Imaginary? Illusions?

“I read a story recently about a man who when caught claimed that the devil made him do it. Instead of admitting that he was guilty and taking responsibility for his crime, he blames it on an imaginary, fictional character.”

“The devil isn’t an imaginary, fictional character. He’s real.”

“Says who?”

“Says the Bible.”

Men wrote the Bible.”

“No one’s denying that. The Bible itself states that it was written by men. They didn’t write fables or cleverly crafted stories. They wrote about real events, stories, History, biographies. They were told what to write and they wrote it. Some were eyewitnesses and others recorded eyewitness accounts. The one thing they had in common was that their writing was inspired by God. The Bible is God’s Word. He speaks to us through its pages.”

“So you’re saying that the Bible’s statements are to be taken literally?”

“Yes, because it is the Word of God. I know you believe that the Bible is allegorical and should not be taken literally but Jesus Himself said, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Jesus came to preach the Word. He quoted Scriptures. He showed how they pointed to Him. Jesus even said that man should not live by bread alone but by every Word which proceeds from the mouth of God. God said that His Word accomplishes whatever He sends it to do. God’s Word isn’t a bunch of allegories. It’s His Truth and it sanctifies and transforms lives.”

“So, you’re saying that the stories of Adam and Eve, The Flood and Jonah and the whale are true?”

“Yes. Why? Because Jesus Himself mentioned all three of those events. And the devil is real because Jesus said He saw him fall from heaven. He tried to tempt Jesus three times in the wilderness but he failed. He’s a fallen angel who started war in heaven, managed to get a third of the angels on his side. They fought against Michael and His angels but lost. Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven. He’s right here on earth, prowling like a fierce and roaring lion, trying to destroy lives. How it must amuse him when people think that he’s an imaginary and fictional character. His plan of deception is working in their lives and if they don’t turn to God, repent and study His Word, then they will die in their sins. The story of Adam and Eve tells us how God created man, that man was not meant to be alone, how Eve was created and how sin entered the world. Sin brought death into the world. It caused people to do evil.”

“Evil is only a figment of the imagination because God is good, infinite and omnipotent. Evil is inconsistent with His character. Sickness, suffering, pain and death are really illusions.”I believe that God is the eternal, loving, all-knowing Father of mankind and that He still guides His church through the Gift of Prophecy. I also believe the mind has a powerful influence over the body. It can control material forces.”

“Yes, the mind controls the body but with the help of the Holy Spirit, a believer can reject the temptations of Satan. The existence of evil doesn’t affect God’s character. He is still good, infinite and omnipotent. If evil doesn’t exist, how do you explain the Holocaust? And don’t tell me that it didn’t happen. There’s lots of irrefutable evidence that it did.”

“I’m not denying the Holocaust or that Hitler and the Nazis were wicked.”

“And would you be able look into the face of a child who has been sexually abused or molested that evil doesn’t exist? Or tell a woman who was gang-raped that her attackers aren’t evil? Or the mother whose son was shot in the head that the person or persons responsible for his murder aren’t evil?”

“Of course, these are all horrible things which happen to people but–“

“And what about my mother and me when we watched my father waste away from Parkinson’s? He was an active, vibrant man who became skin and bones, hooked up to a ventilator. Was his illness and the pain we felt seeing him suffer and than pass away illusions? All those people who were in the concentration camps, was their suffering an illusion? If death is an illusion, why do people fear it?”

“I don’t fear death.”

“Because you still believe that it’s an illusion. The funeral homes are profiting from this illusion.”

He didn’t answer.

“You believe in the gift of prophecy, right?”

“Yes.”

“I have a book called, God Cares. When you read you will discover that prophecy not only foretells the future, but that it clearly reveals God and His infinite care for us.”

“All right, I’ll read it.”

“Great. I’ll give it to you when you’re leaving. Are you hungry?”

“Yes!”

“Let’s eat then.” 

Source: Answers in Genesis;

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