Friday, April 25, 2014

Fight lies... or surrender ......................... Parables 110

A couple of weeks ago my editor titled this column “Christians Fight the Father of Lies.” When I looked at it, this thought ran through my mind... yes, and everyone else surrenders...

Jesus called Satan “the father of lies and a liar from the beginning.” He instructs His people to know the tactics of this enemy, to resist him, and to use the truth of scripture to do it. He guarantees our ultimate victory but nonetheless, it is a difficult battle, one from which we sometimes retreat.

At one time, in our unbelief, we too waved the white flag of surrender. Ephesians 2 explains how we used to “live according to the lies” perpetrated by this foe. But now he “works in the children of disobedience: and believers are to obediently persevere by resisting him, in faith. The Lord even gives us spiritual armor to defend ourselves against his lies. (Ephesians 6)

This deceiver began his work in the Garden of Eden when he came to Eve, disguised as a serpent. (Satan generally disguises himself.) He said, “Did God really say that you could not eat from every tree in the garden?”

Eve affirmed God’s command and added if they ate it, God told them they would die. The serpent sneered, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” He put out the bait; Eve fell for it.

Notice his strategy. he first cast doubt with a question about the fact of God’s commandment. Next he suggested that God lies. Thirdly, he slandered the provision of God, telling Eve she was being short‑changed.

His tactics are still the same. This liar convinces people that the Word of God is to be doubted, that God is not behind the scriptures; they are authored by mere men and have no authority and are not binding. Or he convinces people that the Bible is not true, or that it has somehow been adulterated and is full of contradictions. And if none of those lies work, he is expertly able to convince many that God doesn’t exist at all, so it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks He is like.

If he cannot get those lies believed, then he points an accusing finger at God, that HE is the liar... that sin has no consequences, it is fine for anyone to do whatever they want, believe whatever they want, that truth is relative not absolute ‑ like God.

This liar continually slanders God’s character, making Him some sort of kill‑joy who is not interested in anyone’s well‑being. Or he portrays Him as a sin‑excusing God who looks the other way when people break His laws. The liar convinces people that God does not love anyone or that He is so loving that He will never punish anyone. Or he will cast God as an indifferent, vague creature; a non‑person or only a “force” or a friendly grandfather‑type; or someone with a big club just waiting to hit the unsuspecting with tragedies of all sorts.

God the Son, Jesus Christ, said, “If you know the truth, the truth shall set you free.” The truth is found in the person of Christ and in the gospel, but “if our gospel is hid, it is hid to those who are lost: those whom the god of this world (the liar) has blinded their minds.”

Sadly, when truth is ignored, the only alternative is surrender to lies. Then there is no battle. The enemy wins without so much as a struggle.

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