blessed Adam and Eve to live in a paradise filled with all the things that make a paradise worthy to be called that. However, he did have this one little bitty rule. He warned them that if they ate fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would surely die (The Book of Genesis, chapter 2, verses16-17). As soon as his back was turned (if God ever turns his back), the devil, in the form of a snake, seduced them into disobeying God. He basically told them that God was laying it on thick and there would be no consequences for eating the forbidden fruit. According to him, they would not even die. In fact, he said, if they ate it they would be like God. He delivered a very effective sales pitch. They both ate the fruit. The result was that this single act of disobedience brought sin into the world. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden and death and hell became a reality for all of us, their descendants. When many people hear this Bible story, they often criticize Adam and Eve’s decision-making processes. Understandable. But let’s be honest. Are we any better? I say that because Satan is at it again, using the same formula to bring down contemporary mankind. And yes, it really is kind of a formula. I believe it consists of four steps. Step 1) Lure humans into disobeying God. 2) Misquote the Bible or distort facts to make humans feel comfortable disobeying God. 3) Call evil good and lure them into putting their desires above those of God. 4)Step back and watch them sin and wait while God dishes out the punishment for disobeying him.
It’s a formula that works so well, Satan uses it in every generation. it sure doesn’t hurt his plan that the Devil knows how to edit the Bible. Editors delete or add things to music, commercials, publications or movies to tell the story they want the public to buy. A good illustration of this today, is the way the LGBT Movement and The Abortion Movement position themselves in order to sway public opinion. And you know something? I believe their campaigns are getting Satan’s seal of approval because they are persuading people into disobeying God’s commandments and that is ultimately Satan’s main goal. To see what I mean, all you have to do is take the story of Adam and Eve and the preceding formula and compare them to what is happening today in real time with these two social movements. Here is what I mean: Step 1) Lure humans into disobeying God. In the Bible account, Satan told Eve that she could eat the forbidden fruit despite the fact that God had made it clear to Adam and Eve that doing so would certainly lead to death. Genesis 2: 16-17 says: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Eve knew this and even told the snake this (Genesis 3:3). But the snake/devil countered with: “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). So basically, he called God’s integrity into question. Aren’t, LGBT (Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) doing about the same thing when they try to convince the public that homosexuality and transgender lifestyles should be accepted, even though God has already said in his Holy Word several times that homosexuality is a sin? In fact, in Leviticus 18:22 God even bluntly said men should not have sex with other men. (Also see, Romans, Chapter 1, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which warn of the consequences of all same sex unions).
2)Satan misrepresented the facts. He claimed that God did not want Adam and Even to eat the fruit because doing so would make them like him. Today, Similarly, The LGBT Movement is pushing a, distorted version of human sexuality on young people. They are currently lobbying schools to allow so called transgender boys to compete with girls in sports events. Meanwhile, abortionists claim that aborting a baby is not murder but a choice that a woman gets to make because it’s her body. Apparently, God disagrees. If a woman is a Christian, the Bible teaches that her body does not in fact belong to her. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 makes the point that every Christian gives his or her body to Jesus. Also, Exodus 20;13 prohibits murder. The word abort means to stop something. In this case what we would be stopping is a life. “Why isn’t that murder?
3)The serpent called evil good and appealed to their selfish nature. He positioned the concept of eating the fruit as a good thing, despite the fact that God had positioned it as a very bad thing. But the snake had awakened a desire in Adam and Eve. They lusted for the power biting it would bring. Is it any different today when people put their desires above God’s? The snake tapped into their selfish nature. Any time we put our desires above God, we sin. Sin starts with selfishness. The gay movement and the abortionists appeal to people’s desire to have things their way. Consider the pitches of the gay movement and the abortionists. They promise sexual freedom without having to answer to anyone. But this is a distortion, just as it was with the snake. He was quite dishonest with the facts. There is no way eating some piece of fruit will make you equal to God—and we all have to answer to God. Similarly, there is no way identifying as a woman can turn a male into a female. Sure, pretending is good sometimes. When I was a child, my grandfather used to put me on his lap as he drove his car. I pretended I was driving and the adults played along, humoring me. My what a time we had. But even as a four-year-old, deep down, I knew I was kidding myself. My grandpa was really doing the driving. It may feel good for transsexuals to pretend they are turning into the opposite sex and many people today seem to be willing to go along or unwisely play along with this kind of thing. But even if transgenders really believe they have the wrong sexual bodies, the truth is, only God can make someone male or female. The Bible tells us God “made them male and female (Genesis 1:27). Nature confirms what God commanded. That is why women can have babies but men cannot. And it takes a man and a woman to make a baby. Period. The devil said eating the fruit was a good thing. The LGBT Movement celebrates their gay lifestyles with “Pride Parades”. Would, anyone who; is a believer in God celebrate anything he has already said was a sin? Would a real believer in God imply that God made him or her the wrong sex? Abortionists celebrate their “Pro Choice” Movement, pitching it as something that is liberating. Abortion supporters demand their rights. At the same time, aren’t they conveniently forgetting about the rights of the child trying to be born?
4) After making his best pitch, like a master salesman, Satan waited for Adam and Eve to commit the sin of disobeying God. He knew that when they did, they would bring down God’s wrath. That was the fine print Adam and Eve did not read. You see Satan works both sides of the fence. He entices us to disobey God and then waits for God to punish us, because he knows God being righteous, must punish all unrepentant sin. It’s simple. Satan wants to destroy all humans. God by contrast is loving and wants to save all humans. He does not want them to go to hell. Jesus said, no one can get to heaven unless they will believe in him (John 14:6) This is why Christians are called by God to be his voice on earth and warn people about sin, asking them to accept Jesus as savior and lord, so they can go to heaven. Yet, some who claim to be Christians are reluctant to obey that command. There are many reasons. Mainly, they either pretend there really isn’t a problem, or they simply won’t teach or preach about controversial topics. In some cases, many who “claim Christ” are actually moving towards acceptance of sinful lifestyles. This is particularly true of a growing number of young people who claim to be Christians. A 2011 study by Barna Research titled “Six reasons young Christians leave the church” revealed that some young people in the Christian Community disagree with the Bible’s views on sexuality and believe Christians are “narrow” minded and need to update our beliefs. In another study, Barna basically communicates that these young folks may be feeling pressure from nonbelieving friends and society. It has not dawned on their young minds that God is not interested in winning a popularity contest and that he does not need to. He has this whole world in the palm of his hand. His will is going to be done. His true and Holy Word will not change, regardless. What they also do not get is that we so called “narrow” Christians don’t hate nonbelievers or anyone else. We are simply called by God to warn them of the price of sin so that the devil cannot trick them into falling into sin and eventually into the pits of a fiery, eternal hell. However, we should listen to young people’s opinions in order to understand their doubts and misconceptions and be willing to share with them the reasons for our faith in God and in the Bible. We Christians and our children are the targets of Satan. Our young need to be taught how to spiritually resist the devil. It will help to start taking church fellowship with other believers and Bible reading more seriously.
Believers are at a decision point in history. Like Adam and Eve, we must decide whether to obey God and obey his commands. Or we can make the mistake Adam and Eve made and side with the world. We cannot choose both because in general, most of the world is clearly moving against Christian morality. They call it a Post-Christian Society. But Jesus is ready for it all. In fact, he predicted this. The Bible even says there would come a time when people would not “endure sound doctrine” (Second Timothy 4;3). Which way you and I go will depend on the intent of our hearts. Each of us should ask, “Who is my God?” If God is our lord and master and we love him above everything—even our desires—we will obey the Bible (John 14:15). On the other hand, if you and I love ourselves and our desires more than we love God, we will conform to this world (Romans 12:1-2). That means we will only follow God when he gives us what we want or when it is convenient. We will also edit out the parts of Scripture that offend us. Like Adam and Eve, we will seek to be our own gods. And it won’t work any better for us than it did for them. Because without Jesus as lord, when we are faced with life’s decision points, we will become our own worst enemies. But if we will humble ourselves and realize that there isn’t anything greater than to live eternally with God, then he will give us the strength through our faith in Jesus to endure the tricks of Satan (Philippians 4:13). Then the next time some snake of a person comes knocking, trying to get us to bite some piece of fruit so we can be like God; Or a viper tries to edit God’s words and promises that we can do things The Lord says we should not, we’ll look him or her up and down and say, “No thanks. I think I’ll have something else to eat.”
” Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” -Romans 12:1-2
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