2 of 2
Last week Pastor Doug began a two-part series called “Kingdoms in Conflict”. Ever since sin entered the world, Satan has been the ruler of the cosmos. There are only two kingdoms, with vastly different values and agendas—and there’s no neutrality. Every person on earth has allegiance to one kingdom or the other—Satan’s kingdom or God’s. Some will say that if we reject their view, that we are rejecting them as a person. But any of you who are parents know that this is false. Our children continually are pleading for views that we outright reject. But our love for them is unquestionable. Some say: “If you reject my view, you’re rejecting me.” We’ve seen that this is not true. But the alternative is not: “If you accept me, you must accept my views.” The connection between loving a person and acceptance of their views is this: Because I love you, irrespective of cost to myself, I will resist any idea which will harm you; I will promote any idea which would bless you.”
This is the biblical position. We don’t just stay out of things because there may be uncomfortable issues involved. We are our brother’s keeper. We have responsibilities toward our fellow man. We cannot make anyone do the right thing; that’s not our role. But we do have to care; we do have to try to help others who are harming themselves. We do this lovingly, gently, and winsomely, even when the other person pushes back against our involvement. The ethic of “live and let live” turns out to be unloving—keeping our distance and letting others harm themselves. The balance, of course, is that in the final analysis, after trying to sway them away from harmful positions and toward wholesome ones, we respect each person’s right to make choices which will harm themselves.
Here is one of those views that matters enough to fight for, that can determine one’s eternal destiny: “Jesus Christ— and he alone —is God in the flesh.” It’s an objective statement. You may agree with it, or you may disagree. It may be true or it may be false. But one thing that it’s not is flexible; it excludes and middle position; you’re on one side or the other. And religions and philosophies of the world have taken sides on it. Christianity, of course, affirms it—but no other religion in the world does (and there are 4,200 of them!). The classic “world faiths”, such as Budhism, Hinduism, and Islam don’t. The “novelty faiths”—late-comers and spin-offs—such as Hare Krishna, Mormonism, and New Age don’t. Secular faiths such as Atheism, Materialism, and Scientism, don’t. This is an epic conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Of all the belief systems, only Christianity sends a Savior from heaven—God in the flesh.
The Bible categorically states that all other religions and belief systems are demonic (1 Corinthians 8:4-5; 10:14, 19-20). Diversity of culture is great. Diversity of politics can be fine. Diversity of music enriches us. Diversity in cuisine is exciting. But diversity in religion is demonic. This is not a popular view. But it is the biblical view. The clear teaching of Scripture (1 John 5:19). When somebody we love holds a faulty view, it doesn’t mean that they know that they’re under the control of the devil. They do not. Remember: Satan is a deceiver (2 Corinthians 4:4).
But the Bible also warns believers: We must pay much closer attention to the truth we have heard, or we will drift away from it (Hebrews 2:1). We are at risk. The human heart is not neutral. We will —not “may”—drift away. Our natural drift is away from God’s truth. In order “not to drift away” we must pay “much closer attention” to the truth we have heard. Can you honestly say that you pay “much close attention” to doctrine? How often do you read the Bible, on your own? Do you ever study God’s word, on your own? Many of our friends haven’t —and they’ve already drifted away. You know some of them. They used to be at church. They used to be enthusiastic about God. They used to serve others. But now they’ve just drifted away. Some here today know that they are drifting. You’re not gone—yet—but you’re drifting. I urge all of us: let’s pay much closer attention to biblical truth. Following are five truths found in just the first chapter of Genesis which Satan’s kingdom is attacking today:
 “In the beginning God…” The existence of God is denied in our world today. The Kingdom of God resists the atheistic impulses of our day. With which kingdom will you align yourself?
 God created everything. The Kingdom of Satan promotes the idea that the universe came into being…from nothing. There is no creator. We’ve got to decide which kingdom we’ll side with on this question. You will be called a yahoo—or worse—if you affirm that you believe that God is Creator.
 Every created thing reproduces “after its kind” (this phrase occurs ten times in Genesis Chapter 1). One thing does not evolve from another. The Kingdom of God teaches divine, specific creation and the Kingdom of Satan teaches evolution. We’re free to decide which one of those you believe, but we’re not free to decide which kingdom each view represents.
 God’s kingdom teaches that mankind is uniquely created in God’s image. Sub-human creation is not; it is “after its kind”. But Satan’s lie, evolution, is that mankind is just the most advanced animal. According to evolution, humans differ from animals only in degree, not in kind. But God says we differ in kind; we’re his kind. And so we’ll have to decide which kingdom-story we’ll believe.
 God created people as either male or female—and we cannot change. More and more people today are confused about their sexuality and their gender. I feel sad for them. Sexuality is a mysterious and powerful aspect of our lives, and so to be confused and conflicted on this issue must be deeply painful. But God’s Word is unambiguous on this issue: human beings come in only two models: male and female. Gender and sex are the same thing, and it is binary. It is unloving to our fellow man to go along with Satan’s war on the image of God. Maleness and femaleness are glorious manifestations which together more fully “image God”. Males and females share equal dignity, but one’s gender is not changeable. Out of love for God and our fellow man, we must choose to hold to the unpopular view that transgenderism is a confused state of mind and soul. This is the view of God’s kingdom, and it is in conflict with Satan’s.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
Study, understand, and apply 1 Corinthians 1:17—3:20 (see “Digging Deeper” section in today’s Talking Points / Walking Points).
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)