Delusions That Defy Common Sense :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Summary: The world system and all who live by it apart are deluded by both the devil and their own depraved minds. They believe they have everything figured out and can live without the intervention of God Almighty. Scripture proves otherwise.

The apostle Paul told the church at Corinth that there is a time to put away childish things and assume the maturity and responsibility expected of an adult or mature young person (1 Corinthians 13:11).

The time comes for everyone to grow up and realize that the world and all you know does not revolve around you, nor cares if what you say or think about a situation gets you somehow “offended” or “bent out of shape,” and you go on a social media tirade to complain about it. Childish behavior is not only tolerated here in America, but it demands that we bend to its point of view or suffer the consequences in one form or another. This is immaturity at its worst within the mental and emotional realm. It is a dangerous form of delusion that will end up crippling if not destroying the mind, the body, and the soul.

Common sense, as well as the Bible, shows that this world, no matter how optimistic or hopeful one’s outlook on life might be, is not going as it should. Even the most skeptical among us will have to admit that what we see, hear, and experience cannot have begun in such a dismal and reckless state. Somewhere on the road of history, something went wrong in our development and character, and we have exchanged potential, goodness, nobility, and foresight into a cesspool of adversity, heartache, confusion, and just plain evil behavior.

We can place the blame on our “evolutionary development” but cannot explain the degenerate lack of moral and ethical standards we should now possess and have brought to a level of brilliance over time.

Darwin and his cronies forgot to put the concept of absolute right and wrong into the DNA of our “ancestors,” whom artists and scientists portray as a cross between a trained chimpanzee and Fred Flintstone. It seems to me that skeptical anthropologists, as well as many man-centered egotistical scientists, have made us believe that we are a bunch of “yabba-dabba dorks” with no real sense of why we are even here and what difference we make in the progression of civilization.

What I am pointing out is that when people throw God out of their lives, plans, thoughts and deeds and ignore the offer of salvation given to us through the Lord Jesus Christ, they delude themselves with every kind of excuse or lame reason for not wanting to submit to Him. They think that in their own minds and actions, they will be able to somehow make everything right with whatever deity might be lurking in the afterlife, if they believe in it at all. We will accept any method we can to make life bearable and tranquil as long as it does not involve God or what He demands of us.

Ironically, it is this kind of delusional behavior that is mentioned in the Word of God (Romans 1:18-23), and I will use His Word to show the types of delusional behavior people generate for themselves as it applies to life and the life beyond.

1) The first instance of delusional behavior was initiated in the minds of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the perfect paradise where all was peaceful… tranquil. They had everything they could ever want, including a pure, loving relationship with God. There was just one place in the Garden where it was off-limits, and to go against God’s decree would mean death and disfellowship.

Read the story, and you will see that despite the blessings they had, the serpent (Satan) convinced them that it was not enough to obey God, but that He was holding out on them by not giving them the ability to be as God on an equal level. Satan had them believing that God was not being truthful with them and really wouldn’t carry out His decree for just a moment or two of carnal pleasure on their part, right? We all know how that turned out. Sinful behavior does not and never has brought anyone fullness of life, and we have paid the price of rebellion and sin since then, becoming enemies of God (Genesis 3:5-6; Psalm 58:3; Matthew 15:8; Ephesians 4:18).

2) We can be deluded into thinking that our nationality and citizenship is the key to salvation. It was not too long ago that most citizens of America considered themselves Christians simply because they lived in a country that was based on Judeo-Christian principles (almost all the Founding Fathers were Christian or had a strong faith in God despite what some history textbooks have said). This concept is nothing new, as the people of Israel thought that since they had been chosen by God to be a blessing to the world (Genesis 12:1-4) over the centuries, surely they were in good stead with Him even if their lifestyle was as reprobate as the pagan Gentiles in the land. The Pharisees believed that their law, observances, rituals, and traditions were acceptable in God’s sight and that they were assured of salvation.

John the Baptist corrected this mindset (Matthew 3:9) and opened many people’s eyes to the fact that citizenship in a country is no guarantee of citizenship in heaven, which is only made possible by the mercy and grace of God (Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9).

3) Not only are citizenship and other factors a reason that a lot of people are deluded into thinking that all is good between them and God, but they’re also deluded by the idea that a lot of repetitions and rote prayers are the way to please God, which is nothing but a form of works. Nothing we do in our own strength will make us right with God, no matter how pious or “holy” we may look or believe. This is one reason I personally do not like to have anyone “repeat the sinner’s prayer” or some other method of securing a “conversion.” They may only be doing so as an exercise or to get rid of you for pressuring them to “make a decision” that leads to a false sense of security and salvation (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 18:9-14).

Again, the Pharisees were an example of this type of religious ritual and were condemned for it by the Lord Jesus (Matthew 6:7). Prayer is an honest, reverent, and intimate time of talking with God – nothing more, nothing less. It is a privilege and blessing, not some repetitious action that goes nowhere.

4) Probably the most tragic delusion is that people believe they have plenty of time to get things squared away with God or to respond to the Gospel. How many people have ended up in hell because they put off the most important decision of their lives? A notable example is where the apostle Paul, who is imprisoned for preaching about Jesus and the resurrection and is in the custody of Felix, a local Roman governor and nobleman. Paul had told Felix and his court about Jesus and His sacrifice for sins on the cross and that salvation is made possible by Him alone. Felix heard the Gospel but never embraced it, citing that he would wait until a “more convenient season” to hear Paul again (Acts 24:22-27). There would be no season for Felix, and Paul would linger in the prison for another two years.

Jesus told the parable about the rich farmer with a huge harvest who told himself that all was right in his life, until God required his soul that very day. He died unprepared and lost in his thoughts that he had all the time in the world (Luke 12:13-21).

Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). There is no guarantee of tomorrow, and you cannot borrow extra minutes to change anything (James 4:13-17). Once you’re dead, you are either in heaven or hell (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). You don’t get a “do-over” or “second chance.” There are other deluded behaviors and stunts people pull in this life to either avoid, compromise, or make some kind of “deal” with the Sovereign LORD God Almighty that contain everything but the confession of sin, the cry for forgiveness, and the surrender of their life to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Scriptures command (Romans 10:9-10).

I pray that those of you reading this message are not in the categories that I have listed and that your life, mind, and heart are truly redeemed by the Lord Jesus. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking that you can save yourself. That is a delusion that will end in eternal tragedy. Come to Christ today.