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Volume 19, Number 6, November / December 2001, Editor: Robert Johnson

America’s Greatest Enemy
Dangers Inherent In Freedom:
Physical and Spiritual Death:
Sin Makes Us Slaves:
The Deceptive Nature of Sin:
The Only Protection From Sin:
The Real Terror:
A State of Peace and Safety:

September 11, 2001 has changed America’s awareness of unseen dangers. We knew of the death and destruction caused by terrorists, but it was not usually personal. Now it is close to home and the reality of their potential danger has flooded our lives and our thoughts.
Today, I want us to consider a danger which is far more devastating and widespread than any radical Muslim hate group. Like America’s war against terrorism, it is a different kind of enemy and requires a different kind of war. This enemy has quietly and deceitfully worked its way into every community in our country. This enemy is often disguised and most always deadly, spreading death and destruction to as many unsuspecting souls as possible. This enemy is pleased by as many casualties as possible and both young and old are acceptable targets. Fact is, this enemy is or will be responsible for the death of the majority of citizens of our nation and many other nations around the world. And like terrorism, before September eleventh, it is a danger which many think can never affect them. This secret and deceptive enemy is Satan and sin. Let us consider the destructive power of sin, the deceptive nature of sin and our only protection against sin.

Dangers Inherent In Freedom: The Destructive Power of Sin
Terrorism has changed New York and the lives of many for generations to come. It has separated thousands from their friends and family, but think for a minute of how sin has changed the world. Before sin entered the world man lived in perfect peace with His Creator. God created mankind with the freedom of will, but freedom has its dangers for it includes not only the opportunity to do right, but also the freedom to do evil.

Physical and Spiritual Death:
The Bible speaks of two kinds of death. The one we all know is physical death. But, there is another kind of death which is even more significant and less understood and that is spiritual death. Spiritual death occurs when our sin separates us from our relationship with God. Speaking to members of the church, Paul reminds them that before they were in Christ, they were “dead in their trespasses and sins.” (Eph. 2:1,2).
Adam and Eve enjoyed a close relationship with their Creator, but using their freedom they choose to reject God’s will. With freedom came a potential for evil and death, just like freedoms in America make it possible for people to do evil things.
Gen 2:16-17: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
When Adam and Eve sinned (sin is a breaking the law of God: 1 John 3:4) God kept His Word and they died. They did not die physically that day, but it became a possibility because they were now separated from the tree of life along with all mankind after them.
Gen 3:22-23: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden..."
Rom 5:12: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
Sin created a barrier between man and his physical presence with God and the tree of life. But, sin also created a separation between God and the mind and spirit of man. As Paul mentioned, this can be called spiritual death. Our spiritual separation from God is not caused by Adam’s sin, but by each individuals personal sin, but all do eventually sin and thus die spiritually (Rom 3:23). When sin enters our lives, our close relationship with God is broken.
Isa 59:2: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
Ezek 18:20: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."

Sin Makes Us Slaves:
No other force on earth has caused the world such woe (even bringing about the destruction of almost all who lived on the earth in the days of Noah). Sin is a slavery and bondage far worse than being ruled by a dictator. Once we start down the path of sin, it owns and controls us and repays our loyal service with eternal death. Americans who would fight to the death to keep from becoming slaves, willing submit themselves to a slavery which will eventually result in their eternal spiritual death.
John 8:34-35: "...Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever."
Rom 6:16: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
Rom 6:20-23: "For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. ... For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The damage that can be done with a bomb is nothing to compare to the far reaching damage which can come as the result of sin. Sin has the potential for more death and destruction than any terrorist for it makes us the enemies of God. If America ever falls, it will not be due to some worldly power, but because we have allowed sin to isolate us from a good relationship with God. A bomb cannot separate my soul eternally from God, it can only take my mortal life. But sin promises spiritual death and separation from God forever.
Matt 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

The Deceptive Nature Of Sin:
Like Terrorism, sin from its beginning is rooted and founded in lies, deception and untruths. Sin always makes promises it cannot keep. Satan told Eve that God had not spoken the truth concerning the consequences of sin when he said, “Ye shall not surely die.” (Gen. 3:3-5). Ever since then, man has ignored and denied the reality and consequences of sin. The Bible often warns us of the deceptive nature of sin.
Heb 3:13: "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
Gal 6:7-8: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

The leader of sin’s assault is known as a deceiver and the father of all lies. Many think of Satan as a great and mighty adversary, but his greatest power over mankind is simply his ability to deceive and keep people in ignorance of God’s truth.
Rev 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world."
John 8:44-45: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not."

The deceiver wants us to believe there is no danger or reason to be afraid of sin. His prophets preach the lies of peace when there is no peace. To guard ourselves against spiritual terrorists we must keep ignorance out of the cockpit, by knowing the truth of God for ourselves (2 Tim 2:15).
In the name of political correctness America has many leaders and prophets proclaiming tolerance and acceptance of things which God declares to be abomination and sin. Sin is cloaked in deceptive terms like “choice” and “alternative lifestyle.” Americans might not recognize sin, but God has not forgotten His standards. This is not the first time a nation’ leaders have chosen to ignore the reality of sin saying there is peace when there is no peace and calling that which is evil good.
Jer 6:13-15: "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD."
Isa 5:20: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

It is (Osama Bin) Satan’s goal to so remove the knowledge of sin and truth that we do not even know that it exists anymore: He wants us to be blind to the truth of sin.
2 Cor 4:3-4: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
Sin always involves the absence of truth and always has far reaching consequences for it opens the door to more and more deception. Consider the twisted beliefs of Osama as an example. We must also keep in mind the sobering promise that God will send or allow strong delusions to come to those who do not love the truth and they will perish (2 Thes 2:10-12).
We must be on guard and aware of how sin destroys. Basically, it has power to destroy anytime it convinces us not to believe the truth.
SEE: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 for a list of sins which will keep many people out of heaven. The majority of sins on this list are considered by many to be acceptable in America.

The Only Protection From Sin:
The force that most threatens America’s safety cannot be stopped by guarding our airports or protecting our borders. Obedient faith and dependence on Jesus Christ is the only protection from sin and its awful destructive power. Once we have overcome our blindness to sin, we must seek the “ONLY” cure and protection from our sins in Jesus Christ.
Luke 19:10: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
John 14:6: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Acts 4:12: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Jesus single handedly took on sin and won a victory for us which forever insures that true believers will never have to face the ultimate consequences of their sin, separation from God or spiritual death.
Isa 53:10: "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin..”
Rom 5:21: "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
John 8:36: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
Heb 5:8-9: "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"

It is God’s will that through the knowledge of His truth we overcome the deceitfulness of Satan and sin and find our way back from spiritual death.
1 Tim 2:3-6: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

The Real Terror:
While the world lives in fear of physical death, the greater terror is to die physically without being ready to meet God spiritually. We seem to be far more concerned with preserving our short physical lives than we are with finding a place of safety for our eternal souls.
Heb 10:30-31: "For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
2 Cor 5:10-11: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;”

A State Of Peace And Safety:
For those who are willing to respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ, there is assurance that no matter what happens to us physically, we have salvation and a restored relationship with God for eternity.
Mark 16:15-16: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Rev 2:10: "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

The tragedy of September 11th has caused tremendous grief and sorrow to thousands. But, as I watched the towers falling on television, my first thought was how many of those dying were unprepared to meet God for an eternity! That is the greatest terror and it was caused by sin and an unwillingness to obey the Lord Jesus. In times like these, failing to be ready to meet God is the greatest tragedy. R. Johnson

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