Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Steve Myers] You can take heart because God assures us the time is coming when Satan ultimately will be remove and the suffering, the misery, the anguish that he brings will be no more.
Is there any doubt that we live in an unstable world? It seems like difficulties surround us and they're a constant reality. Trouble and conflict. How about the pandemic? Racism, injustice. Then of course on the big scale there are wars that are continuing around the world. Close to home? We can't even seem to get along with our neighbors. So what is it that causes so much conflict, so much violence in our society? Is there actually a primary cause for evil? Yes there is. To begin with mankind, people, yes, and you and me, we have a tendency to be selfish. Our everyday normal way of thinking, our own desires that get in the way and bring us into all kinds of trouble. God speaks to this in the book of Galatians chapter 5:19. It tells us about these troubles and difficulties. It says the works of the flesh are evident which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, then there's hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, and the list goes on. And it says those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
So why do we have these problems? Because of who we are. I mean isn't it fair to say we tend to think of ourself first. The good old me, myself and I. We exalt ourselves and that causes us then to disobey God. Now we call that human nature. The Bible calls it "the works of the flesh, the carnal mind, fleshly lusts, selfish ambition," all of those things. It's describing that self-centeredness, that's selfishness. And wouldn't you say it's a primary motivation that we all have? I mean, rather than obey God, rather than please God, I worry about myself more than anything else. Now did God make me that way? No He didn't make us that way. God did not create human beings with that kind of selfish nature. And our children, they weren't born with it. But we sure can fall victim to it. That human nature in the Bible, it's also referred to our sinful nature. And as we begin to think about that you might say, "Well, they have that problem. That's their issue. That's those people over there." But it's not an issue just for some people or those people out there. The fact is human nature is a problem for all people. Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And so as we think about the trials and the tribulations and the difficulties we face, how would you classify them? What about the problems that we face in the world?
How would you describe those problems? The problems of our nation, the problems in our neighborhoods, or even the problems we face in our family? Are they social problems? Maybe you might think they're economic problems or they're political problems. Well are they? The Apostle Paul sums it up when he says, "There is none righteous. No, not one. There's no one who understands. There's no one who seeks God. They all have sinned and turned aside." Verse 17 says, "The way of peace they have not known, there is no fear of God before their eyes." That's from Romans 3. And it tells us about our problems. What are they? Economic? Are they social? Are they political? None of those things. They are spiritual. We've turned away from God. And yet despite that fact God has a plan for you. He wants you to succeed. Now on the other hand there's a powerful spirit being who wants us to fail. He wants us to lose hope. He wants us to drift away from God. And this evil spirit is the author of depression, and discouragement, and confusion. Satan the devil is at the heart of so much conflict and so much violence in our society today. You see he hates people because he knows that God has a special plan for you. But not only does he hate you, but he wants to destroy you. He wants to devour you, He wants you to lose hope. In fact that's why you need to get our study aid, "Is There Really a Devil?" Go to our website beyond today.tv, you can download your free copy or read it right there online, or call us at the number on your screen and get your free copy.
Because when you consider the fact that there is a primary cause of evil and your Bible says this unseen power works behind the scenes. Satan is trying to shape our world to his will, to his agenda. In fact not just the world, but he wants you. Could you be taken in? Make sure you discover the real source behind so many of our problems in the world today. In fact not world problems only but your problems. Learn about that being who is determined to bend your thinking to his own. Now oftentimes he's depicted in our world as a fairy tale creature, a grotesque red creature with horns, and a big fork tail, and a pitchfork. You see he'd love to have you think of him as some unknown creature that really can't hurt you. But when you really think about it, it would cause you to wonder, does he really exist? Is there really a devil? Absolutely. Of course there is. It's like asking, "Is there really a law of gravity?" Now you can't see the law of gravity, but based on its affects you know it's there. So don't be taken in. Go to our website, get your copy of "Is There Really a Devil?" You can read it at beyondtoday.tv or call us at the number on your screen. The impact of the devil's attacks on this world are all around it. But remember, it's not just out there. It's close to home as well. God tells us in the book of Ephesians, Ephesians 6:11 is a reminder of that fact. It says, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
The wiles of the devil. That's talking about his deceitfulness, his trickery. He is a crafty being. And that Greek word for wiles is the word methodia. And that gives us a little insight into the way that Satan works. Is there a method to his madness? Absolutely. He is scheming against us. In fact that's why it says in verse 12, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." You see that's the real battle, the real fight. It's against the powers of this dark world, against the spiritual forces of evil. And that method that Satan has, it's a method of scheming against humanity. It's a strategy. And think about the strategy that Satan has against us. I mean wouldn't it be a brilliant strategy to convince people you're not really there, that you don't even exist? That's certainly one level. But now take it up a notch. You see his twisted scheme is to influence people, influence you to doubt the truth of the Bible, to doubt the existence of God, to think that, "Well, the Bible, yeah, it's just a collection of stories that were made up by people. Some men wrote that down. And you know it really doesn't have anything to do with modern-day life. It doesn't have anything to do with me." I mean have we seen that in our world today? I mean no doubt, no doubt. In fact George Barna recently did a survey, it's called American Worldview Inventory 2020.
And what they found is that they evaluated the perceptions of God that people have in the United States. What do people think about God? The results were amazing. It found that almost one half of Americans aren't fully confident that God truly exists. Imagine that. Almost half of Americans don't believe God's there. And in fact the survey found that more believe that Jesus was a sinner than believe He's divine and sinless. So you step back for a moment. Has Satan's strategy, has his method worked? Well that survey points to the fact we have a spiritual crisis in America today. And in fact it's not just limited to America, this crisis has spread throughout the entire world. And God predicted that. He speaks to that very fact in Romans 8:7. He talks about our thinking. Here's what God says. "The carnal mind," that's the normal, everyday human way of thinking, "the carnal mind is enmity against God. It's not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." So when we think about it in those terms, why would the human mind come to hate, and be so hostile, and antagonistic toward the great God who made him? Why would that be? Well someone got between God and man. And that's the devil. So we fall victim to human nature, to thinking on our own ways. And of course it's infected and influenced by Satan the devil. In fact in reality Satan's own corrupt nature is how he tries to influence us. In fact his name in the Bible says it all. In Hebrew, Satan means adversary, the one who opposes, the one who's hostile or contrary to us. Because there's no doubt, Satan is deceitful. He's devious. He's deceptive and he schemes and hopes that we would be destroyed.
So what does he do? He invents evil and devises strategies to bring about our spiritual destruction. But do you really realize his tremendous power and his cunning deception that he uses against us? We're reminded of that as we look to the book of Revelation. It is such a reminder of Satan's power. Revelation 12:9, here it says, "The great dragon, that serpent of old called the devil and Satan," and then notice what it says, "who deceives the whole world." Do we understand that? Now he deceives everyone around us but he can't force us to sin. He can't force us into disobedience. So how does he affect humanity? How does he do it? Influence. He influences us through our own desires. I mean does this describe your world? Let's notice what God reminds us about in Romans 1. Notice it could be a description of our world but what about me? Romans 1:28, it says, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge," well that's a pretty good description of our country today. We don't retain God in our knowledge. We don't want to get God out of everything. But then it goes on to say, "God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting." In fact it says in verse 29, "Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness." And the list goes on and on and on about being proud and boasters and inventor of evil things, inventing evil things.
You see that's who we tend to be when we're left on our own under Satan's influence. In fact it goes on to say that those who practice such things are deserving of death. And verse 32 says, "Not only do they do the same, but also approve of those who practice them." You see God's telling us we are under the influence. I mean where does that come from? Where did these traits begin, that anger, that hatred, that resentment, the discouragement? Well it comes from Satan the devil. And Ephesians 2 nails it. It comes right down to the point to point out the fact where we're under that influence. Ephesians 2:2 tells us this, "You once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the Spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves, in the lust of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others." So there it is. How does Satan do it? It's influence. He projects his moods, his attitudes, his impulses, like that cell tower. He's the prince of the power of the air. And how does my cell phone receive a call? I can't see those waves but it comes through the air right there to my phone or to my television if I have an antenna. It comes right there. It's broadcast there. And so Satan influences us. And there are key elements of Satan's influence. What are those waves projecting? First and foremost hostility toward God, in His truth, in His way. Secondly, hatred of the law of God. Satan hates God, hates his law, wants us to hate God's law, and God Himself as well. And so what happens? That third influence, that third wave is rebellion against true worship, right worship, biblical worship. Satan doesn't want us to have anything to do with the right worship.
And so what are we most concerned about? Well that's Satan's influence. That's one of those waves that he projects, worrying about myself, concerned about myself, first and foremost, so others take a backseat to me. And so what happens? That evil influence has brought a deeper level of corruption and wickedness to our world today. Do you see it? Do you understand it? I want you to understand it. So I hope that you'll get our study aid, "Is There Really a Devil?" This Bible study guide is available free at beyondtoday.tv. Go to our website. You can read it right there online or download it to your smartphone or right to your computer. Call us at the number on your screen and we'll send you a free copy because it will help you to understand Satan's influence. It'll help you to realize how the devil loves to find ways for us to justify ourselves, to make it seem like our own desires are good, and that bad behavior really isn't that bad. You see Satan is not just out to get us. He's out to get our culture. He's out to get our world. And so we start thinking in terms that reflect Satan's thinking. Because it's not really a black and white issue. It's not really a rich or poor issue. Who's the real enemy? You see Satan wants to bring us all down. So I want you to dig into the details. Know your adversary. Go to beyondtoday.tv or call us at the number on your screen to get your free copy of "Is There Really a Devil?" You see Satan's strategy, his method is to ensnare us into his world, to his way of thinking, his entertainment, to have his attitudes, to want his values and his priorities.
One way we can think about this is, what happens when we're mistreated? What's our attitude? What is our behavior? You see when we think life's not fair, when we think there's prejudice, we've been treated unfairly, there's injustice, you see Satan wants us to take things into our own hands. So I want retaliation. I want revenge. We've got to punish the offenders. We've got to take vengeance. You see the devil tries to influence us to resent others. Now of course we make our own decisions. We play our part, but Satan wants us to take advantage of that wrong way of thinking. He takes advantages of us by persuading us to rely even more on our own emotions, on what we want, on our desires, on our own feelings. Now remember, what does God call Satan? He calls him the god of this world. The accuser. The father of lies. The ruler of the darkness of this world. And the Bible says he was a murderer from the beginning. Because ultimately Satan believes that if he can destroy you, if he can bring down mankind, that will thwart God's plan. Now there's another important aspect as we consider Satan's influence. He is the master of misrepresentation. Yeah he's a manipulator. He tries to infect my thinking, but he's also the world's greatest counterfeiter. In fact he packages his product so well it seems good. It seems right. It's appealing. But in reality it's poisonous, deadly, but he wants to seem good. He wants to seem, "Oh, you can trust me." But he wants us to sin. He wants us to reject God while it appears to be good, and right, and inviting. Do you know the Bible warns against that?
Christ and His apostles spoke about those attitudes, false prophets that would bring those ideas, false apostles, false brethren, even false religion. And when it comes right down to it, it says in the end there would be two opposing religions. Now both would claim to be Christian. One is right. One is the actual church that Jesus Christ founded and it would be led by God's Holy Spirit and it would remain faithful to His teachings. But on the other hand the other is guided and influenced by a totally different spirit, the devil. Now it seems to accept the name of Christ but twisting the teachings of Jesus. So what's the result? A convincing counterfeit, a counterfeit of the true Church of God but only one of those churches would faithfully represent Jesus Christ. The false church? The wrong belief? Well it takes the name of Christ but attaches customs, and practices, and even doctrines that Jesus and the apostles never practiced. They never approved those things. That's why it's so important that you know the truth. Do you really know what the Bible teaches? Do you understand what Christ Himself taught? What was it that He taught? How did He worship? When did He worship? What was His practice? And have you ever stepped back and asked yourself, "Where do most churches, in fact where does my church get their teachings and their practice? Where did I come up with the ideas that I have about religion?" You see you might assume that it's from the Bible, from the Word of God or maybe even from Jesus Himself, but do those teachings really originate there?
And there's quite a warning that we're given in 2 Corinthians 11:14, Satan's got his foot in the door of even our churches. And so it says, "Satan himself, transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it's no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” You see Satan pretends to be an angel of light and he's influenced religion. He thought about your belief. In fact he's influenced religion so much that those churches don't match with the teachings of the Bible. And that's something that Christ warned about. He warned about counterfeit Christian belief. Satan masquerades himself as though he's truth and infects churches as well. So Christ, Himself warned against that. He said in Matthew 24, "Take heed that no one deceives you for many will come in my name and deceive many." Now you don't want to be deceived. Don't be taken in. That's why you've got to understand the truth. So get our Bible study aid, "Is There Really a Devil?" Call us at the number on your screen or go to our website beyondtoday.tv. Download your copy today or order your free copy, we'll mail it right to your door. You need to understand the impact that Satan has had on churches. He hates God. He's the master manipulator. So don't be taken in. Don't be mistaken. Know the truth. So go to beyondtoday.tv, call us at the number on your screen and get your copy today. Satan's goal is certainly to ruin God's plan for saving mankind. So what has he done? He's created a counterfeit Christianity. Now it's not that different from the true church but it rejects biblical teaching.
So watch out. He promotes a lawless Christianity that says you can be selective or even ignore what God says. You don't have to obey. But what did Christ say? If you want to enter life keep the commandments. Now the good news is you don't have to be misled. So first of all be sure you seek God's help. Remember what Jesus said in the Lord's prayer, that model prayer? He said, "Pray, do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." So be sure you're praying every day. Draw close to God. In fact that's the second thing we have to do. Resist. Resistance is absolutely critical. James 4:7 reminds us of that. It says, "Therefore submit to God," that was our first point, "and resist the devil.” And what happens? “He will flee you." What a powerful promise from God that when you resist the influence of Satan he has to retreat. Now that also means there's a third thing we have to do. We have to be willing to change. Humble yourself. Change your ways. Recognize if you haven't been doing the truth and living the truth well now is the time to increase your understanding of what the Bible actually says. Why were you born? Learn about the wonderful things God has in store for you and all mankind. You can take heart because God assures us the time's coming when Satan ultimately will be removed and the suffering, the misery, the anguish that he brings will be no more. So draw close to God and don't let the devil destroy what God is doing in your life.
[Narrator] Please call for the booklet offered on today's program, "Is There Really a Devil?" Everything is not as it seems in our world today. We look around and see human beings doing terrible things to each other, often defying all explanation. Could it be that there is an evil force at work influencing mankind? Order now, call toll free 1-888-886-8632, or write to the address shown on your screen. When you order this free study aid, we'll also send you a complimentary one-year subscription to "Beyond Today Magazine." "Beyond Today Magazine" brings you an understanding of today's world and hope for the future. Six times a year, you'll read about current world events and the light of Bible prophecy, as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family. Call today to receive your free booklet, "Is There Really a Devil?" and your free one-year subscription to "Beyond Today Magazine," 1-888-886-8632, or go online to beyondtoday.tv.