By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Battle for the soul is ongoing in a world of chaos, with undermining the soul of man, through destructive policies that attempt to pollute and exterminate a godly concept. There is a flood of ill-conceived policies that has withdrawn from the decency of man concept.
In Greek mythology a story is told of a box sent by the gods to Pandora, which she was forbidden to open. She opened the box out of curiosity that loosened a swarm of evils upon mankind; a prolific source of troubles.
We are seeing such come into focus; enhanced by modern day technology, a programming of the mind towards acceptance of ill-conceived ideals that would destroy a godly culture once embraced. There is a targeting of our youth towards acceptance of ungodly agenda; with a cancel culture to eliminate any past, that is deemed unworthy or a threat to what is being portrayed as acceptable.
A Bible dictionary definition of soul infers that it is a word commonly used in the Bible to designate the non-material part of man in its relationships with earthly and physical things, the immortal part of man.
The body, which at death returns to dust, awaits the resurrection, and non-material self (soul) which, if regenerate (having accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior), goes to paradise or heaven; if not, to the abode of the wicked death or Hell.
The soul which is immortal, cannot be touched by instruments of violence; it is immortal, it survives the body, lives in a separate state, while the body is in a state of death.
Scripture reveals: What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (Matthew 16:26)?
There is an ongoing battle for the soul today that has would not benefit a heavenly gain. There is a power struggle to control with no recognition given towards the soul of man. A Bible commentary noted: The lost of the soul is irrecoverable; a soul once lost and damned (committed to Hell) can never be retrieved.
Scripture reveals: 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 (Matthew 10:28). A Bible commentary noted: Fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell is a description of God, and of His power, to torment and punish both body and soul in Hell, an everlasting burning, in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.
Scripture reveals: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passes away and the lust thereof: but the that does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17). World signifies the evil desire and sin that is so much a part of human existence.
There is allowance being made by man towards a sinful nature which exceeds the Pre-flood days of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Babylon the hold of every foul spirit; all of which felt the harsh reality of God's judgment. There is a new generation of believers that is more tolerant and liberal towards the ways of the world; with the battle for the soul less recognized.
The prophet Joel, in speaking the words of the Lord, cried out: Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord comes, it is near at hand (Joel 2:1). The trumpet was used for various purposes but in this instance it was to be blown because of the seriousness of the crisis before the people.
Scripture reveals: If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to battle (1 Corinthians 14:8)? Today, the sound of the trumpet has an uncertain sound; if blown at all! The battle for the soul is ongoing; but many have become insensitive to any warning, because they relish the ways of ungodliness that is rapidly advancing in many lands.
There is many who have grown at ease; having their conscience seared with a constant flow of immorality. No wonder our younger generation is losing their sense of direction. No wonder many once godly nations have lost their once held integrity.
Why, because of those who are holding back, not giving warning; with many drifting away from the moral compass of yesteryear, and heading towards the wrath of God. Scripture reveals: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (suppress) the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).
Jonathan Edwards sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God," contained these words: Consider the fearful danger that you are in: You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder.
You have no interest in any mediator, and nothing to hold on to save yourself, nothing to keep the flames of wrath away, nothing of your own, nothing you have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.
The battle for the soul is ongoing today toward endangered souls who are about to descend into eternity, without the benefit of a Savior, unless repentance comes into focus prior to Judgment Day.
One man noted: A man has to think of his soul before everything else (Leo Tolstoy). In the hour in which we live many have reversed that saying by putting everything else before the condition of the soul.
A Sunday school commentary noted: Our nation is suffering from the corrosive immoral breath of the 21st century. The secularism, humanism, materialism, liberalism, and commercialism of our day have devastated our resources of security.
The home once the primary place of stability has become a battleground. The church has forfeited its power because of worldliness. In the battle for the soul; many are losing out to the enemy of one's soul, or Satan, for the temporal pleasure of sin, that would commit one's soul to a devil's hell. One man stated: Every man decides the way his soul shall go (John Oxenham).
The Psalmist David in reference to the battle for the soul, wrote: Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation (Psalm 24:3-5).
The Lord redeems the soul of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (held guilty) (Psalm 34:22). He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake (Psalm 23:3).
Scripture reveals: The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casts away the substance (desire) of the wicked (Proverbs 10:3). The righteous eats to the satisfying of the soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want (Proverbs 13:25).
Lay aside all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21). Receive the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:9).
In the battle for the soul one needs to be careful as to whom they patronize with. An illustration is given in God's Word: God delivered just Lot, vexed (oppressed) with the filthy conversation (conduct) of the wicked. For that righteous man dwelling among them (those of Sodom), in seeing and hearing vexed (tormented) his righteous soul from day to day with their ungodly deeds (2 Peter 2:7-8).
Lot made a bad decision, when given a choice as to where he would abide, choosing to dwell in the cities of the plain, pitching his tent towards (as far as) Sodom. Scripture reveals: The men of Sodom were wicked and sinners (sinful) before the Lord exceedingly (Genesis 13:13); which God would later, after delivering Lot and his family from its midst.
God's Word gives an illustration concerning a wrong decision; in the battle for the soul: A young man came to Jesus, asking Him: What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? Jesus responded with: Keep the commandments. The young man said: All these have I kept from my youth up what lack I yet?
Jesus said: If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions (Matthew 19:21-22).
A Bible commentary noted: Jesus showed the young man that his luxurious wealth had blinded him to his real weakness; that he loved his possessions more than he loved God! The battle for the soul is real; what one places before God, can hinder one's relationship with God.
Scripture tells that a certain rich man proclaimed: I say to my soul, soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him, you fool, this night your soul shall be required of you, then who shall those things be, which you have provided (Luke 12:19-20)?
A individual (or nation) cannot get comfortable in times of prosperity. Abraham Lincoln stated: We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation as ever grown.
But we have forgotten God! Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
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