Published May 6, 2014

Paul's Epistle...

Here's a guest column I came across which pretty well sums up the kinds of things we're seeing in the world today. And it makes a good point about how Christians should respond.

- Paul

"Living In An Evil World"
By Bill Ellis

Most every magazine or newspaper I read tells of another attack on the Christian faith — on those who believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Many are convinced that our world, and specifically our nation, is becoming more evil with each passing day.

Our society is filled with fear, anxiety, depression and angst. Millions are terrified, angry, worried and approaching wits end.

In the midst of uncertainty and confusion, there is an explanation and an answer to the questions that are the most baffling. Franklin Graham writing about present day attacks on religion says, "I believe we are facing the greatest threat to religious liberty in our lifetime. These events are just some of the most recent signs of the growing war on people of faith, especially Christians who believe that the Bible is God's Word and that Jesus Christ alone is Lord" (Decision, March, 2012).

What is called sin in the Bible [and was] normally called sin in society and certainly reckoned as sin in most churches a few years ago, is now at best purported to be some kind of illness, psychological maladjustment or a religious option. As a nation, we are drifting and losing our way.

Charles Colson, acquainted with the ravages of sin and Satan, was quoted in the Graham article as saying, "Our founding fathers — even those who weren't Christians — believed, as I do, that without freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, all of our other freedoms aren't worth the paper they are written on. If government can dictate what we may or may not believe, or how we may or may not live out our beliefs, then we are no longer a free people."

Many do not take the idea of Satan seriously. At the end of chapter two in Genesis, God had completed His creation. Chapter three deals with the temptation and fall of man. Since that day, Satan has done his evil best to destroy what God created and called "good." Of Satan, Jess C. Moody, said, "The devil is the top hidden persuader — the master of subliminal motivation." He continues to manipulate the minds of men until they can no longer think rationally or act responsibly.

English writer, Malcolm Muggeridge, with whom I enjoyed conversation, wrote about Satan and his attacks on every human being, no exceptions. "I have found the devil easier to believe in than God; for one thing, alas, I have had more to do with him. It seems to me quite extraordinary that anyone should have failed to notice, especially during the last half century, a diabolic presence in the world, pulling downwards as gravity does instead of pressing upwards as trees and plants do when they ... reach so resolutely after the light." It was good for Muggeridge that he found forgiveness through Jesus Christ who was also attacked by Satan.

Matthew, a tax collector who was aware of the deceit and cheating of his day, whose life was dramatically changed and turned around so he was finally headed in the right direction, wrote about the confrontation between Satan and Jesus, the Christ.

In eleven verses [he tells] the exciting story of Satan tempting Jesus in every conceivable way. Jesus, however, because He knew and believed the Word of God, always had a more convincing argument than Satan could present. Finally, Jesus said, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.' Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him" (Matthew 4:10-11).

How did Jesus overcome Satan? If you want to know how to overcome the Devil every time he tempts you, obey the words of Psalm 119:11. It is a guaranteed defense against the Devil.

Psalm 119:11: "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You."
Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books. He is also a widely known motivational speaker and pulpit guest. His column is provided through ASSIST News Service. Used by permission.

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