“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.” John 16:1–3
For every truth there is about God Satan has created a counterfeit. The biblical account of creation has been substituted with the theory of evolution. The biblical sabbath of God has been replaced with worship on Sunday. Christ’s imminent return in power and glory has been replaced by the belief that he will come at some time in the distant future in silence and secrecy. The belief that the Bible is God’s final, unchangeable, authoritative word has been overtaken by the belief that scripture is just another myth with no more authority than the fairy tales.
Another long standing error of belief is the belief that everything thing that happens in the world, and especially every bad thing that happens, happens because it’s the will of God. This belief is institutionalized in our corporate psyche by the categorization of every natural disaster, be they small and localized or of regional or national scale, as “acts of God.” And without exception we label every trial, heart ache and difficulty as such. Even if we don’t use the term, act of God, the fact that we ask the question, “Why is God doing this to me?” or “why is God letting this happen to me?”, tells us that the underlying belief that God’s the author of all our suffering is still in place.
Friends, in this sin filled world, God frequently doesn’t get to have things work according to his will and in harmony with his plans. Most people, all over the world, are all the time making choices that are in tune with only their personal desires and have no reference to God, godliness, or any divine plan. In fact, God’s at work all the time trying to get us to listen to him, to make different choices, and live entirely different lives, and for the most part we’re deaf to his pleas and dead set on doing exactly what we want regardless of the consequences.
But the knowledge that God is there remains and Satan wants to make sure that we continue to misunderstand Him and remain distrustful of Him. By keeping people in ignorance and error it’s easier to lead them to do what he wants them to do.
When it comes to personal choices it seems that the belief that God’s a myth is the most useful lie, but when it comes to national movements it’s appears that the right kind of erroneous belief in God is the most powerful way to get things done.
Jesus has never advocated forcing belief on anyone. Neither has he instructed his people to try to impose his will on the world against its will. Yet Jesus foretells a day when people claiming to serve God will believe that they’re doing God’s will when they kill true disciples of God.
We live in a world at war with God. Satan will use any means he can to keep hearts turned away from God. Jesus warns us of this so that when we experience these different trials we don’t lose faith and hope. The faith of true believers isn’t shaken by hardship and disaster, no matter how horrendous. Our faith is rooted in our loving Savior, and our hope is in a heavenly home and a world made new.