Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Importance of Being Earnest (not about the play) (08/04/11)
TITLE: The Devil Understands SIN-cerity
By Doug Laird
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The spiritual ability to detect all of the false doctrines, organizations and individuals that promote religion and not spirituality, is a key part of post salvation discipleship.
Satan knows the importance of gaining the trust of those he intends to deceive by appearing to have their best interests at heart.
As he almost always does, the devil spoke to the woman in the garden through a third party (Gen. 3:1).
Before the devil moved in for the kill, he engaged in at least one conversation with her.
In the course of that conversation(s), the devil raised doubt in the mind of the woman.
He did so by refuting the (Gen. 3:17) consequences announced by God and then promoting the idea that God had ulterior motives for not allowing the eating of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
While adding the action of “touching” the fruit to what God had actually said, [Compare Gen. 2:17 and Gen. 3:3.] the devil was setting the stage of encourage-ment for her to later eat of it, since when she “touched” it, nothing happened to her.
As in the game of Chess, each and every move, no matter how insignificant it may appear to be, could serve a major part in the master plan.
By the time she ate of the fruit she had been deceived into thinking that by doing so, she and her husband would not only suffer no ill effect, but instead, would become like God (Gen. 3:5).
As a result of what started by the devil’s overt appearance of concern for the woman and her husband, sin made its way into the human environment and the devil recovered the “deed” to planet earth (Luke 4:6) that he lost at the end of round one of the Angelic Conflict (Genesis 1:2/Jeremiah 4:23-26).
The advancing disciple of the Church Age must develop, through the mind of Christ (1Cor. 2:16), not only the ability to discern false sincerity of the devil and the forces of evil, but must develop true earnestness when ministering to the needs of others.
Speaking about and for God is serious business, as we are dealing with the part of us and others that is going to live on forever when we depart the natural body at the moment of physical death.
There is no other issue in this life or in the life to come that requires a more earnest focus than on the spiritual choices we make and the influence that we have on others to do the same.
Life after death is not a matter of IF, but of where and how the human soul that was created with everlasting life is going to live and experience ALL of eternity.
Every soul has “everlasting” life that will never die, but only the individuals that receive a regenerated spirit (Titus 3:5) and the eternal life of God (John 3:16) will experience eternity in fellowship with God. There is a a major difference be-tween everlasting life that is like God, and the eternal life of God.
Everlasting life of the soul is created. It has a beginning, but no end. Once cre-ated, it must be experienced in one form of environment or another, forever.
Eternal life, like God Himself, does not have a beginning and will never have an end. It is the eternal life of God that enables the soul with its own everlasting life to spend Eternity with God.
Following the judgment of all unbelievers, ALL the unbelieving souls will be sent to where the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev. 20:13, 15) where they will live for all of eternity.
Being earnest about the spiritual life, begins by acknowledging the NEED for salvation and the ONE and only means to obtain it (John 3: 16, 18).
Once saved, the retaining of the salvation received is the work of God (Romans 14:4).
With the issue of obtaining and retaining salvation being forever settled, an earnest approach to the post salvation spiritual life involves glorification of God.
An earnest, born again believer, accomplishes this by learning and applying the mind of Christ to his/her daily life with the power of God the Holy Spirit.
This will not be accomplished unless he/she chooses to become an earnest student of the Word of God.
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