article by site founder, Connie Rice
For those of us who have been around a while, it can feel like we’ve been living in an alternate universe recently, or in a “Twilight Zone” episode? What is good is being called evil while what is evil is being called good (see article, “Confusing Evil With Good“ by Billy Graham). People are divided in their goals and opinions. Civil discourse seems to have disappeared. Tolerance for differing views is becoming rare and even silenced. Corruption is being revealed in previously trusted leaders and institutions. Confusion has been increasing. Freedom of speech is under immense attack, reminiscent of tyrannies throughout history. Some churches are under attack and some seem oblivious. We may wonder if it is even possible to discern truth any more. For several years, I’ve been praying for truth to prevail and that things done in secret and in the dark would be revealed. As time went on, the prevalence of lies that have been foisted upon us became more clear, along with awareness of the damage done to people who believe them, as well as to our culture overall. Sadly, those in younger generations seem to have been targeted the most. People are hungry for meaning in their lives and search out multiple ways to try to find it, but do not realize that soul-satisfying meaning, peace, comfort, and supernatural strength are found only when we seek out the One who created us. As we accept who God says we are – sinful beings who He loved so much that He willingly suffered and died to pay the price for our sins, we realize our value in His eyes. We also learn that the Lord is also holy and that He will judge sin once and for all.
They killed Him by hanging Him on a cross, but God raised Him from the dead on the third day and caused Him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”Acts 10:39b-43
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness,Isaiah 5:20-24
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes. Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent. Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
The increase in evil around us is no surprise to those familiar with the Bible’s teachings. We recognize that evil increases as people move away from God, and that much of what we are seeing now was prophesied as signs of the End Times (see article from “Got Questions” titles, “Are We Living in the End Times?”). Unfortunately, many have turned from God’s teachings and try to determine good and evil for themselves. This is not new in human history – it began in the Garden of Eden when Satan tempted Adam and Eve and has been the case ever since. Before times of God’s judgment on humanity’s evil in the Old Testament during the time of the Judges, Scripture repeatedly says, “the people did what was right in their own eyes”. As Creator of the universe (and us), God is the only one who has the authority to rightly define good and evil. He gave us the gift of free will, but like all choices – our decisions have consequences that affect not only us, but those around us. We ignore God’s Word to our own peril.
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”Judges 21:25
“The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”Proverbs 14:11-12
Jesus loves mankind and chose to die for every person’s sin, but sadly – not every person will repent from the sin in their lives, ask for forgiveness, trust in Him for salvation, and submit to His Lordship in their lives. The consequences of rejecting Him or refusing to obey His commands are heavy, so we should truly give this the consideration it deserves. This life is short – my prayer is that all people will respond to His call on their lives before Jesus comes for His children (the Rapture), which according to Scripture, could be imminent. Once God removes His people from the world, evil will spread exponentially and many will be deceived. We have recently gotten a look at the increase in evil as our country and culture have continually moved farther away from God and His Word. People can still be saved by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior after the Rapture, but it will be a very scary time and their lives will be marked with more intense persecution. Many Christians already suffer intense persecution in the world. According to “Open Doors” ministry to persecuted Christians, it is rising around the world. So why become a Christian? – because it is the only way of salvation. This life is temporary and each day has trouble of its own, but the choices we make here affect not only our lives here and the lives of others, but our eternity.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”Romans 5:6
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of Man.”Jesus’ words in John 5:24-27
We were warned. Jesus told us that Satan is the prince of this world and that He is the father of lies and that he looks for those who he might devour. He tries to keep people from finding their Savior. For those who have found Jesus and have surrendered our lives to Him, Satan seeks to deceive and tempt us away from a close relationship with our Lord by causing us to drift from Him or doubt His goodness or to seek pleasure (makes me think of Pinocchio being pulled in to Pleasure Island). When we finally figure out that God wants the best for us – He allows trials to draw us closer to Himself, to humble us, to make us more like Christ, and He gives us the power through the Holy Spirit to follow His ways. When we live this way, Satan loses his power over us because although we are no match for his wiles, Jesus has already been victorious over his attacks. Some have a false expectation that being a Christian brings ease and a comfortable life, but that is not what was promised. What was promised is that when we follow the Lord and His ways, we can experience the supernatural peace, joy, and strength that the world cannot offer, regardless of our circumstances. We no longer have to be controlled by our sinful nature and we know that we’ll spend eternity in heaven with Jesus where there will be no more pain, no more tears, no more evil, and we won’t have to battle our own sinful nature any more – how glorious that will be!
“Generally speaking, the ungodly are those who do not know God through Jesus Christ. They have rejected God’s Son and remain in their sins. Those who are in Christ have their sins forgiven and are becoming more godly. Believers naturally seek to remove all ungodliness from their lives (1 John 3:9).”from “Got Questions”‘ article,“What is Ungodliness?”
Those of us who have experienced a close relationship with Jesus know it is worth everything and we want everyone else to know Him the way we do and it is why true Christians value their faith above everything else in life. However, we still must be on guard against being deceived, so knowing God’s Word gives us the discernment we need because His Word is truth.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of My joy within them. I have given them Your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify Myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”Jesus prays for us in John 17:13-19
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”Jesus and His Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl – Matthew 13:44
DISCERNING TRUTH FROM SOME OF THE LIES IN OUR CULTURE:
RACISM – there is only one race according to Scripture – the human race. All people are made in God’s image and are therefore of equal value. The only two categories that God separates people into in Scripture are those who are His and those who are not, the godly and the ungodly. The enemy wants to create conflict between people with division, suspicion, and lack of respect. Most people in my generation had rejected racism and had pretty much arrived at Martin Luther’s dream of everyone being judged by their character and not the color of their skin, so these recent lies are especially troubling.
“If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.“2 Peter 2:9
“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”Genesis 1:27-28
ABORTION – Scripture teaches that God knows us before we are born. Biologically, only human babies are born to humans; a distinct human being is created with his or her own DNA at conception when sperm from a male fertilizes an egg from a female; nothing else happens before birth other than development through different stages (zygote, embryo, fetus), just like humans go through other developmental stages after birth (infant, toddler, child, adolescence, adult). Abortion was actually legal and was only outlawed early in the 20th Century when development in the womb became more known. Isn’t it interesting that everyone who defends and promotes abortion was allowed to be born themselves?
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”Psalm 139:13-16
EVOLUTION – Scripture assumes the existence of God and teaches plainly that He created the world and everything in it in six days. This is not just in Genesis – it is in other Bible books too. Even Jesus refers to Old Testament teachings as historical. For Christians, evolution would put death before sin – this is not a side issue, but is the foundation for the gospel. Darwinian Evolution has no explanation for how life began, but it has been proven that life cannot come from nonlife. The diversity and complexity we see is explained through natural selection (of course, one can only select from something that already exists) and random mutations (even when most mutations are shown to be harmful and generally result in a loss of information, the opposite of what Darwinian evolution would require). Long ages is the magic where miniscule probabilities somehow become believable. The amazing design of animals, plants, and the human body reflect God’s genius so much so that scientists study their characteristics in order to improve society. Then they take the glory that rightfully belongs to God. On a side note, how can a transitional creature reproduce without all of its needed parts working at the same time?. The first generation would die off. This is one of the biggest lies the enemy has foisted on society – that Creation could be explained without a Creator God.
“For this is what the LORD says – He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – He says: ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other’.”Isaiah 45:18
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”Romans 1:20
GENDER – Scripture and biology both teach that there are two genders – male and female. This has been understood for thousands of years by all cultures. Some may struggle with accepting their gender, but a male cannot become a woman and a woman cannot become a male. There are differences in the brain and in the skeletal and muscular systems that are set in place according to birth gender. We should have compassion for all people, but it is not compassionate to withhold truth from them – especially if it prompts them to seek to mutilate their bodies, preventing them from developing naturally. This is cruel, irresponsible, and potentially dangerous – especially when aimed at children, who should be protected by the adults in their lives.
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”Jesus’ words in Mark 10:5-9
LIBERTY & FREEDOM – God has given people the freedom to choose whether or not to accept His free gift of salvation and to choose whether or not to obey Him. He is the author of free choice, but choices comes with consequences and with freedom comes responsibility (no, this concept did not begin with Spiderman). Our nation was built on that understanding – that our freedoms come from our Creator rather than from man or government, so that the government’s job is to protect the freedom of its citizens. Citizens were taught to be law-abiding citizens who respect the rights of others. The United States of America was founded as a nation ruled by laws that were based on biblical laws. Our Supreme Court has the 10 Commandments carved into it massive courtroom doors. The law of our land and the document that every government official takes an oath to obey is the Constitution. The Bill of Rights were amendments that were made part of the Constitution. A few of the rights enshrined in our Constitution are freedom of speech, freedom of religion to worship freely, freedom of association, freedom of the press, freedom to own and manage property, freedom to bear arms, equality under the law, etc. Satan tries to get people to believe that their personal rights are more important than those of other people. The more selfish and self-centered people become, the harder it is for freedom to work. Some think America is a democracy, but our founding fathers rejected that idea because strict democracies become the majority oppressing the minority. They formed a republic with leaders chosen by the people to represent them. Government leaders work for the citizens as public servants. The shared Judeo-Christian values are what allowed our free society to work well together with shared goals. The farther we get from those values, the more corruption and lack of unity is seen. We were always a nation with a healthy fear of God and were blessed by Him and miraculously protected as a result. Because of our choices as individuals, as churches, and as a nation, we may now be facing His wrath and judgment instead.
“The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”John Jay, first Supreme Court Chief Justice, President of Congress, New York Governor, diplomat.
“[T]he Christian religion… is the basis, or rather the source, of all genuine freedom in government… I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of Christianity have not a controlling influence.”Noah Webster – Revolutionary soldier, judge, legislator, educator, & author of “Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary”.
We can discern truth, but only if we allow God’s revealed Word to grant us discernment. His Word is truth. May every person recognize that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and choose to seek Him with their whole heart, mind, strength, and soul. God is waiting – He wants that none should perish. Let us each choose wisely and be ready to meet our Maker when it’s our time. Life on earth is short in light of eternity, so let’s not waste any more time, but instead be about our Father’s business and join His Kingdom work so more people can join us in the Rapture if we are not brought home before then.
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”Romans 1:28-32
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him’.”Jesus’ words in John 14:1-6
“The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”Oswald Chambers, author of highly recommended book, “My Utmost for His Highest”
“… the most excellent study for expanding the soul, is the science of Christ, and Him crucified, and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity. Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity. And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatory. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in His immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead. It is to that subject that I invite you this morning. We shall present you with one view of it,—that is the immutability of the glorious Jehovah. ‘I am,’ says my text, ‘Jehovah,’ (for so it should be translated) ‘I am Jehovah, I change not: therefore, ye sons of Jacob are not consumed’.”quote from “The Immutability of God” by Charles Spurgeon
© Constance Rice 2021