by Richard Mansel, managing editor
When we plan to buy something, we weigh the costs and advantages of one product over another. The perceptive shopper knows that there are many more factors to consider than simply cost. In the bigger picture, which will be more advantageous?
If we will employ these strategies in the purchase of cars, cribs or something as simple as toothpaste, why would we not do so in weightier matters?
When we all stand before the judgment seat of the Lord, we will go to one of two places. “And [the unrighteous] will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46, NKJV).
Which will we choose? What does each have to offer? Will we choose God or Satan, Heaven or Hell?
Shakespeare displayed extraordinary perception when he examined the human heart.
In one of his most famous plays, we find Macbeth, in the Dunsinan Castle during an especially stressful time. What he learns and how he responds, is strongly descriptive of Satan’s world. Macbeth learns that the Queen has died and says:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all of our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Satan’s world flames with excitement, activity and promise. Yet, in the end, it comes to nothing. We seek the golden pleasures of Satan’s house and find only the laughter of an idiot with empty hands.
Satan promises the pleasures of the flesh and limitless mirth and wealth. Hidden in the deal are disease, destruction and death. He uses us as tools to destroy others and casts us away when he is finished.
On the other hand, God picks us up, heals our wounds and restores our vitality. He gives us an “abundant life” (John 10:10). He empowers us to be greater and more noble than we can ever hope to be on our own (Ephesians 1:15-20).
Will we enter the family of Christ and be lifted up and allowed to do the work of the Lord every day? Will we be sons of the inheritance and children of promise that receive consummate love and care (Psalm 23)?
Satan utilizes every lie and pleasure of the flesh that he has at his disposal. The world can scarcely contain the weapons of Satan’s warfare (Ephesians 6:10-12). Yet, they wither before the spiritual power of God (James 4:7).
Will we choose pleasure or the power of transformation? Will the lie lead us to Satan’s hell or will God’s truth and love take us to an eternal heaven?
The answer seems obvious to the clear-eyed and sober-minded. Yet, to the one lounging in the bed of iniquity, their mind inebriated with perversion, it cannot be clear. Moreover, their lives are “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
What a waste.