WAYS OF DEATH
Michael C. Lewis
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Death is the undisputed champion with a success rate of 100 percent. This is the universal reality on our decaying planet. The Lord God, because of His great mercy, allows death to reign in this fallen world so that mankind will not be burdened by his sin for all of eternity. The end of sin is death (see Romans 6:7).
Mankind has demonstrated time and time again that his ways lead to premature, and unnatural death. Since the time of Cain, humanity’s first-born (Genesis 4:1-17), murderous men have abounded on the stage of world history. When man chooses a path without God–as did the unrepentant Cain–he’s following a road that leads to a cliff at the edge of an abyss. And humanism is that godless path.
Humanism, as first promoted in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5), has historically proven itself as the philosophy of death. The French Revolution of the 19th century is a good example. Blood flowed deep in the streets of Paris as radical humanists tried to remove the monarchy and all vestiges of God from their country. Humanism in the 20th century gave us the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, the gulags of the U.S.S.R., and the killing fields of southeast Asia. The death tolls under these regimes alone numbered in the tens of millions. Add that to the lives lost in two world wars, Vietnam, and Korea, and it boggles the mind.
Here in America, humanist issues such as abortion on demand, the “green dragon” of radical environmentalism, and the homosexual agenda are currently moving us ever closer to the cliff’s edge. These are all promoters of death. The abortionists are killing our future citizens at an alarming rate. The green movement is claiming that mankind is overpopulating the earth and polluting our planet with Co2 causing “global warming”. And the homosexual proponents have given us a legalized promiscuous lifestyle that cannot reproduce. As a matter of fact, the only things the adherents of the “gay” lifestyle have produced for society — in this writer’s humble opinion — are incurable sexually transmitted disease, such as AIDS, and a gender confused generation. Add to this the loss of life caused by terrorists and our current “war on terror” and one wonders if Satan’s present focus for America and the world might be population control.
Satan has placed his humanist agents in highly influential places on the world stage. There are U.N. officials, media moguls, and liberal politicians today who are calling loudly for a worldwide reduction in human population to 500,000,000 in order to save our resource depleted planet. That’s a reduction of 6,500,000,000 persons from the current population of seven billion! Death on a massive scale is the only way to achieve such a horrific goal.
This all sounds like sensationalism, I know. And I’m not saying it will come to pass — God is still sovereign over His creation. But, the above facts can be checked. There are godless movers and shakers in our present society that are calling for such an agenda of death. These facts and basic spiritual logic should reveal to the discerning Bible student the deadly and satanic ideology of humanism prevalent in our world.
So, what should the Christian response be to such knowledge? Consider these words of God spoken through a great Old Testament prophet:
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33: 7-9
Just as God set Ezekiel a “watchman” over Israel, He expects us to be watchmen in our culture and to “blow the trumpet” of warning at the sight of impending danger (Ezekiel 33: 3-6). But in order to be diligent watchmen we must be informed so that we can effectively engage in the battle set before us. As in any military campaign, we must gather all the intelligence available to us, so that we can effectively, and victoriously meet the enemy. Knowledge must be acquired, and spiritual discernment must be employed. Remember what Paul said about our “warfare”? It’s “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
Paul goes on to tell us how to dress and arm ourselves for battle using the “full armor of God” in that same chapter of Ephesians, but he does this on the assumption that we will join in the battle raging around us. In order to do that, we must be able to discern truth from deception, and recognize the “wiles of the devil”, who is the commander and chief of the enemy army.
There are three strategic areas of intelligence, or knowledge that must be obtained if we are to be the spiritual marines that God desires us to be. They are:
- Know the Scriptures!
The “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” of Ephesians 6 is our primary weapon. It is an offensive and defensive weapon which allows the Christian to hold his position, as well as to take new ground. The Scriptures shine the “light” of truth in a world of deceptive darkness (Psalm 119:130). The Holy Bible is the only unfailing and true guide for the Christian journey. It gives us the light we need to traverse the darkness that blankets society as it reveals the deception around us. God’s Holy Scriptures are both revealing light, and unchanging truth (Psalm 119:105 & John 17:17). They are the standard by which the Christian measures all things. Without this standard of God’s unfailing truth, we are at the mercy of man’s worldly, ever-changing theories and opinions.
- Know the times!
We all need to realize that America is not the country it once was. Our grandparents lived in a different world. They held the line against the anti-Christian influences of their day. These ideologies, such as Marxism, Darwinian Evolution, Liberalism in the Church, and the New Age movement were embraced by the radical thinkers of the late 19th to early 20th centuries. And these radical ideas gained strength as America’s eager young minds were captured by godless university professors and liberal politicians. As a result, Christianity’s influential light is burning dim in our time.
Those same eager young minds have since become the teachers and politicians of today, and their godless worldviews and politics have worked like voracious termites feeding feverishly on the very foundation of Christianity, and they have been horrifyingly successful at consuming the cross of redemption and undermining the Christian faith in our own post-modern era of history. God’s absolutes are no longer embraced by the majority. Relativism is the cry of the hour. Christians are quickly becoming marginalized, and even vilified in America today precisely because our society has tossed aside God’s word and embraced the humanistic lies being preached from the pulpit of secularism and radical atheism of this current generation.
It is extremely important that we examine the prevailing issues and ideologies of our day, and hold them up against the standard set by God, and sound the alarm against those that do not measure up!
- Know the enemy!
It is innately human to want to put a face on evil around us and we often do. It is not unusual to see images of people like Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, or Jeffrey Dahlmer associated with the word “evil” in our world. But, although we see our fellow man committing atrocities and promoting sinful agendas, we need to realize that there is an unseen guide who takes the reins of humanity’s natural inclination to sin, and leads fallen people down the highway of misery and death. The Holy Bible calls this manipulator of sinful man Satan (ie. Deceiver), and tells us he is “as a roaring lion”, and he “walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He is the originator and master of the ungodly craft of luring God’s image-bearers to rebellion and destruction, and he commands an innumerable army of evil spirits (ie. Fallen angels) to fulfill his agenda.
Although we must continue to seek justice by fighting the human “bad guys” who do the crimes and rebel against righteousness, we must realize that the ultimate war is in the spiritual realm, against the “principalities and powers” (Ephesians 6:12) that exist out of sight, yet they are hell-bent on our destruction. This war has been waged since its beginning in Eden, and will continue until Satan is cast into the lake of fire by God at the end of the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth (Revelation 20:10). Then, and only then, will the enemy be defeated for good, along with all vestiges of evil and sin.
As soldiers of the cross we will never bring lasting peace to this fallen world because we will never convert the whole of humanity to Christ. The lost will continue to act like the lost until Christ‘s return! With every submitting “whosoever will” we witness to there will be many more “whosoever won’ts”! Our mandate is to present the gospel, and disciple those who will submit to Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20).
If we know the commandments of Holy Scripture and contrast them with the things happening in our world today, we can obediently sound the trumpet of warning by fulfilling our mandate to Christ and offer the hope of the gospel to the deceived and the deceivers alike. The church must do this by being involved in soul-winning campaigns, and being voices of righteousness in the community, the nation, and the world (Acts 1:8).
Do the world’s “ways of death” concern you? If so, you must be engaged in the spiritual war by diligently watching for the wiles of the devil, ready to battle skillfully with the “sword of the Spirit”. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is humanity’s only hope. He alone is the “Way” of “Life” (John 14:6)!