ASK Newsletter 1st Quarter 1993


Why Conflict in the World?

John H. Stoll, Ph.D
Executive Director, ASK, Inc.

Constant and continuing conflicts in life, and in the world, are very troublesome to all. One may wonder as to why these are so constant? The Bible paints a picture to provide the answer, as well as giving one guidelines for personal resolution, and understanding as to the nature of world problems.

The garden of Eden experience gives us a framework as to the beginning of all the problems that the world has ever had. When our first parents turned from being God centered to becoming self centered, they separated themselves as well as us through human sinful nature, from God. Satan, who was the supernatural antagonist against God, not only deceived Adam/Eve, but has been deceiving mankind since. Thus, the conflict in the world is, and always has been, between God and Satan with mankind in between. This is one reason why Jesus Christ came into the world, to destroy Satan's deception of mankind (I John 3:8), and reconcile individuals to God.

Unfortunately, Satan, though he was defeated by Christ's resurrection, has continued to do his evil work in the world. Jesus put his finger on the nature of Satan's work, for He said in John 8:44, " He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is not truth in him." If one studies the Bible it is seen that from the garden of Eden to the cross of Christ, Satan used destruction to try and achieve his work in destroying God's purpose in mankind. Since the resurrection of Christ, Satan has used deception to undermine God's work in the world.

There are three great deceptions used by Satan today, that not only adversely affect individuals, but that cause trouble everywhere in the world. First, in Matthew 24:4,5, Christ said, "Take heed that no one deceive you, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive" people from acknowledging Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. All false religions, cults and isms have this as their primary goal. The difference between the true Christ and the false ones is the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12). Note also I John 4:1-4.

If Satan cannot deceive one through a false Christ, he then resorts to the second great deception, that of Sin. In today's world "rationalization" and "justification", or "everyone is doing it", are reasons for accepting of all kinds of behaviors that are contrary to God's principles for proper living. The breakdown of the family, with family values, the lack or moral/ethical/spiritual values being taught in our schools, as well as television, have all been contributing factors to sinful behaviors being accepted as the norm in today's society. This has been an acceptable deception by Satan upon people, so that sin is no longer considered contrary to God's principles for proper living. In Hebrews 3:13 we are warned to, "Exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." It is important that Christians stay close to the truth of God's word, as well as to each other in encouraging Biblical living.

If Satan cannot deceive people through the first two ways, he resorts to a third deception, even more subtle than the first two, and that is through humanistic philosophy. In Colossians 2:8 we are told, "Beware lest anyone spoil you through his philosophy and vain deceit, which is after the tradition of mankind, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ." The "me" generation, new age philosophy, and any ideas of mankind that are not in accord with Biblical principles, are all designed by Satan to deceive and confuse people, so that one's worldview is skewed against any commitment to Jesus Christ. Since one's way of life is that track upon which life is run, it is important to find the right the right way of life, as Christ said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one come unto God, but by me."

In II Timothy 3:1,2, it notes that in the last days perilous times would come, for people would become lovers of SELF, and this is what we see in our world today. I Timothy 4:1 tells us that people will give "heed to deceiving spirits, and doctrines that demons teach." All this is rampant in the world in which we live. How then do we counter this deception? God's Word gives us the antidote to Satanic deception, as stated in II Timothy 3:16, 17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (as the antidote to the false Christs), for reproof and correction (as the antidote to the rationalization of sin), and for instruction in righteousness (as the antidote to humanistic philosophies), that the child of God may be brought to maturity, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

In 1952 the New York Times Sunday supplement noted that from 1850 to 1950 there were 113 books written which they said impacted our nation. As one evaluated this list is was stated that not one of these books was written to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. It is easy to see how and why the chains of deception have been riveted upon our world today. Only God's Holy Spirit, in the lives of people coupled with His applying the truth of God's Word to searching hearts, will be able to break this spell and bring eternal life and freedom, with hope for the future.