As the Coronavirus began to spread within prisons throughout the United States, government officials thought it would be a good idea to release non-violent criminals. Within hours of their release, New York City’s mayor was shocked by those who returned to a life of crime. Meanwhile, as business owners and entrepreneurs were forced to stay at home as month long quarantines were extended, life savings quickly disappeared. Filled with a sense of urgency, several local companies began to defy governor orders, opening their businesses to the public. About a month ago, some of these owners were arrested, fined or had their licenses revoked. After the unfortunate death of George Floyd, businesses struggling to survive have been broken into, damaged, looted and some burned down.
But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do, Galatians 5:16-17.
As protesters and rioters appear to be taking over control of major cities, I’m struggling to grasp what is happening to this country? The Bible does provide some clues in the passage above and below. After the fall of Adam and Eve, human beings are now born into a sinful nature full of a series of urges. The apostle Paul refers to this as craving and desires inside of you. Some might refer to this as your dark side. Star Wars developed force sensitive characters throughout their franchise with the heroes, Jedi, seeking to become one with the Force. In the first century, the apostle Paul was pleading with Christians to follow promptings of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25. During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned individuals about allowing darkness to reside within your soul, Matthew 6:23. When anyone allows darkness to linger, you become vulnerable like Anakin Skywalker who turns to the dark side to become Darth Vader.
But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, 2 Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), 1 Timothy 4:1-2.
In the passage above, Paul receives a prophetic message about what the end times will look like. Part of this image of the future includes deluding and seductive spirits designed to manipulate individuals. The end goal of these invisible forces of evil is to have the vulnerable believe and embrace twisted and warped doctrines. According to Paul, this will be accomplished by searing consciences through a series of lies. If you watch recent media reports from local, city and state officials, many don’t want to offend the protesters. Others aren’t willing to allow more cops to get hurt which appears to encourage looters to keep looting. Perhaps, the end times have arrived and the events of the past week has merely opened my eyes to this fact. As for now, all I can do is pray for America so that heart, minds and souls will come together to find common sense, healing and peace.
by Jay Mankus