The world is in the grip of the devil and worship him openly and gladly.
By Dr. Donald Whitchard
“In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore, whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
And I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Are nor five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Also, I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven. Now when they bring you to the synagogue, magistrates, and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
- Luke 12:1-12 (NKJV)
These teachings, as some of you would probably conclude, are revisions of a series of sermons that I presented to my former congregation some years ago before I decided to devote most of my time to writing as a new area of ministry. This endeavor is also a means of outreach to those readers, bloggers, pastors, and teachers who perhaps are in areas where open proclamation of the Gospel would be met with dire consequences to their lives and well-being. I’ve also undertaken this task with the idea that some people who read these are promoting an alleged unbelief and skepticism in the open, but when alone start to wonder if all that they have advocated concerning that stand might be wrong and that perhaps the claims of Jesus Christ might be worth examining.
I have never backed down, compromised, or apologized for what I have written or spoken behind a pulpit these past thirty-six years since dedicating my life to preaching the Word of God and teaching the truths of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. I’ve never changed my approach in warning people of the horrid consequences awaiting them after death if they do not confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God the Father has raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10).
It does not matter one whit to me what anyone says in opposition or defiance to this truth. Jesus Christ Himself declared to His apostles and the world that He and He alone was the only way to God the Father and the promise of eternal life (John 3:16, 14:6; 20:31, Acts 4:12, 16:31; Romans 5:6-11). Nobody has or ever will have any ability within themselves to redeem their lives and make themselves right with God in their own strength or thought. No one is in the presence of the Sovereign LORD in heaven right now who got there with “good works”, or “religious” behavior, or any means designed by their own mind (Isaiah 64:6-7; Ephesians 2:8-9). That kind of thinking is found nowhere in the Scriptures.
Everyone, whether redeemed or reprobate, needs to come to the realization that it is God Almighty who controls the process of taking your next breath or not. Our lives are in His hands and no one is operating apart from God’s permissive will. Those who boast and arrogantly say to anyone who will listen that they are going to approach God with questions, demands, and their self-conceived authority in making Him explain Himself will be in for a rude awakening that will shake them to the core in absolute fear and dread (Gen.11:7; 1 Chr.29:12; 2 Chr. 25:8; Job 26:12, 38-41; Psalm 33:6, 47:3, 62:11, 65:6, 93:4, 145:6, 150:2; Isa. 1:4, 18, 49:26; Jonah 1:14; Nahum 1:3; Matt. 19:26; Mark 14:36; Luke 1:37; John 19:11; Heb. 10:31; Rev. 19:6). Even those of us who have bowed the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord (Phil. 2:9-11) often need to be reminded of the tremendous majesty, glory, and holiness of our great God. We need to remember what we were before He graciously forgave and redeemed us from the sins we commit that would send us to an eternal hell were it not for His great love, compassion, and foreordained plan of salvation made real through the sacrificial work of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross on our behalf.
The Scriptures affirm that if we are in Christ, we are new creatures (2 Cor.5:17) and we belong to Him (1 Cor.6:20). He will never let us go, leave us, or forsake us (Deut.4:31, 31:6; Josh. 1:5; Psalm 27:9, 38:21, 121:8; Isa.41:7, 16, 46:4, 49:15, 54:10, 62:2, 63:11; John 10:28-29, 13:1, 14:18, Heb. 13:5). We have absolutely no power within ourselves to lose the salvation given to us by the LORD, and He does not and never will take it away (John 5:24; Romans 8:1, 37-39; 1 John 5:11). He does warn us to see if our claim to salvation is true and authentic (James 1:21; 2 Peter 1:10-11) and we didn’t just “repeat a prayer”, or “walk the aisle”, or “sign a card”, or “made a decision” that may or may not have been genuine as it pertains to surrendering your life to Christ (Matt.7:21-23, 13:1-9, 18-23; 16:24-27; Mark 4:1-9, 13-20; 8:34-38; Luke 8:4-8, 11-15; 9:23-26). One of the sure signs of a “fake” conversion is hypocrisy (Matt.23; Mark 7:6; Luke 6:46; Titus 1:16; 1 John 2:9). Let your confession of Christ and your walk be as one, with no show of assumed “piety” or pretense. Be honest before God, your brethren, and those who are watching, and if you do fall or commit a wrongdoing, confess it before the LORD and those affected, ask for forgiveness, and keep focused on Him (Galatians 6:1-5; Eph.4:32; Col. 3:13). This is no time to sit on the fence and hope everything quiets down. You know as well as I do that things are not going to get better, and the rapture notwithstanding, the promise and fact of persecution and increased violence against Christians is going to get worse and America is in the devil’s scope. We cannot be a closet apostate like Demas was to Paul (Col.4:14; 2 Tim.4:10).
We are witnessing an increase in defections from the Christian faith (Acts 7:39, 19:13; 2 Thess. 2:3; 2 Tim. 4:10; Heb.6:6; 1 John 2:19), showing that they were not of the faith at all, and will embrace the coming Antichrist like the majority of the world will when he will soon appear (Rev.13:3,4). The world is in the grip of the devil and worship him openly and gladly (Matt.4:9; Luke 4:7; 1 Cor.10:20; Rev.9:20; 14:9; 19:20). We are up against a powerful enemy who wants to blind the eyes of the lost, but we are called to proclaim the gospel despite what he and his minions wish (Eph.6:12-18; Mark 16:15; Acts 4:12, 19-20, 5:32, 26:22; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Cor.4:13; Phil. 2:11; 1 John 2:23, 4:15). We are to be courageous as the LORD commands (Josh.1:5-9; 2 Tim.1:6-12). This world and the reprobates who believe they rule it are not on the throne of glory, nor will you answer to them or anyone but the Sovereign LORD on the day of judgment (2 Cor.5:10, Rev. 20:11-15). Do not try to make friends with the corrupt world system or compromise your stand concerning Jesus Christ. In the brief period of time we have in this world, we are to model Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, stay firm and resolute as it pertains to the surety of salvation and real freedom that He has given to us and now expects us to tell everyone we can about His mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
I will gladly confess that I have not been constant or focused when it comes to my walk with the LORD. I do not come to you as someone who has overcome the obstacles of sin and self. I have said and done things throughout my life both in private and public that have hindered me and ended up being a stumbling block to my peers and family in terms of spiritual sincerity and testimony. I cannot go back and relive the past, but I, like all of you, can bring your faults and sins before the foot of the cross, ask for forgiveness both from the LORD and those around you, make restitutions if needed, commit to sit under the teaching of a sound, biblically grounded pastor and elders who will hold you accountable so as not to fall for the same sins again, be in a state of prayer to the Father, and be willing to listen to those who have been with you and are concerned for your well-being and growth as a child of God. Most, but not all in this world, are genuinely seeking solid answers and peace for the troubles they see around as well as within them. Again, we have got to stand firm and resolute and make no room for anything or anybody that would hinder, water down, or silence us who are the elect in Jesus Christ. When we are gathered together to meet the LORD in the air (1Thess.4:13-18) and we embrace each other in the portals of heaven, our great God and Savior will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servants, enter into the joy of your LORD.” Please, if you are reading this and do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, get that settled TODAY! He is waiting to hear from you.
Donald was born and reared in the authentic Cajun country of south Louisiana. He is a 1978 graduate of LaGrange High School in Lake Charles. He is also a graduate of Louisiana College (B.A. in History Education, 1984), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1994) and Andersonville Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, 2000). He is an ACPE Certified Chaplain with training in Trauma/ER, NICU, and Psychiatric Pastoral Care from the McFarland Institute in New Orleans (2003). He has over thirty years of ministry service, which concluded when he was called to serve as pastor of Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma from 2017-2018. Due to health concerns, he retired from public ministry in 2020 and now devotes his time to internet evangelism through the writing of Bible studies, sermons, and articles on current issues for varied Christian webpages and ministries. He is a regular contributor to sites such as Rapture Ready and Sermon Central as well as Inspirational Christian Blogs. He and his wife Cathy are both active members of Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Muskogee. Don will often serve as a panel member of the Gospel Rescue Mission Pastor’s Round Table Broadcast, shown monthly on the mission’s Facebook page as his health allows. He has a personal evangelistic blog as well and can be contacted at his Email address.