In This Issue:
Have You Been Seduced?
Vexed by Ungodliness
Keeping A Distance from Temptations
Volume: 801 March 15, 2021
Have You Been Seduced?
Many of the problems early churches faced are very much a concern today. Those ministries had to deal with many that departed from the faith and followed “seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (Timothy 4:1). Being this is the “latter times” Paul spoke of, this problem is very real today.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” I Timothy 4:1
People, then and now claim to be Christians. They may be; they may not be. At first, many make a profession of salvation and start doing something for the Lord. Too often it is not long, before they are nowhere to be found.
Why did they wander away from trying to live for the Lord? They may not have been saved and were only going through “religious” motions. If they were truly saved, they are still children of God, but they may have been “seduced” by demonic spirits.
Perhaps those spirits caused their feelings to be hurt or offended their pride. People may have faced an overwhelming temptation and succumbed to it. There are thousands of ways a person can be trapped into running in the opposite direction of obeying God.
Satan and his devils cannot get anyone unsaved. Still, they certainly can make sure one’s testimony is so destroyed that they are of little use for the cause of Christ. That is one of Satan’s goals, and unfortunately millions have succumbed to his trickery.
None of the reasons a saved person gives for not serving the Lord are legitimate. Nowhere in the Bible is there any reason one should stop living for and obeying God’s commandments. All rationales for not doing what a Christian should are not of God!
“Well, you don’t understand. So-and-so in church said mean things to me, so I’ll not go anymore.” You have been seduced, and a non-holy spirit knew where your weak point was.
“That preacher just doesn’t feed me anymore, so I’m out of there!” You have been seduced, and the wrong spirits are giggling because they “got another one.”
“I’m not reading my Bible anymore. I just don’t get anything out of it.” A deceiving spirit has seduced you.
“If I live like a Christian, everyone will laugh at me.” You have been seduced.
As Ephesians 6 reminds us, there is a spiritual war going on. Satan and his devils try their hardest to seek one “whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). Be wary in the raging spiritual battle and purpose to always do the will of God — no matter the temptations.
Vexed by Ungodliness
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13
When given a choice by his Uncle Abraham, Lot chose the choicest of lands to raise his cattle and family (Gen. 13:8-11). He left Abraham (named Abram at the time) the less appealing land and kept the “best” real estate for himself.
Lot’s selfish pick may have appeared to be the best choice. There was, however, one important matter the nephew did not consider when picking where he would live. He did not contemplate what his soon-to-be neighbors would be like. The places he lived near were the twin cities: Sodom and Gomorrah. Those cities were known for their rampant sin, particularly homosexuality. It was there that the righteous man, Lot, chose to live.
It was not long before he was involved in the city’s government (Gen. 19:1, 9). He was not only living among wickedness, but he was involved in the choices made to help the community be managed. Shortly, his constant exposure to godlessness and sin affected Lot. The Bible says that he was “… vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked… in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;” (II Peter 2:7-8). The part of Lot that wanted to live and please the Lord was “irritated, harassed, teased, and disturbed” by the lifestyle he allowed himself and his family to be exposed.
As a Christian, we usually cannot live on top of a mountain, away from the world and all sin. Most of the time, we have to live around iniquity. It is seen in the workplace, heard on the television, and we can be exposed to its consequences and involvement wherever we go.
However, if we are not wary of it and do all we can to limit our exposure to iniquity, we too will be “vexed” by sin. It will wear on us, and if we are not careful, evilness will be commonplace to us. Seeing or hearing sin will not bother us like it did previously. The spiritual part of us will be desensitized to sin’s evilness. If we are not careful, we will be involved in it and think it is normal because “everyone is doing it.”
Despite what the unsaved world is doing, sin is and always will be wrong. The only protection from being desensitized or involved in it is to do one’s best to avoid it. If you are vexed (troubled or bothered) by filthy language on television, there may be some channels you should never watch again, or you may have to stop watching the “hellevision” altogether.
Filthy words creeping into your language? Maybe there are some influencing foul-mouths you should no longer listen to or associate. Seeing things your eyes should not be seeing on the Internet? Limit where you browse, or maybe you will have to stay off the Internet. Dirty images you have already viewed plaguing your thought-life? Avoid further looks and recite Scripture verses, particularly about what you are thinking. It is difficult to have the clean Word of God and filthiness in your thought-life at the same time. The sinful thoughts will flee!
The key to keeping a holy, unsoiled life and testimony for the Lord is to separate (II Cor. 6:17) from the world’s ungodliness. It is possible to remain undefiled in this ever-increasing, sinful world. If we purpose in our hearts to not be defiled by ungodliness in this world, the Lord will do His part to help us. He will give the believer “a way to escape” sin’s vexing grasp if the believer desires it!
“If you can get along with the world, then you are out of step with God!” — Dr. Harold Sightler
Keeping A Distance from Temptations
“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Psalm 101:2
Successful people often reveal how they got so many achievements and victories. David did that in Psalm 101. He accomplished what he did, not only because of his wealth and powerful position. David attained so much because he behaved himself “wisely in a perfect way” (Psalm 101:2).
In this Scripture, “perfect” was not referring to sinlessness. “Perfect” in this context means “moral, upright, sincere, undefiled.” Although he fell spiritually several times, the leader of Israel tried his best to live the way that was pleasing to the Lord.
David revealed several ways he kept from spiritually falling even more than he did.
- He protected his eyes from seeing the wrong things (Psalm 101:3). Israel’s leader may not have had the amount of pornographic temptations that awaits to snag wandering eyes today. Still, he had to divert his vision not to see things that would also lure him into sin. If David had a television in his day, there would have been many programs he would not have watched.
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:…” (Psalm 101:3)
- He avoided those that were lazy and did not work (Psalm 101:3).
“… I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psalm 101:3
- He would not allow himself to be self-willed and unreasonable (“froward”) — Psalm 101:4.
- He avoided those doing wickedness (Psalm 101:4).
- He kept from those that talked ill of other people (Psalm 101:5).
- He kept from those that were prideful (Psalm 101:5).
- He surrounded himself with others that also worked or tried to live the “perfect way.” (Psalm 101:6)
- He kept his distance from deceivers (Psalm 101:7).
- He avoided liars (Psalm 101:7).
- He did all he could to stomp out wickedness in the lands he controlled (Psalm 101:8).
Although this Psalm was written over 3,000 years ago, every behavior that David did to protect himself from falling into sin would help people today. Temptations surround every single one of us. We will also be inclined to sin if we do not separate ourselves from those destroyers of our testimony and joy. Avoid wrong influences, or you too will succumb to sinful behaviors and evil temptations.
“The reason the world is not seeing Jesus is that Christian people are not filled with Jesus. They are satisfied with attending meetings weekly, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying sometimes. It is an awful thing to see people who profess to be Christian who are lifeless, powerless, and in a place where their lives are so parallel to unbelievers lives it is difficult to tell which place they are in, whether in the flesh or the Spirit.” — Smith Wigglesworth