The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 121

“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness” (2 Tim 2:19).

The great arch-enemy of God, Satan (literally meaning adversary), the one whom Jesus describes as “the deceiver from the beginning” and “a liar and thief”, wages a relentless and cunning battle against all who would follow Jesus. He is continually opposed to the gospel, as we see throughout the Lord’s ministry. He worked through Jesus’ followers, as when Peter rejected the thought of Jesus going to the cross. He worked through the enemies of Jesus when they accused Jesus of deriving his power from the devil. He put into the heart of Judas the plot to betray Jesus. And he works actively in the Church continuing to tempt men today! No wonder Peter warns that he “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” and exhorts his readers to resist him “standing firm in your faith” (1 Pe.5: 8, 9).

Paul instructs “give no opportunity to the devil” (Eph 4:27), implying that the believer who puts on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6: 11, 13) will be able to resist anything the evil one does. Paul encourages us to trust in God’s faithfulness to deliver us when temptation comes (1 Cor. 10:13). But he also reminds us we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Cor.2:12).

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. It is not surprising therefore that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (2 Cor.11:14, 15). Paul calls them “false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ” (v.13). Keeping in mind that the word apostle means ‘sent one’ these are people who purport to bring the true gospel of repentance and faith in Christ, but in fact bring a perverted gospel. They are not sent by Christ but by the evil one.

Gospel perversion assumes many forms. The most cunning of them is the perversion about ‘grace and liberty in Christ’, whereby it is offensive to speak out about sin! Grace is misrepresented to imply that sin is no longer abhorrent to God because ‘Christ died for sinners’. The logical conclusion is that God only winks at sin! Watch out for the devilish deception: ‘sin is okay because Jesus died for me’. God cannot be mocked. Repentance is not a one-off act at conversion, but a continuing lifestyle of turning away from sin. It is this lifestyle which is the real evidence of one’s faith for salvation. Grace does not permit compromise!

CS Lewis in his book The Great Divorce says “It is still ‘either-or’. If we insist on keeping hell (or even earth) we shall not see heaven; if we accept heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of hell”.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues