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Taking a Stand or Falling from Grace

Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague is the backdrop of his 1994 mini-series entitled the Stand. The survivors of this deadly biological disease are forced to make one of two decisions: take a stand or fall from God’s grace. Each is tempted along their journey with images of darkness and light. Depending upon the choices made, believers head for a cornfield to meet Mother Abagail Freemantle while sinners depart for Las Vegas to meet up with Flagg; a.k.a. the Devil.

By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow [i]believer in Christ), 1 John 3:10.

During the first century, people followed one of two natures: the flesh or the Spirit. Immaturity, stubbornness and rebellion caused many to embrace the highway to hell, Matthew 7:13-14. John blames a lack of conformity to God’s will as the reason for prodigal like behavior, Luke 15:11-16. What you practice will define who you become. You may not want to be a vessel of the Devil, but we all have periods in our lives where we stray from God by doing what’s right in our own eyes.

For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [b]adjusted and [c]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [d]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

While the earthly brother of Jesus provides advice about temptation in James 1:2-15, the apostle Paul takes this one step further in the passage above. Since decision making in the midst of temptation can be poor, Paul urges Christians to look for the way out. Every day that you wake up to live, you should expect temptation and trials. As you battle with your own inner demons, Galatians 5:16-17, ask Jesus to give you the strength to endure, overcome and find the way out of tempting situation. Make the decision to make a stand today or else you’ll fall from grace like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

by Jay Mankus

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