Only to Steal, Kill, and Destroy :: By Gene Lawley

That title is the description for the scenario of all that is going on in our world today, especially here in America. The sense of that may be more prevalent because we live right with it and are not looking at the trends of social and cultural changes from afar off. Nevertheless, the whole world is pointing to a climax totally unexpected.

Only in the Holy Scriptures can one find the prospects of our future, and for those who are not aligned rightly with God…it is not a pleasing sight.

The title of this article comes from John 10:10, which says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I [Jesus] am come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” The thief is the devil, and he is purposely attempting to destroy the human race in an affront to the God of the universe. The warfare has run since well before time began, even in the leader of all of the holy angels which God had created. He only wanted more power, to be like God, even to replace Him on His throne. Having been denied that privilege, he has been, for centuries, attempting to deny God the glory that is meant for Him.

Look at the story of Job, the oldest account in the Bible, perhaps nineteen hundred years before the coming of Christ. He told God that Job would deny Him if he were given freedom to do what he wanted with Job. And God replied, “Take him, then, but spare his life.” You can find this in the first two chapters of the book of Job. Job was not consulted on this arrangement; however, in the end, he proved faithful to God and frustrated the plan of the devil.

How is this repeating itself, and more, in these last days of the ages?

The whole arena of facets of the sexual revolution are clearly in line with the devil’s desire to corrupt God’s highest creation, that one creation that was in His own image, and shame God before the universe with what that greatest creation had become. The absolute confusion this sexual revolution has developed into is totally astounding. There seems to be no end to the changes to what society is expected to make in order to pacify the demands of the perverted element among the population. They demand tolerance toward themselves, yet at the same time are intolerant of “straight” people.

In the education systems of our nation reside much of the promotion of the sexual revolution. That is where the youngest, the innocent and most vulnerable victims are targeted. It seems that school boards and local governmental bodies are toppling like a row of dominoes, bowing to the wishes of the LBGTQ crowd, lest they be charged with intolerance and discrimination. It is a fearful sight.

Two times in past history are specially marked by Jesus as significant instances that picture how things will be at the time of His coming in that special redeeming of His own born-again believers, the time called the rapture, the snatching away of those who have trusted Him. It is in Luke 17:26-30, in respect to the comparison of events in those days and localities and in the whole world with that of today’s world:

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

Noah and Lot were not taken away to judgment, for judgment happened to those left behind on the earth; and thus, as it was then, so it will be when Jesus comes to meet His own in the air.

As we see our society and culture going from bad to worse, this Scripture causes me to wonder how far the degradation will go. Does the measure of sinfulness have to come to full saturation, as it was in the days of Noah and of Lot, while at the same time the activities of people will continue just as before? In those days of Noah, the whole world was sinful to its core, for Genesis 6:5 tells us so:

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

And then Jesus enlarges that observation in the Luke passage to show how the people were living their daily lives while in such degradation.

It reminds one of the activities of the Israeli people when Moses was with the Lord on Mount Sinai for forty days, receiving the tablets of the law. They appealed to Aaron to make a god for them to worship, and he responded with a golden calf that just “appeared out of the fire.” When Moses came down to them, they had worshipped the golden calf, then rose up to eat and drink and play. It is a picture of total loss of a sense of responsibility for moral conduct.

Further in the Luke passage, Jesus identifies the condition of the citizens of Sodom where Lot remained in the midst of a total saturation in moral degradation. Genesis 19:4-5 tells of their condition:

“Now before they lay down [to sleep], the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

It is not difficult to see the conditions in our culture today. The sexual revolution and gender manipulation frenzy are totally fixated on sexual activities. A man, born genetically as a male individual, wants to think of himself as a woman, or a woman, so also born, has the parallel mindset, can never be what they think. Their DNA will always identify them as a man or a woman, from birth to death. They will have lived their lives as a total lie.

Some may claim it is impossible to be “straight” if God has set them up to be “gay.” That is why “the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10b), for one knowing who Jesus really is would realize He would not condone or “ordain” anyone to a live of moral degradation and sinfulness. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that “We do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with our infirmities but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

And the Apostle Paul declared his constant struggle with the evils of this world—in his old nature. In Romans 7:24-25 he writes this and tells us how his determination turned his will to submission to the Lord and not the flesh:

“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I, myself, will serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

How clearly the Apostle identifies the constant warfare within the believer between the spirit of the new-born believer and that Adam-defiled body that is doomed for the grave to return to the dust from which it was made! Paul says, “with my mind—the place of the will—I, myself, will serve the law of God.” He identifies his real person, “myself,” as the one who will submit to the law of God. That old man troubling him is already dead, essentially.

He writes of this fact and how a believer needs to respond to it in Romans 6:11 and 14:

“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord…for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

In the days of Noah, the whole world was declared fully saturated with sin and rebellion, but in Lot’s day, it was just one locality, Sodom and Gomorrah, that were totally destroyed under God’s judgment. Could it happen again? As a matter of fact, it has happened again, perhaps not for the same reason, but possibly so. Early one morning in AD 79, the citizens of Pompeii, Italy, and nearby communities were totally inundated with ash and other debris from the nearby eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, an ancient volcano. It was finished in 48 hours.

What further research might reveal remains to be seen, but we do know that the justness of the Creator does not deal harshly with those who are even the least turned toward righteousness. Peter writes of Lot that he was a righteous man, yet his life does not give us encouragement in that direction.

It is true, however, that God does honor the smallest flicker of positive response to His offer of forgiveness. In Isaiah 42:3 and again in Matthew 12:20, Jesus says He will not “break a bruised reed nor quench a smoking flax till He sends forth justice to victory.” What this says to me, and I trust also to the reader, is that He does not demean or diminish the least flicker of faith that shows up in a person. That is the case with Lot; his righteousness is not readily visible, yet God knew his heart, and so does He know ours. At the end it is not the measure of our faith that makes the difference, for the Scriptures say, “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Finally, in the incessant drive to maintain and even increase abortions for any reason, or no reason, we can see the handiwork of Satan who seeks in all things to “only steal, kill, and destroy” everything which shows the hand of God in creation and was declared “good” when He finished it.

The future of mankind has two facets. In Romans 8:28 it says, “All things work together for good to those who love God and who are the called according to His purpose.” For those “who love God,” it will be great, but for those who do not love God, it will be total doom and disaster.

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