Christ Preparing our Hearts 9

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

You can count on it that it is very difficult to come to heaven, but the way to destruction is broad and easy. Take it to heart that you have a deceitful heart with you, a wicked devil close to you, and snares and hindrances around and before you.

All human beings are born dead in sins and trespasses and by nature are children of wrath. While this does not sound so bad or seem like such a big deal to seemingly the vast majority of people today, the ramifications of these things are enormous. In fact, this answers the question as to why so many people don’t think this is such a big deal. Deception does not always key around one issue at one time, but a deception can be a way of looking at life as a whole and can involve the whole of life. In other words, people may be concerned about being deceived about one fact or one bit of information, but in fact they are deceived about the whole of life. If sin is deceptive and the mind and heart are fallen into sin, then sinners have fallen into deception about all things.

Why is it that so few people are persuaded to the very core of their being that there are only two places that they will spend eternity in? Why is it that so few people think of hell as being a place of true torment in our day? Could it be that the very way they view things and process information are deceptive and deceitful themselves? What if pride deceives people and self-love deceives people? If those things deceive people, then every fallen human being is deceived in a terrible way. It would seem that if people took Scripture seriously they would see that people are deceived about all things in all ways if they don’t have Christ to guide them into Truth.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

The text just above is profound in its meaning and its many applications. When we think of the bondage to sin, we don’t normally think of it in terms of our thinking and our being deceived, but instead we think of it in terms of some outward and gross fleshly sin. Perhaps that is another deception. Instead of that, what we must see is that men are taken captive by ways of thinking and ways of deception. There are traditions of men in many places and in many ways, but we can think of the doctrines (yes, intended to say that) of evolution as doctrines according to the tradition of men and according to the elementary principles of the world.

If we think of philosophy as a way of thinking or as an approach to thinking and viewing the world, it seems as if we can get at the idea of what the intent of Scripture is at this point. In one sense there is a philosophy of everything. There are books on the philosophy of science (in general) and then books on differing disciplines of the sciences. In other words, the hard sciences are not quite as hard as they wish to present themselves as. All of them follow a philosophy or way of thinking and are guided by that. When a person is taken captive through a philosophy of something or anything and that is not according to Christ, the Scriptures represent those people as prisoners. All Christians have seen that in practice in false religions and in discussing things with others. It seems as if the people are blinded to truth and reality, and that is because they are. But what we must have our hearts gripped with is that people are indeed slaves and prisoners to ways of thinking. Only Christ can set them free.

This is one reason why quick conversions have been considered suspect by many people. While God can transfer people from the dominion of darkness and bondage to that darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son when He pleases, it seems as if He almost always works through means and through a slower deliverance or waking people up to their bondage. Yes, most in our day will not recognize this as legitimate and will argue that this is putting something between men and Christ. I respond to that and say that this is not putting something between men and Christ in the slightest, but instead it is pointing out what is there. Denying that these things are there is simply one way of deceiving others about true conversion. Men must be taught the truth about the Person of Christ and the works of Christ. Men must be taught about who they really are and what state they are in. Until some of that happens, men will know nothing about their real need of conversion and what Christ has done and is doing to save sinners from the deception of their own hearts, the devil, and the world. This is a dire need, not just a difference.

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