"The deceived and the deceiver are His" (Job 12:16).
"There must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be manifest among you" (I Corinthians 11:19).
We are living in days wherein error and apostasy abound. Professing Christians are believing and disseminating notions that would have been summarily rejected less than a generation ago. The darkness is disturbing, and as God gives opportunity we should "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3).
We should also earnestly believe that nothing is happening apart from the allowance of the God who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11). He is also proactively utilizing "the deceived and the deceiver" as the means for revealing "they which are approved."
This has always been the case, going back to the very fall of Lucifer. God's nature and character required that if He created conscious beings, they would necessarily be free to determine devotion or rebellion. Lucifer and a portion of angelic beings chose the latter, and Adam would later chart the same course for humanity. The Creator was not caught unawares, however, and had determined in His perfect wisdom and foreknowledge to use the darkness as backdrop for an even more glorious display of His light.
There is much mystery in this Divine way, but the illumination that shines forth is sublime. The grace and mercy so abundantly offered to sinful humanity from the Lord Jesus Christ would never have been known had Adam not fallen. In no way did God determine the fall of man into sin. "God cannot be tempted with evil; neither tempteth He any man" (James 1:13). However, our Heavenly Father anticipated our demise, and prepared the Lord Jesus to be our Redeemer before we even existed. He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," and all grace and mercy ever shown to humanity has flowed from a salvation that preceded our need. "Before they call, I will answer" (Isaiah 65:24). Thus, the darkness of man's sin provided for a more vivid display of the light of God's loving righteousness.
Our hearts will rightly break as we see multitudes drowned in the floodtide of darkness that presently overwhelms the culture of both the world and the church. Concurrent with such concern, however, must be the faith that joyfully affirms that God's determination and allowance supersede devilish and human deception. Our Lord would not have us to be enshrouded with gloom, but rather energized by hope and assurance. We will be far more faithful expressions of His truth as we emphasize that long ago every contingency was anticipated and prepared for...
"The darkness and the light are both alike to Thee."