article by site founder, Connie Rice
For anyone out there who is confused, fearful, disillusioned, overwhelmed, or shocked by recent events or ideologies and the unexpected level of evil being exposed – Jesus is the answer. Beginning with the fall of man as Adam and Eve were deceived by the serpent, a spiritual battle has been going on – God vs. Satan, good vs, evil, light vs darkness. Imagine the level of regret Adam and Eve must have had as they looked back on the angel guarding the entrance into the Garden of Eden where they did not realize what they had until it was gone – fellowship with their Creator, peace, plenty of food, animals all around who all ate plants (nothing to fear), etc. The realization that they would now have a life that included hardship, pain, and death must have been a rude awakening to them. This is interesting to contemplate as the only thing God commanded Adam not to eat was from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – they were allowed to eat from the tree of life. God gave humans the gift of free choice, but many times the choices we make are not for our own good or for the good of others. Through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, sin and death entered and corrupted the world and man has been helpless to save himself ever since. God always warns before judgment comes and His Word has warned us too.
“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”Genesis 2: 8-9
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 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.”Genesis 2:15-17
“So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”Genesis 3:24
Satan (the serpent in Genesis) has had thousands of years to study the human race. Although he cannot read our thoughts as God can, he can identify each person’s weaknesses and adapt his temptations and deceptions to draw us away from the very One who created us, loves us, and even died for us. We can be discontented with what we have and be tempted to turn instead to what appears to be a better way, but in reality is not better. Satan is the prince of this world. He is busy doing all he can to keep people from accepting God’s free gift of salvation made possible through Jesus’ death. If a person does accept God’s gift of salvation, then the enemy (Satan) does all he can to derail us, discourage us, deceive us, tempt us, or cause us to doubt that God is good and that His Word (the Bible) is true. This is the essence of the unseen spiritual war that rages. It is up to us to know God’s Word so that we can avoid deception and draw near to God in obedience so we can have access to the power of the Holy Spirit so we can stand firm in the face of temptation and spiritual attacks. God tells us how to be victorious in Ephesians 6 – notice that with the shield of faith, we can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, so we do not need to be afraid of the enemy if we are trusting in the Lord and obey Him:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [b]wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness 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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints – and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak”Ephesians 6:10-20
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”Ephesians 2:1-10
In America, the majority of people (sadly, even Christians who say they love Jesus and respect the Bible) are biblically illiterate. Most do not make reading the Bible a priority. Churches and Christian universities have failed to stress the importance of knowing our Bibles, resulting in parents not seeing the importance of modeling that importance to their children. Because of this, we should not be surprised by the rising incidences of evil since so many people are deceived by the enemy’s lies – we see a sense of false compassion encouraging people to defy God’s clear teachings in multiple areas of the culture (abortion, divorce, sexuality, education, politics, etc.). Al Mohler recently wrote an article for “Crosswalk” on this topic: “The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem”. What we have been witnessing is the decline of Western Civilization and a return to paganism and demonic influences, which bring about God’s judgment. It was Christianity that created Western Civilization, which lifted up the value of human life and motivated people to care for those who were sick or in need. The promotion of a death culture (abortion, euthanasia, etc.) is not from God because He is the author of life. The confusion we’re seeing in young people regarding their sexuality (even to point of thinking they can change their biological identity) is not from God. He made them male and female and this is confirmed through biological science – either XX or XY) is the author of order and not confusion. Those who perpetuate these ideas are not from God.
“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.”Genesis 5:1-2
“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”1 Corinthians 14:33
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”1 Timothy 6:11-16
We are entering a time of hostility toward God and His followers in America that we haven’t seen in recent history, so this may come as a shock to many. We are seeing people becoming hostile toward those who hold to a biblical worldview. There are so many around the world who have experienced much stronger persecution for their faith. We need to go to Christian news websites to learn about not only that, but the amazing work Jesus is doing around the world – both exist at the same time, just as Scripture foretold.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, [b]unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:1-17
This life is full of struggles, but the hope of a Christ-follower is not in this world. Hope is found in Jesus. He is the only answer. God works in individual ways with each person (He is endlessly creative), but in my life – God allowed me to reach the end of myself (in a time of desperation, when I finally realized that I was powerless to fix my situation) – that was when I cried out to the Lord for help and He met me right there. Is He waiting for you to figure out that you need help? that you need Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? I pray that you would cry out to Him as I did and find Him right there. When we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness, He is faithful to forgive them and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He doesn’t stop there: He also offers us a new life filled with His purpose, His peace, His strength, and yes – even His joy in the midst of chaos, until He comes back for us in the Rapture or until our time on earth is done. Either way, we will be able to spend eternity with Him in heaven, where there is no evil, sickness, pain, or death – only goodness. We won’t even have to fight our own sinful nature any more – praise God! This is truly a blessed hope. To better understand, check out the “Got Questions” article, “What is the Blessed Hope?”
© Constance Rice 2023