Death! The uncertainty of these days has caused many to fixate on it and the afterlife. It is because we are spiritual beings and there really is a supernatural world with supernatural beings in it. Those who have rejected God try to fill a spiritual void that only God can fill. TV shows and movies glorifying zombies, apocalypse and fantasy about a supernatural beings in supernatural worlds all come from a deep seated spiritual desires that seek to fill a void without the influence of truth from a loving God.
Are you afraid of death? If so, it's the fear of the unknown. Do you wonder what the truth is? Then let me help you because death is certain and life is precious.
Everyone Has an Appointment with Death
For he sees wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, And leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; They call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish.
And as it is appointed for men to die once.... But God....
Recently in my state the attack on family and the role of men and women took another step as a bathroom bill was introduced that allows men, who think or feel like a woman, that day, to enter a woman's bathroom or locker room. Click here for Washington state bathroom bill obliterates men's and women's bathrooms. Talk about deception on steroids. What's a Christian's response? I submit, love requires us to speak the truth. That's the compassionate thing to do. Click here for "Truth is Compassion."
The primary tool being used in this fight is deception. It's the oldest trick in the book and its been identified as a primary tool in these last days. Let's take a look at what Jesus said.
Matthew 24:9-14 provides a peek into the conditions of society in the last days. It says (bold for emphasis), " Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
I wrote an article a few years ago about "Lawlessness, Psychosis & the Love of God." It revealed that the lack of God's love leads to psychotic behavior. There is an unholy trifecta between deception, lawlessness and the decline of real love. Let's take a look at the role of deception and ways it is expressing itself in society today.
Did you know that we are at war? It's true. Revelation 12:7 describes how a war broke out in heaven and Michael and the angels cast Satan and his demons down to earth. Pride tripped Satan up. He wanted to be God and receive the worship only due our heavenly Father (Isaiah 14:3-16).
Satan knew all about worship on God's holy mountain for God designed him to lead worship. Ezekiel 28:13 says that Satan was made with timbrels and pipes as he served as the anointed cherub who covered God's holy mountain. What did he cover it with? Continual praise and worship! Praise and worship is the atmosphere of heaven.
Revelation 12:7 describes how a war broke out in heaven and Michael and the angels fought Satan, the Devil, that dragon and cast him to earth. The Devil was very angry because he knows his time is short. Verse 17 says that he went to "make war" with God's people.
What is the war over? Two things; worship and people.
First, Satan hates the Church because she has replaced his role in worship. (Isaiah 56:7, Acts 15:16-17 & 1 Chronicles 25). Second, Satan hates what God loves. God loves people and He wants to have a relationship with each one. The Church has been sent to present the gospel of the kingdom through preaching and to make disciples of all who receive Christ. Satan is a thief and seeks to kill, steal and destroy every person he can because he knows it hurts God.
The spoils of this war are people and the issue at hand is their eternal destiny in heaven or in hell. Matthew 24:30-31 says:
Recently a professor at a Christian college stepped down after saying that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The confusion with many rests with scripture interpreted without the Spirit of Truth. Interpreting scripture without the Spirit of Truth leads to dead religious interpretation where theologians make the same mistake the Pharisees did in Jesus day. They can be staring right at God's Word and yet, never see the truth. In fact, not only did they not recognize the Way, the Truth and the Life, the promised Son that God sent them; they helped kill Him.
It is true that Isaac, the son of the promise and Ishmael, shared the same father; Abraham. Abraham in is referred to our father in the faith in Romans 4. Ishmael became a great nation or nations and through his heritage came Islam. However, that does not mean that Christians and Muslims share the same God. We do share a common heritage. But men choose which God they worship.
All people came from Adam and Eve and yet we do not all worship the same God. Scripture teaches us that Satan comes and masquerades as an angel of light. He is ultimately the one behind all the different deceptions for he seeks the worship that only belongs to God himself (Isaiah 14:12-16). He (the false god) looks good on the surface but upon closer inspection, it is a deception. He seeks to trick people into worshiping himself as God for he desires to be "like the Most High." He is a thief and seeks to steal God's glory (John 10:10).
Sadly, we've done a poor job of making disciples who daily read and study God's word and actually have a personal prayer life. This is the reason there are so few who are not confused by statements like "Muslims and Christians worship the same God."
The Bible is our standard and says:
Have you ever felt alone or abandoned by God in a desperate situation? It is easy to feel that way when seemingly everyone else abandons you. But know that you are not alone and God uses trials, tribulations, afflictions and persecutions in your life as a container whereby fire can be introduced to your life. When you collaborate with God you can use the heat from the trial along with hammer of God's word to form your character (click here for Forged in the Crucible called Character).
God says in Hebrews 13:5 that He would never leave us nor forsake us, therefore, we need not fear what man nor any other situation can do to us. Why? Because God has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness through Christ Jesus our Lord. He's given us access to hope and faith (click here for Faith & Hope; Twins from the Same Family). He has also assigned every person special heavenly messengers called angels to serve, help and fight for us (Hebrews 1:14).
The question is, how do angels do this? What does the scripture reveal?
During my watch last night I was praying for a member of our church and the Lord began to speak to me about her. I wrote to her in an email and said, " Because of God's plan for your life I see you being put into a forge called the crucible of character. Why? It is for your deliverance and for your destiny." Malachi 3:2-6 accompanied this word. It says:
"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderers ' soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness.
"Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the Lord, As in the days of old, As in former years. And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien — Because they do not fear Me," Says the Lord of hosts. "For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob".
Then I realized, this word was for the body of Christ. I looked up what forged and crucible meant.