Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The World Wide Web

Ned and I have been talking about the world wide web, not the iniversal, computer-driven, cyber information highway, but the web of deceit spun around the world by satan, the father of lies. Unlike the cyber highway, satan's web came upon the scene with little notice and masked in subtlety. From the very beginning, this adversary has set out to deceive mankind. He has "gently" colored the truth, making it more pallatable for sinful man. He has provided a veritable buffet of sinful pleasures, and we have become addicted to the point of craving more and more. His web threatens to entangle us and choke the hope out of us. It is a web of lies.
One of the lies he tells us is : Nothing we do really matters because God is a God of mercy and grace. Satan is crafty and he knows mixing a little truth with a lot of lie makes the lie easier to swallow. We know that God is indeed a God of mercy and grace. We know that He truly wants to save us. But, inasmuch as mercy and grace are attributes of the Almighty, so are honesty and truth. God tells us we will be held accountable for our sins. (Romans 14:12). He tells us there will be a day when we will come face to face with the Creator and at that time, every sin that has not been washed away by the blood of the Lamb, must be dealt with. God's truth refutes satan's lie.
The adversary also tells us that it does not matter how we worship, if we worship, when we worship or who we worship with. Everyone belongs to God and everyone will get to go to heaven. The inhabitants of the entire earth will be the inhabitants of heaven. This is a lie, spun by the devil to lower our resistance to sinful behaviors, to discourage preaching of the truth, preaching about accountability and stewardship and obedient faith. Again God is a just and honest God and He says in Matthew 7:21 that not everyone who calls Him Lord will be saved. His Son tells us that there will be but a few who are saved but many who are lost. The thought that many "good" people would be lost is distasteful to us and so we choose to believe that perhaps God will re-examine His promises and change His mind and save everyone whether they believe in Him or not. That He will reconsider and take every living being to Heaven regardless of their obedience and love for Him. Another lie satan wants us to believe.
The devil just keeps on spinning his web of deceit. He convinces us that evangelism does not work. He tells us that no matter what we do, how we live or what we say, others will not be brought to the Lord. Door-knocking doesn't work. Friendship evangelism doesn't work. Small groups ministry does not work. Nothing that has worked in the past will work now. In order to be effective, we have to change God's Word and make it relevant to this progressive and driven world. This is another lie. There are both commands and examples of evangelism. God loves us and He would not ask us to do something that had no chance of working. He would not ask us to preach, to teach, to make disciples if this were a futile activity. In His omniscience, wouldn't He tell us exactly what changes to make so that we could make the Word more "relevant" ? The text says that He is not willing for any to perish (II Peter 3:9). Wouldn't He have instructed us on how to be successful soul winners? He did,He told us to preach and teach and live uprightly. He told us and showed us that souls who were seeking would find and that He would use us to show them the way. He told us to be evangelistic, but we have been deceived.
Satan also tells us that each of us is but one person and cannot possibly make a difference. This is perhaps one of the biggest lies he tells. All one has to do is read the Bible to see that God has often used one person, one single solitary soul to save an entire nation. Look at Noah and Moses. Look at Esther and Rahab. Then look at Jesus. Our God can and does use each and everyone of us for a grand purpose--salvation. We have been sold a pack of lies.
My friends, we are caught up in the world wide web. We are a spiritually gullible generation and we have become entangled in the lies of the deceiver. Like the fly trapped in a spider web, we are in grave danger. This web of satan is keeping us from feeding on the Word. It is keeping us from reproducing---conversions. It is keeping us from flying home to God. We are in danger.
But it is not over yet. We believe in a God who is a promise keeping God--He says He will rescue us. He says He is the truth. He says the truth will set us free. Praise God for His ability to save us from the web of satan.

Peace
Neva

28 Comments:

Blogger Monalea said...

Neva,
Your blog was like a good cup of black coffee; strong, it hit the spot and it wakes you up.

Love you,
Monalea

7:56 AM  
Blogger Neva said...

Monalea,
Ned says you are too young to drink coffee. :)


Peace
Neva

8:24 AM  
Blogger lori said...

Amen sister Neva!

What an awesome post.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous lisa leichner said...

Who's too young to drink coffee??? :)

Great post, Neva. We always have to be on the lookout for Satan's lies -- he's sneaky like that.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, This is so true.
Good post Neva


Pat

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clever, very clever


Carlos

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of us have found ourselves caught up in this web of lies. Thank you for posting about it.

Rachel

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Monalea--a good wake up. We cannot be so easily taken in by satans schemes.
Good post

Dan

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would be a great topic for a series--Santas web of lies.

Shari

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops I meant Satan not Santa--haha
Sometimes I even crack me up.

Have a great day
Shari

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this post. We are a gullible generation. That is sad. We need to change. I love that you always encourage us all to be better, to do better, to become more aware. Thank you my friend

Love
Jean

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now this is a post!

Good job sister.

Interested Bystander

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everytime I come here I know I will be encouraged and challenged. I am never disappointed. You do such a great job of making spiritual analogies from everyday things. I need this little boost everyday. Thank you.

Mary

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Satan's web of deceit. He is a crafty one and we are so willing to believe his lies. What a good post--I like Shari's idea (not the one about santa) :) It would be a good series.

Kel

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva,
I found you on CWO. I have enjoyed reading your blog. This is a good site. This post was very good, also.

Corinne

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes you just amaze me. I would never think of seeing things the way you do but I am encouraged by your sharing of them. It is amazing to me that you do this every day and every day. How do you do it?

Karli

10:41 PM  
Blogger Monalea said...

Neva,
I've switched from coffee to hot cocoa. Please inform Ned.

7:20 AM  
Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

Neva,

Satan has always been skilled at mixing his lies with just enough truth to make them sound good.

He told Adam and Eve in the garden, "When you eat of the fruit, you surely shall not die." That was a lie. BUT he did tell her, "For God knows when you eat from the tree your eyes will be open and you will be like God knowing good from evil." That was NOT a lie.

It's interesting to me that Satan is still good at mixing the truth and a lie together and making them sound good to us. Unfortunately we bite, hook, line and sinker.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Messianic Gentile said...

Neva,

I just popped over from you comment on MG a few weeks ago. It has been a while since I visited. Thanks for your comment there, btw.

Your post stirrs up too many angles for me to feedback on here. Don’t really know if you even want my feedback. And so, I will be brief (a relative term to be sure) and not address everything you have to offer. But for starts, I respond to this statement:

“One of the lies he tells us is : Nothing we do really matters because God is a God of mercy and grace.”

This “lie” you point out is, in my estimation, a pedulum swing response to the phenomena commonly called “legalism” of yesteryear. I happen to not believe in legalism. I think it is a mistaken category. I do not think Paul was against “legalism” as if that was the problem he faced in Galatia, Rome or anywhere else for that matter. “Legalism” is a term neither Paul or any other Bible writers use (which should be a tip off to us). But Church Swindol, and a host of Church of Christ preachers following in his footsteps, made names and agendas for themselves by doint battle with “legalisim” over the last generation. But sadly, none of that was biblical really. Nevertheless, the phenomenon known as “legalism” has now finally been fully and utterly killed and the “lie” you point out is the pendulum swing answer to that now dead horse.

I think this kind of theology has more to do with Augustinian, Pelagian and Lutheran debates than with Paul. These people misunderstood what Paul was talking about when he used phrases like “justification by faith.” They twisted the phrase to suit their agendas which had to do with making themselves “distinctive” from each other when the church split. In the tradition of Augustine, Luther painted the Catholics as dry ritualists who somehow earned their salvation on some grounds other than faith. And basically every protestant tradition (including the Churches of Christ) have inherited this theology –granted with different nuances. In the Church of Christ, we have tended to say something like: Luther was right to reform the church, but he did not go far enough. And then we tend to try to take his basic church-spliting agenda and make it “biblical” (another devil’s lie) by decorating it with patternism and baptism.

Since the whole bashing-of-legalism aganda came in vogue in the Church of Christ, the onus has fallen on those who wish to promote baptism as necessary to explain how it is not a “work” or some method of “earning” salvation. Nevermind the fact that by pitting “works” against “justification by faith” winds up functionally making faith a way of earning salvation too. This line of reasoning is a CATEGORY mistake all the way around. And yet, I bet you never heard anyone say this before.

The letters to the Roman and Galatian churches are not really about how one “gets saved” and even less about “going to heaven when you die” (another point you touch on in the post which I will not presently refute but which I will acknowledge I have no intention of doing). They have everything to do with how Jewish and Gentile Christians can get along with each other is the same church. How are they to fellowship with such profound differences between them? How and what are they to eat when they come to the table together? Should the Gentiles be circumcized? Etc. And this is where the protestant program as a whole has really done Christ a huge disservice, with the Church of Christ being, as Paul might call it, Chief of Sinners. For the Romans and the Galatians are too eager to break fellowship with each other. And how will, as you say, “The inhabitants of the entire earth … be the inhabitants of heaven” if the believers in Jesus are not together as one?

Paul tells these Christians that they are “justified by faith” rather than by becoming Jews –keeping the law. The law did not make the Jews justified, neither will it justify Gentiles. Only Jesus does that.

He is not here talking about a law as in a moral code to be kept perfectly. He is talking about The Law that defined the Jews. The Jews themselves never kept it perfectly, so it was not about good law keeping or works that earned salvation to begin with. That is a slur Luther and friends put on a good law, not Paul. And it has thus translated into the “lie” you point out now.

We must get ourselves a dose of realized eschatology here. God is claiming his good creation back to himself. He is redeeming his world. Jesus is the first fruits of that rescue mission. We are called to live in the present the way life will be in the age to come. That means working. Working in that sense does not negate Jesus. But if I went around telling people they had to be circumcized or else God does not accept them, I would negate Jesus. We have to come to terms with the fact that we may have differences between us, but they do not define us as in or out. Only faith in Jesus does that. And we must not confuse working with earning salvation or with somehow embracing the Jewish Law as a means of gaining acceptence with God. These are CATEGORY mistakes. They are actually pointless arguments from which the church, not least the Church of Christ, would do well to disentangle ourselves from and jettison as we get on with bearing God’s image before a lost world in love, worship and fellowship with our religious neighbors, whoever they may be so long as they share faith in Jesus.

Lastly, I quibble with the idea that we should hang all these “lies” on the satan’s shoulders here. Not that the accusor is not ultimately responsible, but that ultimately we are the problem actually. We are our own worst enemy here. The evil depicted in the “lies” runs THROUGH all of us. It is not all someone else’s problem. It is ours too. Basically, it is the same as saying “the devil made me do it.” There is truth in that, but it winds up putting all the blame somewhere else and letting us not deal with our own collusion with evil. Thus, I unpack the “lie” about “nothing we do really matters because God is a God of mercy and grace” to show where it comes from and what it is really doing (in large part keeping us from fellowshipping Catholics to our shame) because we are invested in a world order that makes these distinctions to suit our tastes, not Gods. And we need to face that kind of truth, or we will be children of the age that is passing away rather than the age that is to come.

Many blessings…

Jesus is Lord!

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MG
amazing how different eyes from different backgrounds can see such different things. The lie you addressed about what we do, not mattering, wasn't in light of meritorious works ie leagalism, but from sin,resulting in grace being taken lightly.

So I have no earthly idea what you were attempting to point out.

mr neva

6:46 PM  
Blogger MESSIANIC GENTILE said...

Mr. Neva,

I did not expect to be received wholeheartedly. If misunderstanding is to blame, I am sensitive to that. For I am definitely rearranging the theological categories here. I am addressing category mistakes which are prevalent in the church today.

But that does not mean I am off the subject here. I am saying that "grace being taken lightly" as you put it, is the other end of the pendulum swing from "meritorious works ie leagalism". They are related by the category mistake I address here.

It is okay if it takes time to come to terms with this stuff. It took a long time for me to get it too. In fact, I am still getting it myself. It is a shame more preachers are not addressing this stuff in the CoC. Our pews are behind the curve on this.

See Frank Bellizzi's blog for two recent posts on the subject of being behind the curve in the pews. His website is found at

http://frankbellizzi.blogspot.com/

I hope that helps.

Jesus is Lord!

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Messianic Gentile,
huh?
I dont think Neva was saying anything about legalism. I think she was basically saying what the world says that as long as you dont kill others, dont steal big things and dont hurt children, everybody gets to go to heaven. It is not about legalism --it is about walking in the light because we are children of light.
And as far as blaming satan. He is the father of lies. Lies have their roots in him. We take responsibility in that we believe them but ultimately he is the teller of lies. Countless scriptures bear that out.
I think you have misspoken and have demeaned what Neva was trying to say. You just might owe her an apology.
Interested Bystander

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do you get so many readers who use big words to try and impress all of us peons?
The message of your posts are always simple, always spot on and always applicable. Can't say the same for the comments. You just keep on doing what you do, sister. You are doing a great ministry. You may have to ignore some comments. You go, girl.
Dean

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I liked the post. I understood exactly waht you meant and I agreed wholeheartedly. Keep up the good thoughts.

Lyndsay

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been caught in Satans web before. Praise God for saving me and others from the liar.

6:54 PM  
Blogger MESSIANIC GENTILE said...

Woe.

Did not think I said anything insulting or demeaning at all. I also did not hear Neva suggest that I did.

I got the idea that my comment was not received too warmly, and I also figured the readers here either not fully understanding me or did not care for what I had to say. But I did not insult or demean Neva at all. So I will not apologize for it.

I am sorry if it SEEMED that way, but I certainly did not mean it to be that way.

I also figured my point was basically fruitless here and have not visited again in a few days. Just now came back to see if anything had developed. Sure enough, it had. And it appears my comments are basically unappreciated and/or unwanted.

Not to worry. I will not continue to offer them in such an atmosphere. I hope that helps.

Jesus is Lord!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Neva said...

Dear MG
I was not offended nor did I feel demeaned by your comments. Had they been offensive, I would not have published them.
I do not expect everyone to agree with everything I write and I often publish comments of differing opinions, as do you on your site. As I am sure you are aware, your views are new to most of us and different than mine but please do no think because I do not comment on them that they are summarily dismissed as invalid. I have to think about things for quite some time and try to make sense of them before I can truly wrap my mind around them.
Your comments are welcome here.
Peace
Neva

11:32 AM  
Blogger MESSIANIC GENTILE said...

Thanks, Neva.

You are a generous host.

Blessings...

11:50 AM  

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