There is a genocide currently taking place. I am not directly speaking of the recent genocide in Iraq but instead of the genocide of the heart.
While genocide is seemingly targeted toward religious minorities, the truth is that history has spoken to multiple instances of purging within a group from another. “Purging” is not a new concept in our society.
Genocide is described as acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group (McGill Faculty of Law-Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide. What is Genocide) It is important to understand that this is not limited to Christians.
We should also take into account that while genocide results in the destruction of the physical person, it is more important to recognize that there is an underlying commitment to destroying the hearts and minds of ALL men and women resulting in fear, depression, suicide, and hopelessness.
Beginning in the garden, it all started with a question, “Did God really say . . . ,“ followed by a rebuttal to Eve’s reply, “You will not certainly die. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” From the very beginning, the serpent created a question in the mind of Eve, a question which took her eyes off Her Father and deceived her into disobedience.
This of course resulted in what the Bible calls “The Fall” which would be the curse for all of mankind. Many people ask, “Why was a curse inflicted on all mankind?” Well, the absolute truth is that when we fell for the LIE dangled by the Serpent and disobeyed God, we took our lives into our own hands. Yes, God gave us free will and allowed us a choice. But we chose to disobey Him. Herein enters sin.
Romans 5:12-21 shares with us that “As sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” There is no escaping this fact.
So what is sin? A small word, but as defined on About.com What is Sin?, it is described as: “The breaking, or transgression of God’s Law (1 John 3:4)”. It is also defined as “Disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God.”
Sin brings with it some ugly definitions and some ugly consequences. Growing up in the 20th Century, many would turn away from the Church due to the “Hell and Brimstone” teachings related to sin and death. Many would feel the effects of guilt and oppression but not understand the gift of Grace and how Grace would cover our Sin and a Father’s Love be seen in the Gift given freely. God hates sin, cannot be around sin; so He gave a Gift which would free us from the effect of sin in the lives of those who accepted this gift, thereby allowing us into a life and eternity with Him.
So, sin entered after Creation, but why? God gave us free will, did He in fact give us a loophole, in effect allowing us to sin? That is a question many ask, thinking that by giving us free will, we have a “free pass” to live as we please regardless of the consequence. No, sin entered Creation through Adam and Eve but it is important to go back in time a bit and learn of a much greater Fall which preceded this event with humanity. In Ezekiel 28, we learn of an Angel by the name of Lucifer whose “Heart became proud on account of his beauty, which corrupted his wisdom because of his splendor.” As described on Christianity.com Fall of Lucifer, this represented the actual beginning of sin in the universe. “Lucifer, in fact, thought himself so beautiful that he began to seek honor and glory which was God’s alone. The sin that corrupted Lucifer was self-generated pride.” The result of this sin was a rebellion against God which manifested in Lucifer being cast down to earth.
So the enemy walks the earth and begins to create a plan to destroy God’s Creation, HEART BY HEART.
It’s important to know how sin entered the world and the consequence of it’s continuance. While many may choose to walk away from God, with every intention of ignoring the effect of sin in their own lives, this does not remove the effect and consequence of sin in this world. Romans 3:23 tells us “For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Sin entered the world by the hate of Satan on God’s Creation and through the falling to temptation by man. Ignoring sin, and consequently the enemy, does not mean they do not exist.
Just as the enemy deceived Eve in the garden, he continues to deceive unknowing believers and unbelievers alike to this day. John 10:10 shares that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”
We can’t miss this truth, friends. The thief is here, the proof is everywhere. We can choose to ignore the crime rate, the prison rate, the divorce rate, the suicide rate, the substance abuse rate and we can even choose not to watch the genocide of innocent children being committed in the name of religion. But just as sin will continue, so will the enemy.
What are we to do? You may ask, where can I find Hope in this world?
How do we fight an enemy we can’t even see?
I have to admit that I have been thinking about this a great deal of late. JK Rowling wrote a fictional story of a society, who chose to ignore the evil lurking in the corners of their community; even to the point of refusing to say his name. And a small group of people decided they had had enough of the terror being inflicted on their community, determined to fight the evil head on.
We may not have what it takes to fight the unseen enemy lurking in the corners of our community on our own, but we have something which Harry Potter never had.
WE HAVE JESUS!
The second half of the words of Jesus in John 10:10 tell us: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” He goes on in v 14-15 to say “I am the good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
You see, sin may have entered the world through the deception of a fallen angel. And it may even continue through the deception of the enemy. But it has been defeated. Defeated by the Life, Death and Resurrection of our Savior sent for this very purpose. God created a world perfect in every way, Satan corrupted it by deceiving mankind, man chooses to listen to the deceptions of the enemy rather than follow God’s Perfect Plan, but Jesus defeated sin on the Cross. Jesus fulfilled the law of perfection which man could never live up to after the fall (Matthew 5:17); and He removed the condemnation over man’s sin when He nailed it to the Cross (Colossians 2:14.) When we ACCEPT the Grace He gave through Faith, the enemy no longer has a hold on us.
Let me say that again, the enemy no longer has a hold on us! THIS IS THE GOOD NEWS FRIENDS!!!
But just as the 6:00 news makes us aware of the news of the day; we too must be aware that the enemy is still very much alive. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 tells us that Jesus will finally destroy the enemy, but until then we must be aware of his presence. We must be aware of his deception. We must be aware that the sin of this world is due to the hatred of an enemy who knows that his destruction is at hand. We must be aware that his intent is to place as much space between God and His creation as possible. Through distractions, through deception, through influence; he will do everything he can to take our eyes off Jesus and the Grace that is offered on The Cross. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 continues to share “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” We MUST be aware of his intent but take heart: Psalm 37:1-2 reminds us: “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither; like green plants they will soon die away.”
More importantly, we must be doubly aware that God is OMNI-Present. He stands outside of space and time. His Presence is above us, around us, within us. His Promise is as real today as it was over 2000 years ago. Psalm 32:7 says: “You are my hiding place, You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Isaiah 41:10 says: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right Hand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13 goes on to say: “Finally be strong in the Lord and in His Mighty Power. Put on the full armor of God, so that You can take Your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after your have done everything, to stand.”
So Mighty Warriors, STAND! Shake off the enemy in The Name of Jesus. Buckle up The Belt of Truth around your waist, Place the Breastplate of Righteousness over your heart, fit your feet with The Readiness of The Gospel of Peace, take up the Shield of Faith, Wear the helmet of Salvation and carry The Sword of The Spirit which is The Word of God. Be aware, remain alert and PRAY.
Jesus has already won this battle and will win the war. So we can now CHOOSE to stand firm on The Cornerstone who joins us all together to become a Holy Temple in The Lord (Ephesians 2.)
Father, You are El Shaddai, Almighty God. You have promised us victory over sin and death. You have promised us victory over our enemy. Jesus became our Savior so we could live a full life both here and beyond with You. We thank You for grace, we thank You for protection and we thank You for empowering us to be mighty warriors in your great army against the thief who threatens genocide to our Heart. Father, may we all accept The Gift of Grace You have given, may we all stand strong on The Cornerstone of Jesus, may we all take on Your Armor and courageously seek You and Your Will in our lives.
In Jesus’ Name
Your Warrior Daughter