Saturday, June 21, 2008

Small Print…Big Consequences


I was watching a television commercial the other night and the thought occurred to me how similar this world is to a television commercial. I was thinking specifically about the image that the commercial producers want you to see versus the information that they don’t want you to focus on. I have a tendency to focus on the small print that appears on most TV commercials just to be humored by the true costs, disclaimers and other very pertinent negative pieces of information that accompanies the “glitzy” and “eye-catching” product that usually draws many people to the stores. You should try it once. You might find that when you do, the product doesn’t seem as attractive any longer.

The Bible states very clearly that for His purposes, God has given control of this world over to Satan (but only for a time): Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4) You might think of Satan as the producer of much of what passes for “normalcy” in our world today. What we as people “see” are the things that may seem really appealing, but which have small print screaming about big consequencies. Let's look at a few examples –

· The young children having sex with each other sees the commercial of physical gratification; the small print however says pregnancy, AIDS, emotional baggage etc.

· The husband cheating on his wife sees fun, physical gratififcation; the small print says estrangement from your children, betrayal of your wife, financial ruin etc.

· The executives of the major corporation who bends the rules somewhat sees untold wealth, more power, personal comfort; the small print says prison time, guilt, public embarrassment

· The young couple sees the purchase of that “dream home”; the small print says beware of job loss, a major illness, other household expenses

These are but a few of the many crossroads of life that come with a splashy commercial as well as very pertinent small print. Satan’s plan oftentimes is for us to ignore the small print – just like the advertisers. They are applicable; they are usually there; but they are oftentimes not seen.

To use a juxtaposition: Satan himself is perhaps the biggest small print in human history. He reduces himself to the small print of life, by getting the people of this world to ignore him altogether. Doesn’t church or the other things of God seem really boring? Or perhaps lunacy? Stay clear of these old fashioned and hypocritical notions. Live your life “to the fullest”. Have fun! Why even entertain the notion of Satan? Certain readers of this post will scoff at the notion of his existence and wonder about my sanity for spending time even writing about it. But the one place where Satan gets big print attention is in the Bible. To God, Satan is no small print matter: Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years; When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them. Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20: 1-2 & 7-10) These passages detail the eventual demise that is planned by God for Satan. As you can see, this is no small print matter. Notice however the word ‘deceive’. Even after being locked up for over 1,000 years, when he is set free, Satan’s work continues to be deception. And unfortunately, how successful he has been at that job.

Have you ever been deceived by someone? A spouse? A family member? A personal friend? Think of how devastating it was when you finally discovered the truth. After it was too late to alter the course of the deception? Satan’s biggest goal is to deceive men and women such that their ultimate destination will be the same as his. Remember the ending of this scripture: Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The 'them' in this passage refers to these people and all the peoples before them who would have been deceived by Satan’s small print on life. My prayer is that someone reading this post will see the opportunity to learn about Satan's deception of their life, and alter the course of that deception before their ending predicted in the previous sentence.

If you are reading this post, and you have gotten this far without clicking away from the page, you have an opportunity to be aware of the deception; be aware of Satan’s small print with big consequences. I encourage you do click here to read Revelation Chapter 20; then click here to read Revelation Chapter 19.

The Bible is very clear: every living human being will end up in one of these two chapters. Will you end up in Chapter 19 or Chapter 20? To avoid Chapter 20 simply read and ask God for understanding of the following scriptures: Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children… (Acts2: 38-39); For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:7-11); “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)

2 comments:

Lisa Shaw said...

I appreciate the Holy Spirit for using you to write this post to encourage non believers and believers of the deception of the enemy. I will post this message on one of my blogs for others to come and read and be encouraged and where necessary changed.

In times like this we need to hear and read more messages like this than any of the "feel good" Christian messages that won't help people to stand in these end times for however long it is until the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with all His might and glory!!

I love and appreciate you.
Your wife, friend and servant of the Lord and one another.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.

A God who sends people to Hell?