Don’t accept the enemy’s substitute

“Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Isaiah 36:16-17

The king of Assyria had already conquered the fortified cities of Judah. Now this great army is approaching Jerusalem. The enemy, who began by threatening, now tries another tactic. He attempts to convince the people that what he has to offer them is just as good as what they have now. His promise to them is that if they will just agree to his terms of surrender, they can continue in the lifestyle they currently enjoy in their own land until he comes to take them away to a foreign land where they will still enjoy the same things.

War is difficult. War is costly. War is inconvenient. Surrender without really losing anything doesn’t sound so bad….

Except that this land which is like your land, isn’t your land. Nothing in this land belongs to you. And what the enemy has failed to mention is that there will be no freedom for you there.

The enemy is an expert in counterfeit. Our nation is filled with a counterfeit gospel that sounds good. It speaks of Jesus and faith and spiritual things. But there is no altar, there is no repentance, there is no holiness. This false gospel knows nothing of obedience, a consecrated life, or a life of prayer. And those who surrender themselves to such a message might enjoy some benefit of spiritual things, but they possess nothing. Christ is not their life but merely an accessory. They live in the kingdom of this world which has been altered to resemble the kingdom of God….but it isn’t. We have been warned that this would happen.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

It is so much easier to redefine sin than to wrestle in prayer until a besetting sin is overcome. It is easier to be moral than holy. It is easier to simply enjoy a Sunday sermon than to get in the altar and die to everything of the self life. It’s easier to be religious than to engage in the warfare of this spiritual life.

Because war is difficult. War is costly. War is inconvenient. And thus many surrender to a false gospel that doesn’t cost them anything. But there will never be any freedom there.

Hold fast, people of God, to the true gospel of Jesus Christ! It is a glorious message of life and power! It is the only hope this world will ever have. For the sake of those who do not yet know, and for the honor of the Lord Jesus, we must not compromise the message. Ever!

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