article by site founder, Connie Rice
Reality, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is “the state of things as they are, rather than as they are imagined to be” and is based on truth. It seems that our culture is rejecting both reality and truth. Life is difficult, so it is understandable that people may want to try to escape reality. That is why movies have been popular – to forget about our problems for a short while. That can be healthy, but not if we attempt to defy reality or use means of escape on a regular basis. If we expect that everything in our lives should be good or that we should have comfort and security, that perspective can create disappointment, discouragement, fear, and/or confusion. Add to that some people’s expectation that everyone is inherently good, and the world just doesn’t make sense. When evil affects us and others, we can become shocked, fearful, disillusioned, withdrawn, easily deceived, and/or cynical and bitter. A biblical worldview helps us know who we are and why we exist. It explains the existence of evil with each person having free will and that we are sinful beings bent toward selfishness. This is evident even in the youngest of humans and part of the role of parents is to help children choose to think of others.
“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”Jesus’ words in Mark 7:21-23
We are in a spiritual war, but our battle is not against those who think or act differently – our battle is with Satan (the devil, the adversary, the serpent, the dragon, the evil one, the father of lies, …) and the spiritual forces of darkness that are so prevalent in this world.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”Ephesians 6:10-13
Satan knows his time is short and his lies, deceptions and acts of evil are becoming increasingly evident. He tempts people to sin, to doubt God and His Word, and encourages people to throw off the healthy boundaries that God has put in place to help people develop healthy families, cultures, and governments. Ignorance of or rejection of God and His commands results in people’s worldview being influenced by spiritual darkness – dimming of conscience, living out of own wisdom, being prideful, having lack of accountability, etc. The farther away from God and His Word people get, we see:
- Sexual immorality – rationalizing, justifying, & even celebrating the same sexual sins that brought God’s judgment in past history and have contributed to the downfall of whole civilizations.
- Children not as protected– removal of innocence (regarding sexual activity & violence), child abuse (physical, emotional, & sexual), destruction of families, fatherless homes, focus on social, science, & historical indoctrination rather than academic instruction (evolutionary teaching – that they are just animals rather than uniquely & lovingly created in the image of God), and recently to instill fear with climate change and disease and to intentionally attempt to confuse them (lifelong consequences).
- Narratives vs. facts – one-sided narratives are replacing civil discourse and the search for truthful facts; institutions that once celebrated their diversity of thought now actively shut down debate. “Cancel culture” is simply a new term given to previous moves in history to implement tyranny.
- Human life devalued – abortion at will (now expanding throughout pregnancy & even after birth), euthanasia being expanded & pressured, removal of life-saving care, genocide, depopulation, etc.
- Lack of civil discourse – more conflict between individuals, people groups, & leaders.
- Drug abuse & addiction – has increased exponentially and governmental forces are now accommodating and encouraging drug abuse.
- Pride celebrated – throughout Scripture, God answers and blesses those with humble hearts and rejects those who are prideful.
- Identity questioned – people have chromosomes in every cell of their body that are either all XY or all XX; this determines whether they are male or female; this cannot be changed.
- Increased tyranny – rising levels of corruption is resulting in tyrannical behavior in governments of previously free countries.
- Declining religious freedom – lack of respect against those with religious convictions to the point of legal actions taken; increased religious persecution around the world.
- Video games – more and more young people spend time outside of reality, which if not moderated, can result in their having more difficulty coping with the inevitable trials of life.
- Metaverse – the next level of escapism where people create whole alternate realities that have no basis in actual reality; people would live out alternate lives online.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Transhumanism – those who don’t know God look to more and more ways to live longer or strive to find a way through technology to live forever (God placed eternity on our hearts, but it was meant to cause us to seek Him); these people have risen to places of power and influence and do not see humans as inherently valuable because they are made in God’s image, but seek to “improve” humanity as the next step in what they see as evolutionary progress.
“Moreover, I notice that throughout the earth justice is giving way to crime, and even the police courts are corrupt. I said to myself, ‘In due season God will judge everything man does, both good and bad.’ And then I realized that God is letting the world go on its sinful way so that He can test mankind, and so that men themselves will see that they are no better than beasts.”Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 3:16-18
To keep things in perspective, it’s important to consider that our lives on earth are very short in light of eternity. Francis Chan has a 2-minute great illustration of this on his site, “Crazy Love“. What we believe and do while on earth affects our eternity and should cause us to consider serious possible consequences. God has revealed Himself through Creation, through His Word (the Bible), through Jesus Christ (God incarnate), and through the supernatural transformations He has accomplished in the lives of those who trust in Him for salvation and obey His commands. John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles all made it clear that repentance is necessary for us to be right with God. It might not be the answer we want to hear because we want what we want and can delude ourselves into thinking that we know best. In the Old Testament, we find a phrase repeated each time God’s chosen people faced His judgment – “and the people did what was right in their own eyes”. This perspective describes our present culture, but is not pleasing to God and sets us up for His judgment. Proverbs 9:10 tells us that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. It’s not like we haven’t been told – here are just a few examples of the need to repent of our sins and seek God’s mercy:
“John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.”John the Baptist’s teachings in Mark 1:4-5
“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’.”Jesus’ teachings in Mark 1:14-15
“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.”Peter’s teachings in Acts 3:17-21
“Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to His works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”Paul’s teachings in Romans 2:4-8
Spiritual darkness can really fool people into thinking that they are following something positive, something compassionate, and/or even something loving. However, Jesus tells us that Satan masquerades as an “angel of light” (explained in an article on Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s website). Believers are repeatedly warned in the New Testament to not be deceived, so we are at risk of following lies that may on the surface sound good, but result in bringing in more problems or evil. Many believers and whole churches have already been deceived – mostly those who have rejected the inerrancy of Scripture. God’s Word provides us with the discernment we need as we seek the Lord.
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”Jude 3-4
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”1 Peter 22-25
Jesus is our Creator and knows the future, so He is more capable of directing our lives than we could ever be. He has all the answers, and as our Creator, knows what will bring each of us the most satisfaction and purpose in life. This life is hard and Scripture teaches that this world is not the home of God’s children, so our focus needs to be on Jesus, our living hope.
“Under the system of Jewish laws, the high priest brought the blood of the slain animals into the sanctuary as a sacrifice for sin, and then the bodies of the animals were burned outside the city. That is why Jesus suffered and died outside the city, where His blood washed our sins away. So let us go out to Him beyond the city walls (that is, outside the interests of this world, being willing to be despised) to suffer with Him there, bearing His shame. For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.”Hebrews 13:11-14
“And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God’.”Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23-27
Is it time to seek God with your whole heart, mind, strength, and soul and repent of your sins, humbly asking Him for mercy and forgiveness? Is He waiting for you to figure out that you need Him and the eternal salvation that He freely offers through your believing in Jesus Christ as His only Son and Jesus’ death on the cross and Resurrection. Victory was His in overcoming both sin and death. He invites us to live forever in heaven with Him – a place He is preparing for us where there is no sin, sickness, death, or sadness. The signs of the times are revealing that we could be very close to Jesus’ return. As Billy Graham repeated from 2 Corinthians 6:2b, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation”.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:35-42
Rejecting reality has dangerous consequences. God created a perfect world with amazing plants and animals, and then created the first man and woman in His image. He gave them capabilities that are unique to humans as well as a desire for relationship and to live a life of meaning. God gave the first humans responsibility and freedom to enjoy the garden with only one command – not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve was deceived by the serpent (Satan) and both she and Adam chose to disobey God’s command, bringing sin, death, pain, sadness, and decay into the world. Sometimes we don’t know how good we have it until it’s gone. Our Creator has revealed Himself through His inspired Word, so that we could know Him and choose to follow Him. It is not easy, but having freedom from the power of sin & fellowship with our Creator while on earth with His supernatural peace, joy, and strength is worth our effort while we await our future with Him in heaven.
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later. For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect His children. For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay—the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command—will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God’s children enjoy. For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as His children, including the new bodies He has promised us—bodies that will never be sick again and will never die.”Romans 8:18-23
© Constance Rice 2022″