Sunday morning, the minister talked about Jesus sharing about His second coming to His disciples from John 14-16. A thought surfaced – “I have heard this before many times.” Pride. No sooner does the proclamation of the gospel happen that a temptation arises to attempt to blunt the message. Temptations do not come from God. Rather they come from the source of darkness and try to block our listening so we do not hear and the Spirit does not have material to work in our hearts. Such subtle deception – these temptations.
Yes, I have heard that message from that passage many times before, but the moment the cross gets stale and old is the moment it fades from memory. This results in losing sight of the love of God. The slippery slope begins from that point first toward questioning God. This questioning, while entertaining what we consider as the staleness of the message of the gospel, leads to another rung downward. Doubt creeps in. This questioning and doubt do not arrive without a nudge. Temptation gives them that nudge. Unless we encounter that temptation, it could blossom into skepticism and subsequent unbelief. Giving into temptation takes a person a step away from God. That first step encounters more temptations. If we succumb to them, the steps away from God become more rapid until we run full speed into unbelief.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us” (1 John 2:19).