Blinded by Artificial Light

Traveling the beautiful, winding road that leads from Utopia to Vanderpool one cool morning, I was startled by a large mass of gray lying in the road. Surprised, I hit the brakes more quickly than I would have liked and came to a rather skewed stop in the wrong lane about five feet in front of one of the most beautiful Whitetail bucks I had ever seen in the Sabinal Canyon. I hastily pulled off the road and got out to investigate. There he lay, in all his majestic magnificence; a brave warrior of many a battle for the favors of a brown-eyed doe, an elusive giant that had escaped the lure of corn scattered deceptively around a hunting blind… dead as a rock, killed by a 302 Ford!

There was a bit of irony in Paul’s tone in his first letter to the church at Corinth. He had been telling them about Old Testament characters (who had been real “characters”) and how these historical accounts were not just a collection of neat stories about a bunch of dead people but examples of how to and not to conduct themselves in their efforts to please God. “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:11-12). The apostle was telling Christians at Corinth (and Christians today): “Watch Out!” It is possible to fall and we must take every opportunity to avoid the temptations that are constantly hurled at us by Satan. About the time we think we have it all figured out, someone changes the equation and, “Shazam,” we have a whole new problem!

Believing “you cannot fall from grace” makes Paul out to be some kind of nut. Why warn of falling if the possibility isn’t there? Explain the Galatian predicament: they were “fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4)? Satan wants your soul and it thrills him to hear men teach the “you can’t fall from grace” doctrine. It puts a soul in the same condition as that dead buck… blinded by artificial light.

JDS