Evil is even in Church. This was proven, just the other day, in Charleston, SC, when a “very deranged fellow” killed nine people while attending Bible Study. Most of us think of Church as a “safe-haven,” with people who are FREE-of-SIN, in attendance. Not so, of course. If everyone was “sin-free,” then we would have no need for anyone to go to Church…. They’re would be “no use” for Churches. Churches would be out of business. Maybe even, all that “church ‘exempt’ property” would be on the tax-rolls. Think what that would do to the Charlotte, NC area. I remember, 50 years ago, that Charlotte was known as the “City of 1000 Churches.” ………But, none of “that stuff” is my real point.
My “real point” is that EVIL is EVERYWHERE? Have you ever noticed how some people even wear “provocative-clothing,” even in Church? Some must think they are on the beach. Consider this: satan is the god (little “g”) of the world, as we know it today. The “evil one is in charge.” We, in America, particularly, and in the world, in general…simply have “no limits,” on what we think, and do, is acceptable. There are “so many people” who think God is a “joke.” God is not “in.” God is “old-fashioned.” On and on. And you know what? They’re 100 % correct. And the reason it “is so,” is because WE have “made it so.”
We have “kicked God out” of America’s board-rooms, hospitals, court-rooms, schools, and sadly…. and, our own Homes. Why… I know some “ministers-of-the-cloth” who don’t even bother to say the “blessing” before meals while in public. If they’re afraid of “offending” the general public… that what is expected of us… the common guy?
Well, if you are at all interested in God, even remotely, then consider this: God gave us a “very precious gift.” This gift is known as “free-will.” You know…. The same gift that got Adam and Eve in so much “trouble,” and each of us… as well. But, it is also the “same” gift that is “going to save us.” We have POWER over satan. We have the ability, the power, the privilege, the opportunity, and the “gift” to say NO…NO…NO. We can say “no” to evil, and therefore… “No to satan.” Why don’t we use it? Because… satan has his “grip” on us, and he won’t let go, and we, seemingly, enjoy the evilness in our lives, such, that we don’t seem to care. It’s called “living-in-darkness.”
We all have a “weapon” that is available to us… call will-power. This is the same POWER that we use, when we “diet,” or when we fulfill “commitments.” Four months ago, in a period of 60 days, I lost 30 pounds of “fat.” So, for two months, since, I’ve been returning to a semi-normal diet, but retaining my commitment to exercise, walking, and “no-sweets, except on Sunday. In order to do this… I NEED to exercise this “same will-power,” that one would need to say “no to the evil-one.” If I can say “no” to the SWEETS, etc., then I can say NO to the evil one. When I remind myself of all the “agony” that I went through to lose those 30 pounds; I’ll be darn if I’m going to “give-in.” Those SWEETS represent the “evil-one” to me. In fact… they are evil.
In a “very real sense,” the EVIL-one had a “serious-hold” on me, some years ago, and I broke the “chain-of-sin” one day, while emerging from Church. And, I’ve not returned to his “game of evil” since. This is not to say, that I’m “free of sin,” but it does say that I’m “free of serious sin.” The kind of SIN that will send you to HELL. I did it with the “same courage and commitment” that I use when DIETING. And, if I can do it… so can anyone….so can you.
2 Corinthians 2:9 tells us: “No eye has seen, no ear had heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” When you find yourself thinking about the short-term pleasure of a temptation, and forgetting the long-term pain, remember that God has something better planned for you. In Psalm 4:7, it says that God had filled David with greater joy, than when others grain and new wine abound.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “… the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give into it.” In this verse, God tells us how to overcome temptation! First of all, trust God …temptation is normal! Secondly, trust God … the Holy Spirit will give us the ability to withstand temptation! Finally, trust God … He will give us a “way out”.
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