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The Simplicity Series #9

Spiritual Rebellion and a Hate-Filled Generation

 
 “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will
rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” MAT 24:10-12
 
The Viciousness of Victimhood
 
The “offense” that offends so many is clearly the cross of Christ (MAT 24:9). With the rejection of the crucifixion of Christ as the only hope of redemption, mankind looks for solutions more palatable to human nature. Rejecting the accountability of personal decision-making, the natural man finds it more convenient to claim “victimhood,” and to protest that “life is not fair.” Desperately seeking to evade personal responsibility, more and more “offenses” are identified, with each new claim of being victimized by cruel fate designed to create sympathy for the victim. All the while, the victim becomes ever more hate-filled, bullying others by tagging them with abusive titles in a bid to dominate them and control their conduct in a manner that pacifies the “victim.” So called “political correctness” is nothing more than a modern title for this vomit of self-absorbed souls bent on imposing their will on everyone around them.
 
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
 
The climate of a victim mentality provides fertile soil for false teachers to proliferate. They “sympathize” with mock compassion, catering to the whining of the hard-done-by crowd. These “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (MAT 7:15) speak in simpering tones as they water down the strict demands of the Gospel message. They take the gracious, but absolute, statement by Jesus that He alone is the only way (JOH 14:6) as an affront to “diversity” in the varied needs of mankind. His standards of discipleship, the call to “count the cost” (LUK 14:26-33), is far too heavy a burden, so they think, to impose on the poor, wounded souls they claim to care for. However, the false prophet is in it for nothing but himself, and thus they take advantage of the very ones they deceive (2PE 2:1-3; 1TH 2:4-5).
 
The Guilt of Gullibility
 
Jesus sternly commanded the disciples, “take heed how you hear” (LUK 8:18). The point is that we are accountable for what we choose to hear and believe. In other words, no one is deceived without participating in their own deception. This is especially true of a believer, who has the truth-telling Spirit of God within. No child of God, who habitually walks by the Spirit (GAL 5:16) can be led astray by false doctrine (2PE 3:17-18). To be gullible and ripe for deception, one has already chosen the path of arrogance over humility—the pre-occupation with self over the Savior.
 
The Fish Rots from the Head
 
Lawlessness in a people is the inevitable consequence of the abuse of power and unaccountable, self-serving conduct of national leaders. The French revolution is a frightening example of what happens when a people are oppressed by a ruling class that live in opulence and open disregard for the laws they impose on “the dirt people.” Our own legislators are guilty of crimes against God and man for the onerous laws they pass, all the while exempting themselves from the legal burdens they pile on the shoulders of the common man.
 
When leaders are lawless, it will not be long before the people follow suit. When those in leadership repeatedly commit open crimes without ever being held to account, the un-anchored soul will quickly follow their example. The idea that seems prevalent that “laws are for the little people” will, in time, generate a growing hatred for the leaders and result in lawless revolt by the common crowd.
 
Love Grown Cold is Hatred
 
The end result is a society seething with suppressed rage, looking for an outlet. Love of God—having been rejected—love of country, of long-held principles and ideals, love of virtue and honor, and finally even love for family, is gradually diminished, until it is quenched in hatred.
 
This hatred is not always expressed in violence, but it is increasingly evident by the decisions made. Jesus made it clear that hatred—even in its proper expression—begins with a choice (MAT 6:24; LUK 14:26). To choose Christ over all others is, in effect, to “hate” them for the sake of Christ. Many a missionary has headed to the field leaving behind wife and children, for the sake of Christ. This “abandonment” of the family unit, unless they are in spiritual agreement, appears to be a form of hatred. In this sense, to be “hated” is simply not to be “chosen.”
 
However, when the cult of victimhood prevails in a nation, accompanied by lawless leadership and re-enforced by false teachers who follow the politically correct, social justice themes of the day, the spread of verbal abuse, name calling, vilification, and, ultimately, social breakdown, and even open civil war will not be far behind.
 
Standing in the Gap
 
If you read EZE 22:23-31, you will see exactly the conditions I have laid out in the above scenario. The priests, the prophets, and the princes have set the stage for the corruption of the nation, resulting in “the people of the land [using] oppressions, commit[ing] robbery, mistreat[ing] the poor and needy, and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (EZE 22:29). What chance of survival can a nation, in such a state of spiritual decay, hope to have? The Lord speaks to the prophet Ezekiel and identifies the only hope for such a land:
 
“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land,
that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” EZE 22:30
 
As a result of this fruitless search by the Almighty to find one man of faith, virtue, and integrity, the land was destroyed. Each of us has a choice to make in these times. Our decision is urgent because “the time is short” (1CO 7:29). We can choose to be that man of “faith, hope, and love” (1CO 13:13) who stands in the gap for our nation. We can choose to be the intercessor for our family, friends, and neighbors. We can choose to be ever more sanctified by the Word of God (JOH 17:17, JOH 17:19), so as to have a sanctifying effect on the world around us. We can be more diligent in giving to the labors of those who sacrifice everything to carry the message of Christ to the far-off corners of the world.
 
I believe it all begins with a deep desire, followed by unconditional surrender. And this spiritual passion can be expressed in a simple prayer, “Lord, make me such a man, whatever it takes!” Who is willing to stand in the gap?
 
Gene

 

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