It happened in an instant. We had just come down the off ramp from a water ride at Disneyworld in Florida with a huge crowd and were laughing about the good time we’d just had. As you would expect Disneyworld to be in the early summer, the place was extremely busy and packed full of people going in every direction. Suddenly, my wife and I realized that our eight-year old daughter wasn’t with us.
If you’re a parent, then you know how quickly the ice water runs down your back when something like this happens. Both our heads did a complete 360-degree turn and neither of us saw her. Knowing that it only takes a moment for a child to be snatched, we went into full throttle panic mode and began to loudly call her name.
Although it seemed a lot longer, it was likely only seconds before our very upset daughter heard us calling her name and came back to where we were. One pastor I routinely listen to correctly identified the best feeling human emotion as relief, which is exactly what my wife and I both experienced when we were reunited with our little treasure. Our daughter followed our voices and all was well with the world again.
Following the Right Voice
John 10:1-5 provides some excellent insight into how believers respond to the voice of truth and the voice of error:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Jesus is saying in this passage that He speaks to those that are His and they hear Him and follow. This truth serves as an incredible safeguard to those of us who have put their faith and trust in Christ because there are, unfortunately, many other voices in the world of a different mindset than Jesus that call out to be heard and followed. Let’s take a look at just a few that the elect of God need to be ready for.
The Voice of Atheism
Atheism’s voice cries out that there is no God at all. Man is simply a chance product of evolution and has no more worth than that of an animal or plant. While it is natural for Christians to recoil at this thought, it is must be understood that it is merely the natural end result of the atheist’s and evolutionist’s attempt to kill God. Some may feebly try to marry God and macro-evolution together, but it simply cannot be done. As renowned evolutionary biologist and historian of science at the University of California, William B. Provine, has noted:
"When Darwin deduced the theory of natural selection to explain the adaptations in which he had previously seen the handiwork of God, he knew that he was committing cultural murder. He understood immediately that if natural selection explained adaptations, and evolution by descent were true, then the argument from design was dead and all that went with it, namely the existence of a personal god, free will, life after death, immutable moral laws, and ultimate meaning in life."
But make no mistake, if man kills God, then someone will have to take His place. And that replacement, especially in today’s culture, is most often man himself. Or, more practically speaking, some men will take the place of God. This is the aim of humanism, where man becomes the measure of all things and the ultimate authority over good and evil. When humanism reaches its goal of the imperfect usurping the seat of the Perfect on the throne, a downhill slide into bondage and depravity is inevitable.
God’s response to atheism is simple: He just withdraws from man and leaves him to his own path. The first chapter of Romans details how God gives man over to his natural inclination, with the result being utter wickedness and despair.
The finality of it all is the complete loss of meaning. Don’t miss Mr. Provine’s last sentence above. Atheism’s death blow in this life is the removal of real purpose and meaning, with no genuine and lasting answers to man’s three most often asked questions: Where did I come from, Why am I here, and Where am I going when I die? The complete denial of God can end no other way. What’s worse, you can rest assured that if a man or woman rejects God in this life, the Creator will honor that request in the next.
The voice of atheism is easily defeated and drowned out by the truth. The atheist has no absolute proof for denying the existence of God. None. Further, the evidence points in the opposite direction. The fact that the universe had a cause and was created out of nothing, the fact that there is great and unquestioned design in the universe, and the fact that we all have a written moral law on our hearts (no matter how much we try to deny it) declares that God exists.
The voice of atheism lies and is without reason, fact, or logic. Don’t listen to it.
The Voice of the Cults
Without a doubt, being the god of your own world sounds like a great opportunity! And if you listen to the voice of Mormonism, you’ll hear this promise being communicated quite a bit. You’ll hear that the god of this world is really the super-god Adam (yes, from Genesis 3), and that you too can work up the ladder of Mormonism to assume control of your own world complete with a set of heavenly wives that help populate the world you’ve earned.
While the cults have a variety of odd and esoteric teachings like the above, one silver lining running through all of them is that Jesus Christ is not God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses say He is the Son of God, but not God. The Mormons claim Jesus is the brother of Lucifer. And on it goes.
Interesting in that they agree on this one point isn’t it – that Jesus is not God? Do you know why? Simply because the enemy of mankind knows that a fake Jesus leads to a fake salvation that leads to a very real Hell. Satan doesn’t need to deny that Christ lived; it’s much better to invent a counterfeit Jesus that offers no hope of real salvation. As one preacher has well said, the worst forms of wickedness consist in perversions of the truth.
Good salesmen know that one of the most important tasks in any serious engagement with a potential customer is to get the hopeful convert to change their opinions and beliefs to those that conform to the concept of what the salesman is selling. Once this is done, the actual sale is inevitable. It can easily be argued that the hat Satan wears most is that of a salesman. In his pursuit of mankind, the devil works hard to spin distortions of God’s truth so that the beliefs of those he engages are altered to be false. Once the sale is complete, the eternal destiny of the one deceived matches that of the salesman.
Perhaps the most frightening and sad verse in all the Bible is Matthew 15:14 where Jesus, describing the Pharisees, says “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Jesus states that both the deceiver and the deceived fall into destruction, which is a very tragic end result for those who are victims of spiritual deception.
Don’t listen to voice of the cults. The philosophy that they are selling is deadly and has eternal consequences.
The Voice of Inclusivism
The voice that wins the hearts and minds of most people today is the voice of inclusivism, which says that it doesn’t matter what religion you believe in. If it works for you, great. But while your religion may be explicitly true, all other religions are implicitly true, and in the end all will go to Heaven because God will include everyone.
But if this is the case, why do no religions teach such a thing? Christianity is often labeled narrow-minded and exclusivistic because it says there is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ. But what most don’t understand is that all faiths are exclusivistic in some form or fashion. All have a set of core beliefs that are not up for grabs. And these core beliefs generally center around the concept of God, the identity of Jesus, salvation, and life after death. You know, the small things.
Logically speaking, the external nature of inclusivism makes no sense then. The logical law of non-contradiction says that something can’t be true and false at the same time and in the same sense. If something is true, then its opposite must be false.
The literal translation of the inclusivist’s voice, then, is that no religion is really true – none has it right. God ignores every belief and permits all to come to Him as they are.
But where does justice fit into the inclusivist’s picture? Does Hitler receive an admission ticket into God’s glory? If not, why not? And why did Jesus have to die on the cross? If all go to Heaven, then Christ’s death was needless. Further, Jesus either lied or was internally deceived when He declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6).
The inclusivist fails to understand that only one faith has a founder whose tomb is empty. He proved that His voice was true and that everything opposed to His voice was false. Therefore, don’t listen to the voice of inclusivism – it may be the most subtle and deadly one of them all.
One Way to Tell a True Believer
John tells us one way to tell a true believer from one who is really not converted. The unbeliever pulls away from the body of Christ and follows something else. 1 John 2:19-20 says, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.”
One mark of true believers is they will not follow false religious or worldly teachings. Why? Because, as John says, we have an anointing from God, know the truth, and follow the voice of our Lord.
In all the chaos and confusion at Disneyworld, my oldest daughter recognized my wife’s and my voice and followed them from all the other voices that could have led her down the wrong paths. She followed the voice she knew and trusted, and ended up safe in the end.
You do the same.