Murder defined: The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another
John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
So, does Satan murder? Of course, at times it is a physical death that he may orchestrate through the ideologies he promotes through radical groups here on earth. However, the main charge of murder centers around his hatred for the truth, and he will go all out to murder truth no matter where it is found.
Most premeditated murder happens because there is something to gain from the death of another. Money, revenge, hatred, silencing a witness, political gain, jealousy. Lots of reasons for someone to murder, but for Satan it is all about the truth of the Gospel. Nothing is more hated by him than the Gospel message of Jesus defeating him at the Cross and sentencing him for an eternity in Hell, with no chance of parole.
Jesus said that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, and his demeanor has not changed. He is not only a murderer; the Apostle Paul calls him ‘an angel of light.’ Can you imagine … a murderer, liar, deceiver, inserting himself into our theology and church life masquerading as an angel of light? Stop to think about that for a moment. How much of what we have been told and taught has not been truth but only half-truths designed to murder the real truth?
This was one of the reasons I started this blog a few years ago. I wanted to challenge the culture of society, and the culture in the church with what the Bible teaches. I realized for myself that much of what I accepted as truth over the years was not truth but half-truths mixed with ideas and concepts found in this world. So much of my acceptance of church tradition, such as theological bias, was based upon a system of beliefs by people … not God.
Some of those areas I tested to see if they were defective were:
• The Jewishness of the Gospel
• The Holy Spirit and a spirit-led life
• The gifts of a person versus the character of a person
• The modern message of self versus sacrifice
• The loss of sin, blood, and judgment from our vocabulary
• The worship of style over the purpose of declaring truth
• The fear of losing at life versus the loss of life for Christ
• The idols of ministry versus the picking up the cross and following Him.
• The cultural draw of size in ministry as it relates to fame, influence, and wealth
• The lack of real spiritual leadership that asks the hard questions of obedience in the pursuit of Holiness.
I could go on and on …
To my critics who think that I am repeatedly hard on the church, let me ask a few questions.
If Satan is an angel of light and he inserts himself as such into our religious systems, are we aware of it? Do we purge his footprint from our theological premises and call it out by sounding an alarm? If not, why not?
We have become so ignorant of Biblical principles and concepts that most people do not know how deceived they really are. Are we, as teachers of the word, okay with that? Apparently so, because I don’t hear Biblical teaching much anymore. I know it’s out there, but more and more our teachers are influenced by motivational speaking more than they are with Biblical teaching.
Teaching half-truths about Jesus is not truth. You can never make a case that a half-truth is okay … that is called compromise. Look at all the places in Scripture where compromise occurred and the resulting consequences to the people. Kings, prophets, priests … they all compromised, and the results were recorded in many of the historical Books of the Bible, especially the Major Prophets. We used to call a compromised message a result of a ‘backslidden’ church. Is that okay with any of you?
What do you think Jesus is going to say to us about our compromise? You can see what He did say to seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. That is a clear indication He is looking for more than just half-truths and compromise.
Any time you call for a course correction there will be angst. It means we have drifted off course, and have made our understanding of the Gospel our standard … rather than God’s understanding. God’s understanding of discipleship asks difficult, heart-penetrating questions. These are the questions that don’t ask about our theology … these questions ask about the quality of our love for God:
• Do you pursue God first before everything, including family?
• Do you care more about your opinion more than you do about God’s Word?
• Are you willing to empty yourself to be filled with Him?
• Who do you relate to in the parable of the talents? Which person best describes your investment in pursuing God?
• Do you make obedience to God’s Word a priority?
• Are you pursuing a Holy life in order to honor Him?
• What are you defending in your life that is keeping you from growing in God?
You see, hard questions help you grow in the deepest parts of your heart and understanding. They put you in touch with your real beliefs, and challenge you to go beyond just inspiring sermons and Bible studies of knowledge. Hard questions exercise you in a way that will bring real change … if you pursue them and surrender to God’s direction.
Hard questions are the reasons the devil wants to murder truth. The hard questions get to the truth, and the devil knows it will bring lasting change to your life.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler