“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
This is a stark warning from Jesus, and a reminder of the goodness He offers us in salvation, which is not to be compared to nor traded for anything in this life. We, who believe in Him and know Him, have a special gift. It is a gift we received by grace from God (Eph 2:8). It is called faith!
Our ability to see, to hear, to love and to obey the Truth, is a gift of God. But there are thieves on a mission to steal this gift from us, not because they want it for themselves…simply because they don’t want us to have it! They seek our separation from God and, ultimately, our destruction, whether intentionally or ignorantly.
They can be hard to spot, because they don’t look like thieves, and they don’t talk like thieves. They appear to be enlightened and reasonable people. They are educated and knowledgeable. They present their understanding and wisdom as superior, and consider us to be ‘constrained’ in our ability to think and reason. They say they want to help us think more critically, so that our lives can be better, but really…they just want us to be like them – faithless!
The thing to remember is that THEY DON’T HAVE FAITH! You can only give what you have, and so, from the beginning, what they have to offer is lacking! Engaging them in reasoning can only lead to a foolish trade-off. If they are trying to help you to come to the knowledge of the truth, simply with their logical reasoning, and you decide to put down your faith so that you can follow their logic to completion, then they would have succeeded in making you like them.
Their primary mode of attack is to instill doubt in you, and suggest that since you cannot provide verifiable evidence of your belief in the existence of God (for which they stand as examiner and judge, having rejected the evidence in creation God gave us all (Rom 1:19-20)), that you would have to be deluded to continue to believe it. Well, with such proclamation and logical reasoning, you would have to be a fool to keep on believing… Could they be on to something? Are you deceived? Believing a lie? Living for an imaginary future and wasting your present?
It is good to remember two things. One, the quality of faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). With the entrance of proof, there is no longer the requirement of faith! There is no longer beauty in faith. Two, the value God places on faith. “But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he shrinks back, I will take no pleasure in him” (Heb 10:38). And we know also that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). If we loose faith, we have become spiritually blind, deaf and dumb – just as they are!
These will be ever seeing but never perceiving, ever hearing but never understanding (Mark 4:12), always learning, but not able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim 3:7)! They are insincere, and it is God who has judged them and withheld the truth from them. He is the only one able to remove the scales from their eyes and minds, so that they can see and come to a right understanding, and a right standing with Him.
Don’t fall for their trick that unless it can be proven and seen, it cannot be said to be real or true! That’s illogical considering all we now know about life and our world. We cannot presume to know all things, as they do, because we close ourselves from the possibilities in dimensions beyond our understanding. Now we know in part and walk by faith, but soon we shall know fully as we are fully known (1 Cor 13:12).
We know what we have seen and heard, and we cannot stop speaking of these things (Acts 4:20). We know that just as we believed, others will be given grace to believe also. Those who do need not be convinced by evidence limited to scientific discovery and analysis, nor by signs and wonders, nor will they demand such proof. For we know that “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17), and again, not by much talk and persuasion, but by the grace and power of God (1 Cor 1:17-21, 1 Cor 4:20)!
Hold on to your gift, because He who has promised is faithful (Heb 10:23). We can be fools with the world or we can be fools for God, knowing that “the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (1 Cor 1:25). Christ’s death and resurrection was real…let it not have been in vain for you. By your perseverance in faith and of character, you shall save your soul (Luke 21:19).
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