Image by: Stolz, Gary M – USFWS and courtesy of We For Animals located at www.weforanimals.com
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. --- 1 John 2:15-17
This morning was a very beautiful morning for a walk at 6 AM – bright sunrise – temperature about 63 degrees after yesterday’s high of 91 degrees!
I’m always in the observing and listening mode as I walk along in addition to being in conversation with my Lord.
Often I see deer and listen to the birds – and at times the staccato sounds of woodpeckers who seem to compete as to who can peck the loudest on dead tree trunks.
Today was different for 2 reasons – a young black bear (about 175 lbs. or so) came out on the road ahead of me and walked up the road just ahead of me by about 50 yards or less. He stopped momentarily by a curve in the road and then went into the woods as a car came around the turn toward him.
But the other thing that caught my attention were two toads on the road – both very flat due to being in the direct path of vehicle wheels! These tragic happenings likely happened during the night. Neither of these very flattened creatures were on the road yesterday when I walked.
So it probably was only a few hours before that they had been sitting comfortably on the road surface. The surface had been warmed by yesterday’s 90 degree heat wave. But toads are not at all sensitive to the hazards of moving traffic which has increased on our road due to a detour now in effect. In fact, they are quite indifferent to the hazards of moving on to a highway and find it very easy to settle down on a warm road surface!
We humans sometimes don't do a whole lot better since we can allow ourselves to become desensitized to the hazards of a very deadly world spirit which focuses on self, money and pleasure – see 2 Timothy 3. This thing is like a plague and we become infected very quickly and without much resistance -- that is, unless we have properly prepared our spiritual immune system through disciplines initiated by the Holy Spirit.
But far worse and much more sinister is a malicious spirit which exerts extensive influence within professing Christian circles through denials of the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit in the holy Scriptures!
One warning of such things is given by the apostle Peter in his writings:
But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man's voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, to whom the gloom of darkness is reserved forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through licentiousness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire." 2 Peter 2:12-22
The denials are seen in saying such things as:
- many, if not all, miracles reported in Scripture did not really take place as stated – there is always a “natural” explanation for these events!
- Adam and Eve are mythological characters – one of many attempts to try to explain origins – we really evolved from lower life forms through millions of years of time!
- Jesus Christ had a human father as do we – He spoke of noble things and set an example that we ought to try to imitate and that’s about it – He really wasn’t resurrected from the dead and most certainly isn’t going to return to earth again!
- we need to forget about going to other countries with the intent of converting those people to Christianity (the mandate as given by Jesus in Matthew 28) – rather, we need to “dialog” with those of other religions and learn from them, while never insisting that Christianity is the only way, etc!
- that God’s boundaries regarding sexual morality have been realigned and what was formally condemned by way of sexual behavior no longer is! The new convoluted interpretations take you on a wild ride with “wolves in sheep’s clothing” now declaring that God is giving new revelation and insight how we relate sexually to others!
There are a lot of hazards out there, folks – both outside the church as well as inside the church. So watch it or you’ll end up in a worse condition than a toad ¼ inch thick on the road, splattered guts, brains and all!
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. --- Galatians 1:6-9