The War against Marriage, Part 2 of 4

An overview of Part 1, Adam and Eve 

  • God instituted marriage with Adam and Eve, the first couple.  They lived in unity with God in the Garden of Eden.  It was God’s plan to test their love and loyalty.  He allowed the serpent to test their obedience.  They fell into the trap, disobeyed God and Adam lost his position as ruler over God’s creation.  The devil, Satan, became ruler of the world.   
  • Genesis 3 explains how the world was divided into two opposing kingdoms.  One is the Kingdom of Light with God as its Ruler.  The opposing kingdom of darkness has Satan as its ruler.

Jesus affirmed the kingdom of Satan 

  • After Jesus fasted 40 days in the desert, He was tempted by the devil.  Satan took Him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour.  He promised Jesus, ‘All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.’ 1  Of course Jesus refused, but He did not call the devil a liar when he claimed that the kingdoms of the world belong to him.  
  • Jesus also called Satan, the prince of this world. 2
  • 1 John 5:19b declares, ‘…the whole world is under the control of the evil one.’  
  • Jesus drove out a deaf and dumb spirit in a man.   The Pharisees accused Him that He did it by Beelzebub, the prince of demons.  It was an extremely crass insult.  Jesus’ answer was, ‘If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against Himself.  How then can his kingdomstand?’  Jesus added, ‘But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.’
  • It is logical that Jesus would affirm Satan’s rule over the world.  He, Jesus, is the Messiah who would in time crush the head of Satan.
  • Because the world is under the control of Satan, he has the ‘weapons’ of the world at his disposal, to oppose God.  They include the money, law, education, media and entertainment systems and other things of the world.  He uses them to spread lies about God and the Bible.  
  • Satan’s message to people is very enticing: do what you want and live as you like.  That means you don’t bother about God and His plans for an eternal Kingdom.  So disobedience to God’s Word and lawlessness is the main characteristic of the people of the world.  1 John 2:16 tells us, ‘For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does, comes not from the Father, but from the world.‘  
  • The ‘world’ is those people who are not interested in God’s way of holiness.  They refuse to be under God’s Lordship.  They take after their leader, Satan, who did not want to submit to God’s authority.  He rebelled against God and lost his place in heaven.  
  • Adam and Eve’s eldest son, Cain, killed his brother for no good reason.  He refused God’s advice.  He moved away from God. 4  That is the blueprint for the world – hatred against God’s people, for no reason at all.    

Jesus affirmed the hatred of the world against God’s people

  • Jesus taught us about the hostility of the world, ‘If the world [read people who are under the influence of Satan] hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.’ 5  We have to understand:  
  • The two kingdoms are irreconcilable.  They are at war with each other.   There can never be peace and any agreement between the two – no harmony, no common ground.  
  • 1 John 2:15-18 says the follower of Christ is not to love the world.   James 4:4  is even more blunt, ‘You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God?’  

Jesus secured the victory of the Kingdom of Light  

The two kingdoms have two different eternal destinations.  That is why it is so important to know to which kingdom one belongs.  

  • God’s people will be with Him eternally,  ‘Then I saw a new heaven and earth….   And I heard a loud voice saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.   They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.’ 6
  • People of the world who remained in Satan’s kingdom, will share the place he goes to,  ’And the devil who deceived them [the nations], was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur…they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever….  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.’ 7 
  • When Satan rebelled against God, he was provisionally sentenced to eternal hell.  He does his best to keep that knowledge away from people.  He fights against the Bible that reveals his eternal destination.  If people of the world realise what their end will be, they will immediately discern the devil’s agenda and know what to do: run to Jesus.  

Jesus wants people saved, Satan doesn’t want them saved 

  • God’s purpose:
    • ‘…God our Saviour…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’ 8  
    • “The King [Jesus] will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.'” 9 
  • Satan’s purpose:

He has a single goal.  It is to make sure as many people as possible inherit the same hell he is condemned to, “Then He [Jesus] will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’….” 10  

To be continued…. 

References

  1. Matthew 4:8-9  
  2. John 12:31;14:30; 16:11  
  3. Matthew 12:24-28  
  4. Genesis 4:1-16  
  5. John 15:18-19  
  6. Revelation 21:1-3  
  7. Revelation 20:10,15  
  8. 1 Timothy 2:3  
  9. Matthew 25:34  
  10. Matthew 25:41

The narrow road leads to the broad expanses of God’s Kingdom

If there is one thing that a follower of Jesus should remember, it is that He never promised us an easy Narrow roadlife. He said, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ 1  That means that I need to choose whether I am willing to follow in His footsteps.’ 2

 

Followers of Jesus are often worn down by the constant bombardment of anti-God propaganda from evolution, atheism, wrong theology and self indulgence. The Christian life has become a veritable minefield. In church, where the followers of Christ are supposed to find rest for their weary souls, the devil lurks behind the pew. He is ready to pounce on the unsuspecting laity. The number of preachers and theologians who still ardently believe the Gospel and the plan of God, is shrinking daily. What is God’s plan?

 

# 1. This earth is only temporary. It is where God sifts the citizens for ‘the new heavens and the new earth.’ 3 Earth will be God’s headquarters in the age to come.

 

# 2. The message of the Bible is to get us from here (on the present earth) to there (the new heavens and earth). The Old Testament proved that people cannot obey God. From Adam and Eve to the Israelite nation, it was one failure after the other. God knew it in advance, and that is where Jesus fits in. Jesus wipes our ‘criminal’ record clean. That prepares the way for the Holy Spirit to live inside us. He teaches and helps us to listen to God (through Scripture) and obey Him.

 

# 3. In this life we decide our eternal destination. If we live as if there is no God, we continue under this system where ‘the whole world is under the control of the evil one.’ 4 That will cause us to land in ‘the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ 5 We need to choose God, submit ourselves to Him and accept His plan to save us from that terrible future.

 

# 4. The concrete principle. What we are here, we will be there. One cannot merely accept Jesus and your ticket to heaven is punched. Jesus taught “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say [through the Holy Spirit]?” 6 Obedience is equal to love for God. 7

 

Why is the road for a follower of Jesus ‘narrow?’ Because what is waiting is far more than we can ever imagine or dream of. God wants to make sure that we will be loyal for all eternity; that nobody will attempt to usurp His throne there. He wants us to persevere, so ‘do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.’ Glorious times are coming!

 

References

  1. Luke 9:23
  2. Luke 22:42b
  3. Revelation 21:1, Isaiah 66:22
  4. 1 John 5:19b
  5. Matthew 25:41
  6. Luke 6:46
  7. Hebrew 10:35
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