Thursday, September 21, 2023

Worse Than Before

And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. (2 Peter 2:20 NLT)

When we’re sharing the gospel with our friends and family, we must always remember to pray, because a spiritual battle is raging.

Once Satan has taken hold of a life, he does not want to let go. So when he sees people making advances toward Jesus Christ, he will do everything in his power to stop them. And he’s always on duty.

The Bible warns, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT).

In the parable of the sower, Jesus described the seed of God’s Word being scattered on the ground, which represented human hearts. He said, “The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long” (Mark 4:15-17 NLT).

Sometimes people say they have become Christians, but in a month or two, they return to their old ways. They claim they “tried” Christianity but it didn’t work for them.

No, they never really found Christ. Because if they really knew Him, they wouldn’t go back to their former way of life. They went through the motions, but Christ never really became part of their lives.

It just may be that many of the people who claim to have been converted never have been converted at all. And often they end up worse than they were before.

Jesus said, “When a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe—until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings” (Luke 11:21-22 NLT).

The strong man Jesus was speaking of is Satan. He gets a foothold in a person’s life, and he wants to guard his investment. And all the religion and rituals in the world won’t drive out a demon power.

There is only one hope, and that is when “someone even stronger” comes in, according to Luke’s Gospel. That Someone, of course, is Jesus Christ. We need His help.

When people make a few moral changes, they start to feel better about themselves. They begin to trust in their own morality and the changes they’ve made. And in their smugness, they don’t think they need God. In essence, the devil has them right where he wants them. And in the end, he has a firmer foothold in their lives than he originally had.

The Bible says, “And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before” (2 Peter 2:20 NLT).

We must have Jesus Christ take residence in our hearts and lives, changing us from the inside out.

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