Do you know what October 31st is besides Halloween? Hint: it’s one of the most important days in the history of the Christian church and it affects everything about your life today. Everything!
It was on the 31st of October 1517 that a Catholic monk named Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany. By God’s grace, Luther’s courageous act of challenging corruption and unbiblical heresies launched the Great Reformation. But why is this legacy worth recalling and how does it affect us today?
On Reformation Days – October 31st – most American Christians seem more conscious of Halloween than of the Reformation. It appears that more of the children in our churches are celebrating pagan and dark, grotesque symbols for Halloween than the great spiritual Revival that led to the birth of the Protestant Reformation.
Halloween is celebrated by millions on October 31st each year with costumes and candy. Despite its Christianized name, Halloween stems from an ancient pagan Celtic religion that started nearly two centuries before the birth of Christ. The tribal Druids of Ireland and Europe offered end-of-harvest sacrifices at this beginning of winter to appease a Celtic demon they called Samhain (SOW-in), the lord of death, and of evil spirits. The early Gaelic Celts apparently believed that Samhain sent evil spirits into the world to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. Catholic Christians tried to form an alternative tradition by moving the celebration of “All Hallows’ Day” that celebrated the lives of Christian martyred saints from May to November 1st. So November 1st is referred to as “All Saints’ Day.” In medieval England that Catholic festival was known as All Hallows. The evening before (October 31st) was thus named “All Hallows’ eve” which became Hallow-een.
Reformation Day (October 31) commemorates Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. This one act triggered the Protestant Reformation because Luther’s challenges to the church’s practices were immediately translated and distributed all across Germany in a matter of weeks. The Protestant Reformation was the rediscovery of the doctrine of justification—that is, salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone, like we read in Ephesians 2:8 and 9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one should boast.” It was also the protest against the corruption within the Roman Catholic Church. The century before the Reformation was marked by widespread dissatisfaction with the corruption of the leaders in the Roman Catholic Church and with its false doctrines, biblical illiteracy, and superstition. Monks, priests, bishops, and popes in Rome taught unbiblical doctrines like the selling of indulgences, the treasury of merit, purgatory, and salvation through good works.
All Souls’ Day
All Souls’ Day or the Day of the Dead is normally celebrated, primarily by Roman Catholics, on November 2. This is a day dedicated to prayer and almsgiving in memory of ancestors who have died. People pray for the souls of the dead, in their hopeful belief to hasten their release from purgatory to heaven by being purged and cleansed from their sins.
Treasury of Merit
Spiritually sincere people were taught to redeem themselves by charitable works, pilgrimages, and all kinds of religious rituals. They were persuaded to acquire this “merit,” which was at the disposal of the church, by purchasing “certificates of indulgence.” This left them wondering if they ever did enough or paid enough to appease God’s righteous anger and escape his judgment. That was the popular mindset that prompted Luther’s desire to refocus the church on salvation by grace through faith on account of Christ by imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us.
Think of it. Almost 98% of medieval people couldn’t read. They were spiritually oppressed by indulgences. They had no assurance of God’s grace. Doctor Luther proclaimed the grace of God’s acceptance for true saints.
Instead of the treasury of merit that was for sale, Luther protested, “The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God”
Life in Europe and England (not to mention the rest of the world) has changed drastically since 500 years ago. For both Christians and unbelievers, the time of the early 16th Century when Martin Luther lived was radically different and desperate. It’s obvious that modern technology’s conveniences were absent, but even common things we take for granted like clean water and comfortable housing were unknown.
Think of Productive Prosperity
Western civilization has been blessed with the greatest freedoms, productivity and prosperity ever known in history. The liberty, standards of justice and creativity enjoyed in Western civilization are direct results of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century. Don’t miss why these amazing results occurred.
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught: “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Think of Peace with God.
Martin Luther was passionate about finding peace with God. He studied the Bible so intently that it led him to challenge the unethical fund-raising tactics of the papacy. That’s what ignited the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s love for the Word of God and his dedication to truth led him to challenge the entire ecclesiastical and political authority of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire.
Can we imagine a society without Freedom of Conscience?
Sometimes I think we miss the huge gravity of some things. Luther’s courage to stand against the political and religious might of Europe was one of the most incredible acts of conscientious defiance in the history of the world. He argued for freedom of conscience based upon the authority of Scripture. Until then the fear of man was preeminent. Luther feared God. All religions and cultures on earth bowed to a monarchy, aristocracy and authoritarianism. The formal Roman Catholic institution was corrupt. Luther and the Reformers were convinced that man without God is hopelessly depraved and no human authority could be trusted as absolute. He rejected ecclesiastical totalitarianism and championed the principle of Sola Scriptura – the Bible alone is our ultimate authority.
Education for All
Luther translated the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew into the common tongue. Everybody could now have access to it; both nobles and peasants. Luther championed education and literacy for everyone. He defended the Priesthood of all Believers. And what Revolutionary concept did that one biblical principle lead to?
Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Everyone is under God’s Law. The reformer’s principle of Sola Scriptura broke down ecclesiastical and political totalitarianism. The Protestant emphasis on the Priesthood of all Believers led to the concept of representative government and constitutional authority as the supreme law of the land.
What results from convincing society of the truth of Religious Liberty?
By emphasizing the Biblical doctrine of Faith as a gift of God, Luther undermined the Catholic Inquisition and provided the theological foundations for religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Religious liberty and freedom of conscience led to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association and all the other out-workings of political and social freedom.
The Reformation gave us the Bible – available in our own languages.
Few people today realize that the first Bibles printed in English had to be printed in Germany and smuggled into England in bales of cotton from Holland. The first Bible translator, William Tyndale, was executed by strangulation and his body burned at the stake for the crime of translating the Bible into English. Seven mothers and fathers were burned alive at Coventry for teaching their own children The Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Apostles Creed – in English.
Courage and Sacrifice for Believers today?
The sacrifices made by the Reformers and the far-reaching impact of their courageous application of the Word of God to every area of life, needs to be rediscovered. The Christian Church has made more positive changes on earth than any other force or cause in History.
Blessing the Nations
Most of the languages of the world were developed into a written system by Christian missionaries. More schools and universities have been started by Christians than any other religion, nation or group. Christian Reformers and missionaries have succeeded in bringing about the abolition of slavery, cannibalism, child sacrifice and widow burning. Those countries that enjoy the most civil liberties, are those lands where the Gospel of Christ has penetrated the most.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is life-changing, history making and nation transforming. If it doesn’t change your life and the lives of those around you, then it’s not the Biblical Gospel.
Checks and Balances
The Reformers understood God’s Sovereignty. They courageously proclaimed that Scripture alone is our final authority. Christ alone is the Head of the Church. Justification is by God’s Grace alone, on the basis of the finished work of Christ, received by Faith alone. The Reformers’ teaching on the depravity of man, the New Covenant in Christ, and church government, have influenced positive political and social developments in liberty throughout the Western world and beyond, establishing checks and balances, the separation of powers and constitutional authority.
Faith and Freedom
All of us are beneficiaries of this tremendous movement for Faith and Freedom. If you love liberty, you need to re-examine the history and principles of the Reformation.
The Reformation took the Church out of gross ignorance and spiritual darkness.
Before the Reformation the church had no Bible. And a church without a Bible is as useless as a lighthouse without light, or a car without an engine. The priests and people knew scarcely anything about God’s Word or the way of salvation in Christ.
Now think of this: Our current generation of believers… not to mention the world learning corrupted revisionist history … is in danger of losing the profound legacy of courage that preserved Bible truths that are much forgotten.
The 16th Century was the pivotal generation of martyrs who willingly laid down their lives to preserve the scripture for us. That was providential! Why? Because the truths in the Bible are eternal and essential for communicating the heart of God and regenerating lost souls to gain eternal life.
Deuteronomy 7:9 says: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
The second commandment contains both a severe threat and a most incredibly gracious promise.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in Heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to thousands who love Me and keep My commandments.”
A Solemn Responsibility
Parents have an awesome responsibility. We are to bring up our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) We are to “train a child in the way he should go …” (Proverbs 22:6) According to 1 Timothy 3:4, we are to manage our own family well and see that our children learn to obey with proper respect.
Psalm 78:4-8 tells us to…
“tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done … so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds, but would keep His commands. They would not be … stubborn and rebellious … (like previous generations) whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to Him.”
The Bible tells us to not just raise God-fearing sons, but sons who will become God-fearing fathers, who in turn will raise God-fearing sons to become fathers who will love, honor, trust and obey God. We are to raise disciples who raise disciples so that God’s generational blessing is passed down and the chain unbroken.
I invite you to visit our website www.ReclaimYourLegacy.com and share our resources with your family and friends. And if your church or group would like to have us minister in person, just contact me. I truly trust we can help you and your friends strengthen your life’s purpose and reclaim your legacy.
Martin Luther said:
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God’s Word, except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefront besides is mere flight and disgrace – if he flinches at that point.
Compromise and cowardice hurts everyone It’s short-sighted. The Word of God commands us not to be afraid of any man (Deuteronomy 1:17). We are warned that the fear of man will prove to be a snare (Proverbs 29:25). It is cowardice for us to remain silent when we should speak up. To be passive and inactive when we should fight for what is right. Isaiah 51:12-13 says:
“Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of a son of man, who will be made like grass? You forget the Lord your maker, who stretched out the Heavens and laid the foundations of the earth…”
The Bible tells us that God seeks “Godly offspring…” Malachi 2:15. It is the first priority of parents and teachers to ensure that children are taught to love God and His Word. Secular humanist education is attempting to kill God by eradicating Him from the classroom and from the minds of the next generation. By eliminating the Bible as the basis for all knowledge, humanists are removing the very foundation of truth. They are prohibiting the only objective standard by which reality can be evaluated.
The Bible has a lot to say about avoiding deception and renewing our minds with the purity of truth and righteousness, which is a right standing with our Creator and Savior. In today’s world the person who truly wants to follow Jesus and be led by the Holy Spirit has a great challenge to sort out the influences in his life that can potentially be very dangerous. It takes prayerful work and spiritual discernment to make the best choices.
Listen to the complete program here
It’s no surprise to most adults in our society that a highly sophisticated culture of so-called “elitists” are manipulating many aspects of public perception. You can find some helpful notes about modern day mind-control in articles posted at ReclaimYourLegacy.com where we have brought our attention to the key verse in the Bible, warning believers to be highly alerted to the life-threatening dangers of mind-controlling deceptions that can easily draw us astray from the pathway of pure and undefiled faithfulness to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:8 says:
“Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after
the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.”
John Thomas, of Health Impact News, has done a superb job of researching this battle for our minds and our bodies. His insights for all of us in today’s world give some reasons to take the warning of Colossians 2:8 much more seriously than many of us might have considered before. In today’s program I’ll be quoting much from his article titled – “The Battle for America’s Soul: Ways to Combat Mind Control.” http://healthimpactnews.com/2016/the-battle-for-americas-soul-ways-to-combat-mind-control/
Can a confident and obedient disciple of Jesus ignore some of the Word of God in today’s world and not have their children be led astray?
“therefore my people go into exile (become slaves) for their lack of knowledge.”
“Beware – see to it – that no one takes you captive (makes you a slave) through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
Without God you cannot know anything.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Ro 12:2 KJV
How do you do that? To deliberately stop thinking like the world and be transformed, you must train your mind with the Word of God, right? How else can you prove God’s perfect will?
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”
Romans 8:7 ESV
“do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
James 4:4 ESV
Claiming to be “neutral” is a declaration of hostility to God! Disciples devote themselves to sound doctrine.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”
Luke 6:40 NKJV
Should we be surprised if we send our Christian students to secular trained teachers in either public or private schools that they come home to us with their minds well trained in pagan thinking? Don’t you think their behaviors will follow?
What does your Bible instruct you to do as a believing teacher who influences your children and others around you?
“He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
Titus 1:9 ESV
Jesus made the separation even clearer, saying:
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
No wonder the Apostle Peter strongly insisted that Christians…
“in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”
1 Peter 3:15 ESV
Do you think that ‘being prepared’ requires some careful study and preparation?
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”
2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB
Does that sound like the language of passive, post-modern, sloppy-agape? OR does it sound like a battle plan for warriors who know they are in a deadly conflict that demands training?
The ‘verity’ (truth) of God makes it possible to KNOW things… the profoundness of that truth makes science (scientiae… to know) possible.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (scientiae – VUL): but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
If you reject God and His knowledge, you refuse instruction and are a self proclaimed ‘fool.’ Why? Well, consider one of the most exclusive statements in the Bible:
“..in whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
If the Bible were not true, you could not prove that anything is true. Logic originates from the Creator of senses and incredibly complex DNA information that allows you to process intelligence of any kind. In the beginning was the ‘logos’ and nothing was made without Him.
We all rely on:
- Laws of logic to make thinking possible
- Uniformity of nature and natural laws (i.e. gravity)
- Absolute morality to establish ethical judgments of right and wrong
Mature followers of Christ are Biblically charged with the job of refuting…
- Relativism… “there are no absolutes” – How can you be absolutely certain of that?
- Empiricism… “truth must be observed” – Can you observe that claim?
- Naturalism… only physical reality can somehow cause itself to exist
- Neutrality… when your enemy is determined to eliminate what you know to be true from the discussion, attempting to appeal to neutrality or compromise is admitting defeat and refusing to provide the tools of knowledge of the truth that would allow the Holy Spirit to convict and convince their hearts if God were to give them the gift of repentance (2 Tim 2:25).
The secularist is in self-denial (delusion) and he will deny that he is in self-denial.
“There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”
2 Peter 3:16 ESV
“And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’”
Why are secularists and even most of today’s self-proclaimed Christians blind to the obvious?
If you want to see an excellent presentation about the truth of God’s Word, I highly recommend the following presentation by my friends David Rives and Bruce Malone.
Barna polls recently show 50% of Christians claim they don’t believe the whole Bible is true. So what do they base their faith on?
“If they do not receive Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded even though one rise from the dead.”
Do you believe Jesus spoke the truth? Do you believe the Old Testament Scriptures of the Bible can be trusted to be 100% true?
“And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female…’”
Matt 19:4 (NASB) also Mark 10:6
(note: does the Bible leave the topic of ‘gender’ open for discussion? What happens when those who say they follow Jesus and His truth refuse to stand for the truth when the enemies of truth use intimidation to prevent people from even discussing the truth?)
“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.’”
Matt 22:29 NKJV
“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.”
Luke 16:17 NASB
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”
2 Timothy 2:16 KJV
If a man does not believe that the Bible is true, does his unbelief make the Bible’s Word any less true?
What are we to do to help a man overcome his mistaken belief that the Bible is not entirely trustworthy?
“the Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach… with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition (to themselves), if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth, that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”
2 Timothy 2:24-26 NASB
What does a man lose if he forfeits his belief in the truth of the Word of God?
“..we see that they (Israelites delivered out of Egypt) were not able to enter (Canaan-the promised land) because of unbelief.”
Hebrews 3:19 NASB
What confidence did Jesus have in the Old Testament?
“But if you do not believe his (Moses’) writings how will you believe My words?”
“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Matthew 13:58 KVJ
Remember how Jesus rebuked his disciples about their unbelief when they could not deliver a lunatic man from the demonic power that ruled him.
“O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you?”
Matthew 17:17 NASB
The bitter fruit of Unbelief
Could it be that our present perverted generation is experiencing the woes of a condemned culture for the same reasons that condemned Babylon, Rome or Israel?
Is not the most basic foundation of faith in God the belief of who He is as the Creator and the communicator of His clear Word about the beginning of everything? And how do we come to understand that fact?
“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
Hebrews 11:3 NASB
Notice that understanding comes from faith. That applies to every human no matter what his belief system is built upon. You have to believe in somebody’s words! If you have a choice between man’s words and God’s words, which will you choose?
Is not that same degree of faith required when we come to God in repentance to ask for His mercy and favor?
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who (diligently) seek Him.”
Hebrews 11:6 NASB
Belief in something that is antagonistic to God does not reward you with anything but confusion. Believe in God’s Word. You can trust Him above all others.
Prayerful Education of Christians must begin with parents and pastors to restore a fallen culture.
Is there any doubt that we’re living in “perilous times?”
Proverbs 29:2 says: “When the righteous are increased (or flourish in number and authority), the people rejoice; But when the wicked (man) rules, the people groan.”
Is it any wonder we’re hearing a lot of groaning these days? And it’s not so much because of the ordinary stresses of life really, is it? A lot of our complaining is the direct result of governing over-reach into the private affairs of citizens. Corruption in political government is the infection of every nation or organization that is ruled by self-serving leaders. But the policing part of the public government equation is increasingly necessary only because of the epidemic lack of Godly morality and self control. George Washington, John Adams and others insisted that was absolutely essential for the preservation of our constitutional republic.
Examples of the wretched condition of our ‘modern’ society that has been labeled “post-modern” are filling many books and editorial commentaries today. Corruption in high government has never been more flagrant. Lying openly in courts has made a mockery of the judicial system. Avoiding prosecution because of political status, like so many other nefarious actions, have made plain constitutional laws like ‘due process’ a complete sham. Bribes, stealing donated funds from humanitarian purposes and penalizing producers by taxation to encourage indolence and immoral lifestyles – we are all wearied with groaning.
Most egregious and offensive of all, is the government supported protection of masses of evil doers while making life difficult for peace-loving hard-workers who just want to be able to do good for those they chose. The offenses are vast and well known so we don’t have to labor them here. Isaiah prophesied, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). They most assuredly will get their just judgment. But in the meanwhile, the good people are groaning and injustice is rampant.
What concerns me is that all too many otherwise godly leaders are not courageous enough to speak up and challenge the mixed multitude of people that listen to their influence.
Don’t miss it. The same passage of Isaiah tells us,
“Therefore, my people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst” (Isaiah 5:13).
Whose people? God’s own chosen nation. Do you suppose this could be applied to even His church today?
And where do they go? Into exile… into slavery… into tyranny. Even honorable men are famished. What does that mean? Starving – hungry – lacking life’s ordinary needs. Their multitude is parched with thirst. Sounds like a dry desolate condition, doesn’t it?
Did you see that prophecy starts out with the word “therefore?” That means you have to see the preceding passage to see what’s the cause of this, right?
Now there are a lot of conditions Isaiah lists for why God is unpleased with His people here. But the summary statement in verse 12 is simple enough for any of us to understand and apply today to the family of God, beginning with the leaders. It says:
“but they do not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord, nor do they consider the work of His hands.”
Beginning with the clear Biblical teachings of creation and the flood that the apostle Peter predicted in 2 Peter 3:5-6 would be willfully ignored in the last days, the “deeds of the Lord” are obviously referring to the testimony of what God has actually done in the history of His people and how He has dealt with their enemies.
We’re talking here about education. Nothing is more fundamental to a society of civil humans than education. Whose responsibility is it to educate children? Parents! (See Deuteronomy 6:7) And whose responsibility is it to educate Christian believers? Pastors and Teachers! (See Ephesians 4:12) What happens when parents are lulled into apathy while abdicating their responsibility to the government schools? Is it any wonder that Germany fell to Nazism, France fell to hedonism and Britain fell to so-called liberal modernism? America has fallen to secular humanism! It’s not falling. It HAS fallen. And what is secular humanism? It’s a society where man is the highest authority and God is removed from respect and influence in society at large.
Listen to what Alexis de’Tocqueville wrote about America in 1835 in what is “the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written.”
“There is no country in the whole world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence than in America… America is still the place where the Christian religion has kept the greatest real power over men’s souls; and nothing better demonstrates how useful and natural it is to man, since the country where it now has the widest sway is both the most enlightened and the freest.”
“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other…”
De’ Tocqueville’s book, ‘Democracy in America,’ was required reading in history classes for generations, along with the Federalist Papers and the biographies of founders like Washington and Ben Franklin. Students were well aware of the sacred aspect of American history that helped us see that the Providence of the Creator was personally revered by the humbly influential leaders of the generation that birthed the United States of America.
Another French writer of the time (Gustave de Beaumont) wrote:
“It is a principle of the United States legislature that, to be a good citizen, it is necessary to be religious; and it is a no less well-established rule that, to fulfill one’s duty toward God, it is necessary to be a good citizen…”
Where is that mentality today? Is it hidden from public view? Is there any chance it will be revived in today’s highly divided population of secularists and so-called evangelicals?
Secularism has arguably been allowed to rule supreme because of the very observation you may have heard many times quoted from 18th Century British philosopher, Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (in a letter addressed to Thomas Mercer). You shouldn’t be surprised what he had on his mind when he wrote that… We’ll come back to that later.
But in the providential sense, why are the deceptions of secularism, atheism, and evolutionism so prominent in the thinking of our generation? The brilliant French scientist Blaise Pascal wrote:
“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”
Oh yes… did we forget? Paul prophesied what happens when men refuse the gift of the love of the truth.
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
What is that strong delusion?
Depending on your situation it can manifest in endless ways. But, for sure, the society-wide deception of secularism – that hates accountability and divine judgment – is profoundly destructive to God-consciousness. You can easily see why those who have given their allegiance to the Evil One are so brazenly ambitious in eliminating the grace and forgiveness of the gospel of Christ from society.
Enemies. You can’t read much of Psalms without recognizing that God and His people have real flesh and blood enemies. Here’s where it gets a little confusing. Aren’t we supposed to pray for them? Well, if we exercise the discernment that only comes from seeking God’s wisdom and knowledge by reading and studying His Word, then we will know how to pray rightly. What many miss is that sometimes God’s people need to pray not only for personal wisdom but God’s judgmental intervention against those who are actively working to destroy God’s heritage.
Almost ten percent of the Psalms of the Bible (14 of 150) are “Imprecatory Psalms” (Psalms 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, 140)