I encourage you to understand the most seductive temptation of all.
The temptation which carries the greatest consequences, and could well be the most difficult to reason through due to its seductive nature, is that of thinking you’re OK without Jesus Christ being Lord of your life.
We learned from Jesus time of temptation (Luke 4:1-13), that it’s all about seducing you to do what Satan wants. Satan failed with Jesus, but he’ll persevere with you and I. He wants you to discard the idea that the God who created you is worthy of your life’s affection, obedience, loyalty and worship.
Consider Jesus, He was “rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious” (1 Peter 2:4). In the original Greek language used here in the Bible, “rejected” means to examine then disapprove of. The world’s fatal error of disapproving of the one God accepted does not have to be your failing also.
Jesus explained by parable the seductive nature of wealth and our attitude towards God. Speaking of a man who had prospered financially, the man said to himself; “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate! But God said to him, You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you… So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:19-21 NET).
I’m sure you can see the tempting allurement this man faced. His love for the false and often blinding security which wealth offers had blinded him to the eternal reality of God and his own soul. In spite of what we may feel, the reality is that “whoever trusts in his riches will fall” (Proverbs 11:28). In Luke 16, Jesus tells of a rich man who died without any relationship with God. Finding himself in the torment of hell, he asks if someone could go back “to my father’s house – for I have five brothers – so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment” (Luke 16:28).
The seductive trap of thinking you don’t need Jesus Christ, is that you are not only responsible for your life of disbelief, but you can’t go back to put it right. You can’t negotiate a second chance. You can’t even arrange for anyone to go warn your family to ignore your example. This is why thinking you don’t need Christ as your Lord and Saviour is the most lethal of all temptations. No other temptation is so insidious, and no other carries such nightmarish ramifications.
Don’t play ‘follow the leader’
In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus pictured the difficulty of turning in faith to Jesus like this; “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” There are plenty of people on the broad road who will happily downplay your need of Christ to cleanse you of sin. Those who will light-heartedly excuse away that Jesus could be of any eternal benefit.
Speaking from personal experience, I can testify that these words of Jesus absolutely are true and trustworthy. “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Today, I ask you to ensure that you understand the most seductive temptation of all and that Christ is the answer. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz