It is Extra Difficult to be Saved in this Generation-Even in the Third World
Luke 21:33-36: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (gluttony and other excess), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
Satan has developed a system in which there is constant distraction from seeking God and doing the things one must do in order to properly relate to Him through Jesus Christ. Sporting events, television, other entertainment, and (more than anything else for many) the internet and social media (these are constant distractions at the fingertips of most people).
Walking in a righteous, living faith before God has always necessarily involved putting aside distractions and foregoing momentary pleasure and ease which those around you are indulging in. Yet that was not always necessarily a constant relentless battle like it is now.
It was always the case that being confronted with religious deception was inevitable while people were faced with the challenge of properly labeling it and rejecting it. Yet this deception was not always constantly at one’s fingers and daily in one’s recommended videos on the internet (even just 30 years ago most people didn’t use the internet at all).
There was always ungodly entertainment which those who would be faithful to the Lord had to shun and contend with the conspicuous or insidious influence of. It was not always so that it was the norm in society to have television available to provide a multitude of channels 24/7/365 to distract and corrupt people (remember that Church of Satanism Founder Anton Lavey said that television would be the medium for mass infiltration of Satanism into society- Satanism at its core is basically humanism and hedonism).
It was always the case that one had to recognize and renounce concepts and societal norms which are out of line with the truth of God’s Word. It was not always the case that such things pervaded just about every aspect of society and abounded like they do today- and that especially goes for the segment of society which labels itself as Christian.
It was always so that things like self-esteem and overall self-image had to be died to and set aside in order to walk in the truth of God’s Word unshackled and without wavering. It was not always so that the tide of evil in the world fed those things to anywhere near the degree that has been done with the advent of social media and the general presence of the internet with its vain influence and the psychological war this has waged on people’s minds and emotions.
People have always had carnal cravings which have tempted them to give themselves to instant satisfaction and the gratification of their own egos. People have not always been able to have these demands fed and allowed to grow on a societal level as has happened through television, organized sports, the entertainment industry as a whole, the internet, the influence of social media (you can be affected by the influence of social media even if you don’t use it yourself), and the overall increase of technology and on-demand services.
Immodesty and seduction have always operated to some extent in certain ways on every level of society. Immodesty and seduction have not always been so normal, socially acceptable, and blatant as they are now. Immoral filth used to be limited to the black market, and then backrooms of convenience stores, and only very, very recently in human history has it become accessible to the point of being at the fingertips of almost everyone constantly.
Moral corruption and depravity have always been threats to be aware of and guard against. Yet they have never taken as many forms nor become so normalized, socially acceptable, and celebrated as at this time (especially since the advent of the internet and even more especially social media).
Allowing ambitions, pursuits in having fun, desire for momentary ease, and/or anxieties over life to prevent one from reading the Bible carefully, praying, and doing other Christian duties were always temptations which people had to deal with and not let have the upper hand in their life if they were to have any chance of being faithful Christians who inherit eternal life. The drive from the world to act on these things though (especially through the influence of the internet), as well as the ability to pursue these things to whatever degree one chooses to (again, mainly through the influence of the internet), have never been nearly as great as they are now.
There was also always potential deception in how a person or professing Christian group could stand for things which confront the evils of society in many ways and seem to be examples of moral excellence in many ways- and yet still come short of representing genuine Christianity somehow. Such stumbling blocks have always been around to potentially mislead people into a counterfeit righteousness instead of a living faith in the real Jesus Christ (which is the foundation of true righteousness in God’s eyes). Yet such stumbling blocks increase as society becomes more foundationally corrupt and (of course, you guessed it) with the advent of the internet (where you can find a respectable sounding preacher who preaches against the sins of society in many ways yet doesn’t represent the truth faithfully enough to adequately lead you down the road of faithful Bible believing and obeying Christianity).
Attachment to money and attachment to (perceived) financial security have always been major stumbling blocks in every generation and society which prevent people from faithfully serving the true God. Yet the standard of living, which is common in the first world for the average person, is unprecedented. Pressure to earn big, as well as entitlement mentalities, have increased- while the third world yet starves and dies of diseases which could have easily been cured if not prevented (causing those in the first world who neglected the needy to have guilt before God for the suffering and death due to poverty which they, as individuals, could have helped alleviate).
And prosperity and the normal way of life in the first world has just plain made it easier for people to deceive themselves that they can practically live without looking to God.
Luke 12:15-21: “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Jesus even warned that it is impossible to faithfully serve God and mammon at the same time (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13). His Word also warns about how the double minded are unstable in all their ways and cannot be in fellowship with God in their double minded state (James 1:5-8). This makes it clear that the pursuit of mammon and the pursuit of the true God are rival pursuits. Though there are some who do not pursue either with much diligence at all, there will surely be enmity in pursuing both.
The way of the world in general, and even more so in our time, is to value mammon in an inordinate way. Some people express that by getting as rich as they can. Often it is the uber-rich (very richest) who are the least content and who are the most obsessed with getting more. That is virtually always how the uber-rich have come to be uber-rich to begin with. Yet for many this inordinate value, and the pursuit of mammon which they are a slave to, takes the form of seeking an above average lifestyle and/or a relatively high social status. For some, it is the obsession with obtaining or maintaining a certain lifestyle that involves a little or a lot of luxury and self-indulgence. Perhaps closely related, but not necessarily, for some it is the determination to do everything possible so that they (and perhaps their children too) will never be in poverty. For many, it is holding onto the measure of financial security they’ve already attained in having their job to the point where they would do anything to keep it like allowing an experimental poison to be injected into their body (in essence, bowing to the demands of big pharma and corporatocracy) and/or praise abominable behavior before God and perhaps speak evil of people who did nothing wrong (this pressure in some corporations and other work environments stems much from the evil influence of wicked Marxist and Woke ideologies). Others express covetousness with mammon in refusing to work when they could support themselves and yet rather insist on others providing for them instead. For others, it is the pursuit of easy money through things like playing the lottery, sports betting, and other forms of gambling (a Christian has no business at a casino except perhaps to drag someone out of one).
Whatever the reason, it is covetous and idolatry to be bound to mammon (and being rich by world and historical standards, like most in the first world, actually tends to make people greater slaves to mammon)
Luke 18:17-23: “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.”
No one can enter into the way of righteousness in Christ which leads to eternal life, and walk therein faithfully, who does not dig deep, set their priorities straight in God’s eyes, and actually make sacrifices and suffer loss in keeping with those straight priorities. Jesus said what He said expecting us to use common sense and receive His point without coming to the wacky conclusions which some people come to over statements like the one we just read, while still letting His point sink deep into our hearts to mold our value system properly, to bind us firmly to doing what is right before God in all things and at all times, and to free us from being slaves to mammon so that the truth of God can reign in us and shine forth through us.
John 6:27: “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”
You may not be called to make great sacrifice and suffer great loss immediately like the Rich Young Ruler was, but we must rearrange our priorities and value system in compatibility with following the real Jesus like Jesus’ demands of the Rich Young Ruler implied for him. Otherwise, eternal life will be beyond our grasp in this world and in the next.
Never before has the world been so arranged (that is, deranged) and ordered to pull man into wrong priorities in God’s eyes, into value systems which are not compatible with the true God’s, and into habits which oppose following Jesus faithfully on His narrow way to salvation. And even though there are counterfeits of true Christianity which might be difficult to follow and they lead to hell (since they are not according to the truth of God’s Word), it is nevertheless true that when someone acts like being a faithful Christian who is on the way to salvation isn’t a difficult thing, they are only proving that they are not on that way themselves. If a faithful Christian life is not overall proper to describe as a swim upward against the current of the stream, then that simile is inappropriate to use ever in regards to anything.
And if you somehow did not notice, the chief reason that the title of this sermon is fitting (not that it wouldn’t still be fitting for other reasons too) is the internet and its accessibility to most people. This means there is always something there to distract one from what they ought to be doing before God (even though I’ve used the internet to prepare this message, there were millions of things I could have done instead on the internet). There are always preachers on the internet also, even many who preach relatively good sermons in comparison to many sermons out there, who still have corruption in their preaching and overall testimony who are sure to lead anyone astray who listens to them for very long. And through the internet we have such a large percentage of all the temptation the devil could ever dream of throwing at us, along with a mountain of reasons (that is, lies and poor excuses) to not really pursue Bible believing and obeying Christianity with our whole hearts in dying to sin and self to follow the real Jesus whose Spirit inspired the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
This message is given so you know what you’re up against. You are really in a vicious spiritual war for your soul and your eternity is at stake. Much more could be said- yet there is more in our other messages. The message a few messages back called “The Fake Jesus Image and its Disastrous Influence” is a good place to continue. Above all, take heed to every Word of God in the Bible, receive that Word with trembling, let it interpret and explain itself, and don’t spare yourself from performing the things it commands which, if you are honest, you know you ought to do.
Be like the Bereans and examine everything you hear critically from the Bible in order to come in line with it.
Acts 17:10-12: “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.”
Don’t refuse to acknowledge, or in any way be ashamed to acknowledge that you had been wrong about something before.
Proverbs 15:31-33: “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.”
As perilous as these times are, God’s grace is sufficient for those who will surrender to the true God and acknowledge their utter need of His mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. Those who will do this can indeed overcome and be saved if they continue in such a faith undeterred by anything or anyone.
No matter how unsuitable the conditions become, promises such as the one set forth in John 8:51 abide and remain attainable. John 8:51: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]