Post date: Dec 07, 2016 6:28:23 PM
Apr 10, 2011 by Buddy Hanson
What We Really Ought to Know
Mark Twain once said, “It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” In raising awareness of this timeless truth, Twain may not have realized that he was also raising awareness of one of Satan’s most effective tactics to delay his final defeat.
Before revealing this most effective tactic, let’s take a brief walk in his shoes and look at the world through his ancient eyes. As God’s former top angel, he is literally older than dirt because he was created before the earth. He also heard first hand of how God planned to defeat him: when Jehovah explained the consequences of sin to Adam and Eve, Satan was there. Adam and Eve’s descendants (you and I) were promised that they would face various challenging trials and tribulations throughout life, like a painful injury to our “heel,” but Christ’s perfect life, His death to pay our sin debt, and His victory over death, means that our faithful and consistent obedience will enable us to deliver a death blow to Satan’s “head.” (Genesis 3.15)
What We Should Be Doing
What this means is that Satan knows he will sooner or later be defeated. He can’t stop it, so he is doing everything he can to delay it. What he apparently doesn’t know is that there is nothing he can do to delay it. God’s eternally perfect plan for His creation is now, has always been, and will always be exactly on schedule. As I explain in Non-Christians are Cogs in God’s Wheel for the Earth; Christians are His Hub: We Win, They Lose, there is nothing Satan can do to delay his defeat. What he can do, and what he has done on many occasions, is to cause various civilizations to disobey God until they fill up His cup of wrath and He punishes them in an effort to bring them to repentance. The chronicles of history prove that those who refuse to repent are eventually destroyed. (Galatians 6.7)
American Christians tend to believe that the continuing unraveling of our Christian heritage means that Jesus’ return and the end of the world are near. However, what may very well be the case is that we are coming close to filling His cup of judgment against us and are about to be destroyed, as God removes His light from us to another country to complete His victory over Satan. So, instead of being obsessed with when Jesus is going to return (which the Bible nowhere explains), we should be obsessed with doing what we can to bring about God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6.10) (which the Bible systematically explains from cover to cover).
The question is not when Jesus will make His triumphant return, but what we will be doing when He returns.
Making Disciples of all Nations
If he finds us disobediently keeping His counsel inside our homes and churches, while awaiting Him to complete the victory he won over Satan in the desert (Matthew 4.1-11), He is going to be most unhappy with us. On the other hand, if he finds us doing our best to incorporate the truths we profess to believe into our everyday decision-making, He is going to be very pleased.
Since God’s Word assures us that we are members of His victorious A-Team, and further that this is the only “team” He has, we must examine what can we do to keep from filling up His “cup of wrath” against us. (Revelation 14.10; 16.19) The obvious answer is to conform our lifestyles to His revealed ethics. (Romans 12.1-2) But in order to do that, we have to be careful that our well-intentioned obedience is not based upon misleading, or outright false information about His Word.
This short essay is the Introduction to my forthcoming book, God’s Timeless Prescriptions for Cultural Issues. (For more information click here.) In it I deal with what I call “Cultural Blinders.” If you read it, you should not be surprised to encounter several cultural blinders that you have unwittingly bought into. When that happens, you can respond with unchristian pride and dismiss it, or you can praise God that it has been brought to your attention, and ask forgiveness for unintentionally bringing dishonor to His name.
And you will be able to find forgiveness. As Jehovah promises, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7.14.