By Dennis Huebshman
There is a misconception that God will tempt us, trying to cause us to slip into sin James 1:13-15, “Let no one say when he/she is tempted; I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one. (14) But each one is tempted when he/she is lured and enticed by his/her own desires. (15) Then when desires conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.” This started in Genesis 3 with the fall from grace by the first people on earth. (emphasis mine)
Next main point, 2 Peter 3:9 tells us God wants no one to fail and end up in the Lake of Fire, but would like for everyone to come to repentance.
Some may say Jesus was tempted, and He is God. In both Matthew 4 and Luke 4, there are narratives of the three things the devil tried to tempt Jesus with. One thing to remember, while Jesus was on this earth, He became fully man, even though He was still fully God. Hebrews 2:7, “You made Him lower than the angels for a little while. You crowned Him with glory and honor.”
Ever since the account of satan’s fall because of self-pride when he tried to make himself equal with God (Isaiah 14:14), he has done everything in his power and bag of tricks to overcome the Trinity. He is so arrogant that he believes he will somehow change the outcome of his condemnation. The main problem with this is, there is no forgiveness for any of the heavenly host that turns against the Father. As Revelation 12:4 mentions, the “dragon” (satan) had swept away a third of the “stars” (angels) in heaven, and hurled them to earth. The angels that followed satan are here as demons and their activity is increasing. This is very obvious with the condition of this world today, and it will not be getting any better.
When satan tried to get Jesus, the man, to succumb to the temptations, he knew this was a major time to act. Jesus had just gone into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days. As with any human, He would have been very hungry and somewhat weakened, and satan thought this would be the best time to strike. However, Jesus realized that if He gave in to satan, even in the slightest, it would’ve been a sin, and His pending sacrifice would be worthless. Though His death was a terrible price to pay for all of us who are unworthy, our Joy, Hope, Praise and Worship of Him were sealed that day. His “human” side totally resisted the devil, and in fact, put satan to shame.
Because of these temptations, Jesus can say with authority that He understands exactly how we feel Hebrews 2:18, “For since He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted.” Help is there for the asking, however, many times we are caught up in the temptations before calling out. And, yes, afterward we feel shame because we allowed ourselves to fall. That is one of the main reasons behind 1 John 1:8-10, “If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) But if we confess our sins, (something Jesus never had to do), He is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins, and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say we have not sinned (remember, God is all-knowing), we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
In all testing, God provides a way, if we will put our faith and trust totally in Him; 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide a way of escape that you might be able to endure it.”
The Israelites in Moses’ day tested the patience of God almost from the moment they left Egypt. They “grumbled” at the Red Sea before crossing, and for almost all of the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness. By the way, that 40 years could’ve been just a couple weeks if they had only trusted the reports by Joshua and Caleb and truly put their faith in the Heavenly Father.
Exodus 32 tells about the “golden calf” which Aaron made when the people demanded they have a “god” they could see to worship. Moses delayed coming down from the mountain as he was in the presence of the Lord, and because of the people’s lack of trust in God, about 3000 of them died that day.
In Deuteronomy 6:16, Moses cautions the people about needing to obey God. “You must not put the Lord to the test as you did at Massah”. Massah was a place where the people were complaining bitterly because of a lack of water. There, God instructed Moses to strike a rock, and water flowed for all the people to drink. These people had witnessed miracle after miracle the Father did for them, yet they still failed to trust in Him completely. At the slightest inconvenience, they acted as if He was their persecutor rather than their guardian.
I mentioned earlier about the increase in demonic activity that is accelerating almost on a daily basis. Just keeping up with real news about world events shows unrest all over this planet, as if it’s an orchestrated assault; which it is. Satan’s demons are getting the atmosphere prepared for the entry of the New World Leader – the final anti-christ. Christianity is being openly attacked just about everywhere.
Nothing that is taking place is a surprise to the Father. Through His Son, Jesus and others, we were told about 2000 years ago that the world’s condition would be exactly as it is today. Prior to the actual “set foot on earth” by Jesus for the millennial reign, there will be a 7-year period of tribulation or wrath like has never been before. This will be a time when the Father finally takes His wrath out on this sin-filled world, and all inhabitants remaining. There will still be people that will be saved, especially the Jews, but the cost will be very high.
Before the actual tribulation starts and the anti-christ is introduced to the world, the “influence” that is holding him back must be removed. (2 Thessalonians 2:6) That would be the Holy Spirit, and to remove Him would mean the “Holy Spirit indwelled” believers must be removed (Raptured) as well. This will signal the fullness of the Gentiles as given in Romans 11:25, and will have to take place to fulfill God’s promise to keep all believers from the Wrath that will start. (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9)
This will not really be a time of testing, as those who follow the beast will have the delusion they are in the right. (2 Thessalonians 2:11) Their destiny is the Great White Throne and the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
Before that time, everyone still has the open invitation to call on the name of the Lord and be saved. (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13) Everyone who accepts Jesus before the Rapture of the believers will avoid the tribulation. This world is turning against everything pertaining to Jesus, but it’s not anywhere near as bad as the final 7 years will be.
If you haven’t accepted the Savior’s free gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven, you’re gambling with your eternal soul. It’s a sure thing, and a huge win to believe Jesus came to this earth and took our sins to the cross at Calvary. He died for us as the perfect and only sacrifice the Father could accept. He arose on the third day and conquered sin and death for all believers forever. If you accept Him, He will not turn you down. This is not a test – it is real!
To reject the Son’s free offer is the unforgivable sin, and a ticket directly to the Lake of Fire. It’s completely up to you to decide, and there is no other way. Confirm your reservation today as tomorrow may be too late.
Come Lord Jesus!