My wife and I, and our children, have often frequented a particular fast food restaurant that we have quite enjoyed and continue to enjoy. The music is relatively soft, and the decor very appealing. This place has provided us with a respite from all of the hectic affairs of life … a little oasis, you might say, and at a price that we can afford, too.
Well, we were quite surprised recently to learn that the former manager of the place had been let go … as in “fired,” not “laid off.” Not really knowing this fellow too well, I responded to our friend the waitress, “Gee that’s too bad. They let a good man go.” But just how good was he? All the while we were there he used to smile at us, and it appeared that he was a very friendly man indeed. Why let such a fellow go? Are these people mean, or what!?
Well, the truth of the matter is that, unbeknownst to us, but known to the waitress whose word we trust, this man had gotten a number of the young women workers at that restaurant pregnant. In fact, it was one after another. As she said, “Three women had children by him, and that’s not including the women that gave up their babies.” Suddenly, my opinion of this man changed dramatically. He was no longer a nice guy. He was a devil in the midst of sheep — a voracious wolf, to be sure. Suddenly, “letting him go” seemed too soft a penalty, too laissez-faire. I was now angry! And to think that the whole while (for many years now), we have been enjoying ourselves at this restaurant, without realizing what was going on “behind the scenes”.
Be warned. Not all is as it seems. You and I both don’t know what is going on “behind the scenes” as it were, at any given place, whether that be our workplace, or even the church that we attend … but hopefully the church is doing better than the workplace … but I can’t even be certain of that! The one thing I can be certain of, of course, is my own life. Daily, I must examine myself and come before God as an empty vessel, ready to be filled with his love, and his mercy, and his compassion. I have a responsibility to live uprightly before the Lord. My responsibility, then, is first and foremost before God, and not before man.
And what of these men who go around luring women into deception, such as this man is doing? He will stand before God on this matter, that is to be sure. All, in fact, will stand at the judgment, for there is an appointed day coming in which all of men’s deeds will be laid bare, as it were, and exposed for what it really is. That includes my deeds, your deeds, the whole world’s deeds. In the meantime, let us become more bold than before, realizing that our message is true, and that those who oppose it are doing so because, as it says in the word, they do not want their deeds to be exposed. May we all realize that by *not* challenging the false doctrines of the world, and by *not* preaching our message of righteousness, we are actually falling into the temptation of the devil and allowing him to do his work in and through people such as this man who got so many of the women pregnant at his place of work.
No wonder I had been opposed at that place for passing out gospel tracts a few years ago … I remember that had an impact on me … and the woman who opposed me … was she one of the ones being lured into deception by this man? Only God knows, but the spirit of deception was at work in that place, that is for sure! Tonight we were there again, which is when we learned of these events, but my response to the three women (new faces) behind the counter was different than before. I saw them as potential victims of abuse rather than people who had any say on whether or not I could pass out gospel tracts. I ignored any “threat” that I might be imposing upon them for passing out tracts in public, and confidently and with a sense of urgency gave them each a gospel tract to read — for which all three of them thanked me!
May God give us that sense of urgency in our spirits, that we see others not as those who would control us, or try to do us harm, but as those who, if they do not receive Christ as Lord and Savior, will suffer a great penalty, in this life, and moreso in the life to come. May that spur us on, and motivate us, to reach them for Christ like never before … as we see the day fast approaching!
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)