Deceptive Words and Wasted Potential :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Summary: When Eve and Adam listened to the twisted words of the serpent and disobeyed God as a result, they threw away the fellowship they had with Him. Too many lives have been wasted by listening to the lies of the devil.

Back in the 1970s, a television show debuted on one of the major networks that centered around the saga of two families in Texas. The show was entitled “Dallas,” and the premise was based on two men, Jock Ewing and Willard “Digger” Barnes, who had been friends and partners in the booming days of the oil business in the 1930s. Jock was the businessman, while “Digger’ had a sense within him that knew where they should build a rig and drill. Digger’s hunches were almost always correct, and the two men became wealthy as a result. While Jock carefully invested his earnings into new fields, Digger ended up drinking heavily, did a lot of gambling, and lost most of his shares.

Jock did not want his company to fail because of Digger’s excesses, so he put the next set of leases in his name and would release them to Digger if he would get sober, grow up, and assume responsibility for his actions. Digger believed that Jock had stolen the leases and tried to kill him. The two men went their separate ways. Jock continued in the oil business while Digger spun out of control into constant drunkenness and a life-long hatred and bitterness that he never would abandon. Although he had the talent to work with other “wildcatters” and obtain another opportunity to get back on his feet, he never did and wasted his potential on alcohol and passed on the bitterness to his children. To Jock’s credit, he tried to do right by Digger, but to no avail. Both men died within a year of one another, the issue and feud never to be resolved.

The character of “Digger” Barnes can be applied to anyone who possesses gifts, talents, and intelligence to make something of themselves, but either one episode of a bitter encounter with anyone from employers to parents, sibling rivalry, schooling, or other situations tend to stop them in their tracks or hold a grudge that will fester like a cancer. This will prevent them from obtaining those goals and objectives they had planned on but have now chosen to abandon, renounce, or foolishly cast aside for what they think are “better” situations, which end up as a pipe dream and self-imposed waste and oblivion.

They become dead to any ideas or directions and are content to merely “exist” until the day of their death. Cemeteries are full of celebrities and business experts who wasted their gifts on drugs, alcohol, illicit living, excess spending, foolish investments, and all too often without any regard for God’s direction, counsel, or protection. Some may erroneously conclude that “the system” is rigged against them. They end up “poor-mouthing” themselves, wallowing in self-pity, believing that they will never “get ahead,” and end up with a hatred of anyone who succeeds or obtains wealth as a result of a work ethic and self-discipline.

Wasted lives and potentiality are not exclusive to modern times. History is rife with the stories of people and nations that threw away opportunities that could have made them stronger, wiser, wealthier, or more open in their respective understanding of God’s will. The tragedy of “what might have been” began before our creation, as presented in Genesis 1.

Despite what social critics, evolutionists, government bureaucrats, and the media throw at us concerning the reasons or necessity of our existence, the Bible makes it perfectly clear that we are the crown jewel of God’s creation. We were designed by Him for a reason and purpose. No one is an “accident,” or a “mistake,” or “insignificant,” nor are we to be deemed “worthless.” Every human being on this planet is part of the planned history and objectives of a sovereign God. How dare we let anyone tell us that we have no value or that we are “expendable” with no higher value or worth than that of an animal in the wild?

This idea of a low view and purpose for life originated in the mind of a once magnificent being who had been entrusted with great responsibility and potential. He was the archangel Lucifer, who became Satan, or the devil. Look at what he had and then decided to throw away in a fit of pride. He was an extraordinarily beautiful and exquisite being, a special creation, adorned with precious jewels, given musical talent, and was the anointed guardian angel of the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:12-15).

He was deemed perfect until the day came when he began to believe that he was worthy of worship and to rule heaven and creation. He led a revolt against God, along with a third of the angels, and all were cast out as a result by the Lord Jesus (Isaiah 14:12-17; John 12:31). They will be consigned to hell when the final judgment by the Lord Jesus Christ takes place, forever destined to be in torment, along with all who rejected Christ as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).

Now read what the Bible says about this fallen being who threw away everything God gave him:

1) He is a defeated foe because of the redemptive work and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead (Genesis 3:15; Luke 4:13; John 12:20, 14:30; 2 Thess. 2:8; Hebrews 2;14; 1John 3:8; Rev. 20:10).

2) He has nothing good or benevolent within him anymore. He now sets his designs on undoing God’s work (Mark 4:15), makes men turn from God (Job 2:4), instigates evil (John 13:2, 27), and tries to secure worship for himself (Luke 4:6-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

3) His character is set as a malevolent irredeemable deceiver (Revelation 12;9), a liar (John 8:44), and the adversary of both God and humanity (1 Peter 5:9).

4) He has already been condemned and judged by God. There is no hope or opportunity on his part to repent, and neither will his demonic horde (Matthew 25:41; John 16:11; Romans 16:20).

Satan knows where he is headed, but his evil and maliciousness is so profound that, having nothing to lose, he plans to take as many of us to hell with him as possible. He has the weapon of words to twist men’s minds and steer them away from God. He began this scheme with Adam and Eve by making them doubt and question the very words and direction of God (Genesis 3:1-5).

The father of lies was saying to the first couple that God was lying to them and keeping a great opportunity away from them – the idea that they could do things better than God, which was the very idea that got Satan thrown out of heaven in the first place. Satan planted the seed of every false, demonic, and self-centered philosophy and religion that would come upon the earth by suggesting that we knew better than God on how to run things.

We know (or should know) what happened afterward:

1) Adam and Eve immediately lost their intimate relationship with God (Genesis 3:7-11).

2) They immediately began assigning blame for the tragedy on each other and the devil, avoiding all responsibility and accountability for their willful disobedience (Genesis 3:12-13). Sin’s effect was already growing within them.

3) They threw away their home, their divinely assigned roles, their authority to govern and maintain the garden, the privilege and joy of uninterrupted fellowship with God, and sinless eternal life.

4) They both neglected to inquire of the LORD concerning the serpent’s argument, planting within themselves and their descendants the idea that they could overcome problems without God’s counsel.

5) Their rebellious nature spread to all their descendants, who ended up loving their sins and hating God (Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-18). Our sins have cut off any hope of redemption on our own terms, thus consigning us to eternal hell for our wickedness and disobedience (Mark 9:43-48; Luke 12:13-21, 16:19-31; Revelation 20:11-15).

6) God promised us redemption in spite of our sins (Genesis 3:15), which came in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 52:13-53:12; John 3:16, 14:6, 20:30-31; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:6-11, 6:23). The devil puts in us the abhorrence of this plan of salvation due to pride, hatred of God, rejection of Christ’s exclusivity, and the idea that we don’t need Him. Only the Spirit of God can open our eyes and bring our dead souls back to life (John 6:44; Acts 9:15; Romans 9:11-16; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Ephesians1:1-14, 2:10).

This is why we, as the followers of Jesus Christ, His true church, must remain diligent in spreading the gospel (Matt.28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8) in spite of the growing animosity from the world and its wicked systems. Too many souls have already passed through this life, merely existing, wasting the gifts and talents God gave them, wallowing in sin, and ending up in a place of eternal torment where they did not have to go in the first place. We cannot allow ideologies, causes, false teaching, the cares of this world, or temporary pleasures stop us from the task the Lord Jesus gave to us.

Before you were rescued by Jesus, your own life was heading for the waste bin, a forgotten grave, and a horrendous eternity. Do not let others fall into that misery and agony over a life that could have been used for God but can now do nothing about it.

Friend, if you have read this message and you do not have a relationship with God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, I implore you to get that issue settled TODAY (2 Cor. 6:2). You have no guarantee of tomorrow (James 4:13-17). Call on Him, ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and surrender your life to Him. Only then will you find out that your life does not have to end in an oblivious grave, a forgotten memory of a wasted life.