Saturday, August 30, 2014

140831 God’s Patience

2 Peter 3:1-10 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed (burned up).
As we move into the third chapter of Peter’s second letter we see that he is still concerned with the false teachers. In the first chapter Peter assured us that he was an eyewitness to the glory of Jesus. He confronted those who denied Christ’s first coming with eyewitness testimony. He called on his precious Christian friends to recognize the truth of the prophecies. And then in the second chapter he directly confronts those who were bringing in secret heresies. God is not going to spare those who opposed the truth and he is able to rescue those who follow Him faithfully. He wants to warn them about those who come in to pull aside weak willed or immature Christians through sexual passions. Now he needs to confront those directly who are denying the second coming of Christ.
First, Peter shows us that God has done what he said he would do in the past…
The ancient world was destroyed by water. Turn with me and listen while I read Genesis 7:20-24. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.
These verses are the end of the story of the great flood. There have been many explanations and denials of this event. In fact, there are constant arguments between some scientists and some preachers about what happened and when.
The conflict is between people who hold positions very strongly. The truth is we do not know everything we need to know about natural science or the Bible! I believe any conflicts between the two will someday be settled. I do not believe the Bible conflicts with truth in any area. The Bible is not a textbook of any kind but everywhere it touches on any subject it tells the truth.
For our current purpose let me just say that the Bible absolutely confirms a worldwide flood. The Bible states that the water rose above all the mountains, that existed at that time, by a depth of more than 20 feet. It seems to me to be very possible that there was a time when there were no high mountains anywhere on earth. Then, after the flood had reached its peak the mountains were then pushed up through the water. It may very well be too simple to explain the geological evidence in that manner but it works for me and explains the destruction of the world by water. Then Peter tells us…
The present world will be destroyed by fire. Turn with me to Genesis 9:8-11. Listen while I read. Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
Part of the promises that God made in the covenant with Noah was an assurance that a worldwide flood will never again occur. Peter is very clear in his understanding of what will happen. The day of the Lord will be a surprise like a thief coming to steal. When it comes the heavens will be set on fire and the majesty of the universe will melt in the fire.
I suppose this proves that he was not talking about a nuclear war because the heavenly bodies will not be affected if the world is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. We’ll talk about this more next week as we look at the next few verses.
Many people challenge the Bible by saying that certain prophecies were not fulfilled. It’s true! Many prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. We can look forward to their fulfillment by looking at how…
Many prophecies were fulfilled. I cannot begin to look at all the prophecies that have been fulfilled. There are literally hundreds of them! It will need to be sufficient to look at Isaiah 53:1-10. Listen while I read.
Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Some 700 years before Jesus was born Isaiah the prophet saw him. Isaiah spoke of one who grew up before the Lord. Isaiah saw this man as being despised and rejected. Isaiah understood that this man — whose name he did not know — bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. The prophet saw that this one was struck by God because of our transgressions! He saw that he was not just “struck” but he was “pierced”. By using that word, “pierced”, Isaiah indicated how Jesus would die — by being nailed to the cross.
The prophecies begin in Genesis 3:15 with the promise that the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent. Again and again as we read through the Old Testament we see one prophecy after another that was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet…
Many prophecies still remain. Turn with me to Malachi 4:1-3 and listen while I read. “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
Some 400 years before Christ’s birth, and obviously, thousands of years before the end of the world Malachi also saw the fire that was coming. However, he didn’t just see the horror of the end time fire. He also saw “the sun of righteousness” that would rise “with healing in its wings”. Along with the prophecy of destruction Malachi promises us that for those who fear God’s name there will be rejoicing.
The prophet talks about “leaping like calves from the stall” and for some people that doesn’t represent rejoicing. People who live around here really should be able to understand this. Here in upstate New York some of the cows are kept in the barn during the winter. During the first warm days of spring they are allowed out of confinement and when they are they leap and run around as though they were young calves. If you never seen it ask a farmer. In fact, find out when it’s going to happen and see for yourself.
Yes Malachi the prophet saw the fire coming and he also saw the rejoicing of God’s people. I can imagine that during the 400 years, until the birth of Christ, many read Malachi and scoffed because it had not happened yet! We need to remember that…
Time has a different meaning to God. Listen while I read Psalm 90:4. Peter may have had this passage in mind. For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. “One day is as a thousand years” Peter wrote. Now folks this is not a math problem! Some people have taken this concept and tried to use it to convert the seven days of creation into 7000 years. It just doesn’t work that way. Listen while I read Psalm 39:5-6. Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
David could see that God measures time differently than we do. “My lifetime is as nothing” and “mankind stands as a mere breath” shows how we see time differently. In our memories a long time can be shortened. How many times have you said, “It seems like just the other day.” And, in saying that, you are referring to a much longer period of time. Just as we, in our memories, can compress time, God compresses all time into a mere memory. However he doesn’t just compress the past he also has the ability to compress the future.
Isaiah 46:8-10 tells us how God views time. Listen while I read. “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors,           remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” God sees it all! Past, present, and future are all present with Him at the same time! Imagine all of time being displayed like a diorama on a tabletop. On one end would be the Garden of Eden and on the other end would be the New Jerusalem. From the viewpoint of God any particular moment can be seen. “One day is as a thousand years” is not a formula for determining time, it is an indication that — for God — time has relatively no meaning.
All of this is to say that God is not slow to fulfill his promises. The literalists and scoffers who say, “Where is the promise of his coming?” need to remember that God is patient. A reading of the Old Testament will confirm that idea. When Israel rebelled against God after leaving Egypt God patiently waited for that generation to die off before he took the nation into the land. During the time of the judges and the Kings year after year turned into century after century as God observed the rebellion of his people. God was, and is, patient. The patience of God has a purpose…
God’s patience will allow the full number to be saved. Jesus told us in John 10:16. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
“Other sheep” beyond the people of Israel includes people who, today, have come to faith in Christ. By God’s choice a certain number of people will believe and then the end will come. In fact, Jesus, Himself, said that before he returns the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world then the end will come. God is patiently waiting until the full number of believers come into the fellowship. I wouldn’t want anything to interfere with anyone coming to faith in Christ. Someday, when the last person believes, the clouds will part and Jesus himself will descend just as he ascended from the earth 2000 years ago. There are many things we do not know about the second coming of Christ. But one thing we know for certain…
Christ will return but no one knows when. Turn with me to Matthew 24:36-44 and remember these words when someone tells you they know when Jesus is returning. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
One thing for certain, Jesus is coming again! When Jesus returns people who are ready will be taken. Those who are not ready will be left. I do not believe there will be any hope for those who are not ready when He comes. Please remember the words of Jesus, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” How do I know He is coming back? Jesus said he would return. And as the disciples were watching him ascend into heaven the Angels that stood nearby said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” The Jesus they knew and loved would come again in the same way that He left. I am not so sure we should be eagerly calling for His return considering that all those who do not know Him at that time will be doomed!
There’s an old gospel song, the chorus goes like this: Wait a little longer please Jesus There are so many still wandering out in sin Just a little longer please Jesus A few more days to get our loved ones in. Jesus’ delayed return is meant to lead unbelievers to repentance rather than cause believers to doubt. As far as God is concerned the promise was given just the other day. Whenever he chooses God can bring judgment to this world just as he did in the days of Noah. This time the judgment will be by fire and not by water. For those who believe this will be the greatest experience. It will be glory and honor and fulfillment of all the promises. For the unbeliever judgment will bring eternal pain and suffering. Are you ready to meet Him? Today is the day of salvation! Put your trust in God through Jesus Christ!

All scripture quotes are from: The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

140824 What has Enslaved You?

2 Peter 2:10b-22, Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. 17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Peter’s second letter is written to encourage his fellow Christians. Chapter one encourages us to make sure of our calling and election. We are to do this by adding to our faith certain qualities of Christian growth. We are to add virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. When we do this we are kept from being ineffective and unfruitful in our Christian walk. If you practice these qualities you will never fall. Chapter two is a portrayal of the false prophets and false teachers who came in (and will come in) to bring down the faith of many. First, we see that God knows how to bring judgment where it’s needed and also God knows how to rescue those who need rescuing.
Chapter two continues to talk about the false prophets that worm their way into the church. These are not necessarily preachers or teachers they are people who exercise influence over others. As you mature in the Christian faith you have a better and better grasp of how to deal with such people. I have observed over the years many of these wolves in sheep’s clothing. I have not always known how to deal with them but I am now being more direct about confronting them. When they are confronted they usually are very offended and try to do as much damage as possible on the way out. Their judgment is coming to them. We need to remember that God said, “Vengeance Is Mine I will repay.” We need to leave these people up to God. In the meantime we need to be careful to recognize them for what they are…
The false teachers are recognized by their lifestyle. Jesus was very clear on this subject. Turn with me to Matthew 7:15-20. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
This is not an invitation to judge others. At the beginning of the chapter Jesus said that we are not to judge. The word used for judgment here means attributing an inner motive to a person. It’s easy enough to observe a person’s actions but it is not always easy to know exactly what they think they are doing or what their intentions were when they started. Sometimes something that appears to be very wrong is really very innocent. We need to make every effort to avoid every appearance of evil in our actions but it is not always possible. For example, a person might be seen going into a very unsavory bar. There are many possible reasons for them being there besides the possibility of drunkenness. We should be careful not to attribute a motive to that person. We should always assume the best possible intentions. Let God be the judge in every situation.
When we observe their fruit there are couple of things Peter tells us will characterize them. One of them is…
They are greedy. Paul wrote to Timothy to warn him of the dangers of greed. Turn with me to 1 Timothy 6:9-10.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
We live in a world where a desire to be rich is very common. The desire for riches is an open door for temptations and bondage. Money itself, or the things it can buy, are not necessarily evil. However the love of anything that stands between us and God is evil.
Jesus was confronted one day by a wealthy young man who wanted to know what he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him, at the end of their conversation, to sell what he owned and give the money to the poor. Jesus could see that this man’s material wealth had replaced God in his life. Yet it is not just the rich that are guilty of this.
Jesus went on to tell his disciples that only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Their question immediately was, “Who then can be saved?” You see they knew that they were as guilty on the inside as this man was. They had left all to follow Jesus but they still coveted the “stuff” of the world. Jesus addressed the issue in the Sermon on the Mount when he taught them not to be anxious about the things of this world. Instead of seeking the things he said to them…
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
We need to train ourselves to seek the kingdom first and allow God to give us the things we might need. When looking at the fruit of the false teacher they are guilty of greed and…
They are sensual. Turn with me to Paul’s warning to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Peter tells us that these invaders of the body of Christ have eyes full of adultery and they are unsatisfied in their own sin. Paul warned the Corinthian church about the dangers of sexual immorality. We must remember that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We must never do anything that would grieve the Spirit who has come to live in us. If we are constantly conscious of his presence we will be careful to avoid the things that are offensive to God. The false prophets are greedy, sensual rebels that pretend to have a relationship with Christ in order to entice people into their influence. They come into a church and latch on to the unsteady person who is not yet mature in Christ. Like their master, Satan, they promise what they do not produce…
They are always a disappointment. Turn with me to Jude 10-13. But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
Brother Jude sees the same kind of people that Peter has been dealing with. He sees them as being rebels like Cain and greedy like Balaam. Then he uses an illustration that is very similar to what Peter used. These false prophets are clouds that do not give rain, trees that do not produce fruit, they are wild waves of the sea. In every case they lead people astray and never give them what they promise. The damage is done in our lives when we follow after these false prophets. The temptation is destructive enough that we are defeated by it. The false prophets are greedy and sensual and unsatisfying. These people are offensive in every way once you see behind their disguise. You will see that…
They are slaves of corruption. Turn with me to Romans 6:15-23. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There appear to have been people in the first century church who took the message of grace and turned it into a tool of corruption. They heard the gospel of grace and then said, “The more you sin, the more grace is given.” So they led people into covetousness and sexual immorality with a promise that they would experience more grace to overcome the sin in their life. The unstable person that they were working on could not understand that they were submitting themselves to lifelong slavery because they heard the words promising them freedom. Peter said they promise them freedom but they themselves are slaves of corruption.
Today, everywhere we turn there is the promise of some kind of freedom that cannot be fulfilled. Young people, and it seems they are younger every year, are told that they are free to be involved in sexual activity. Once they begin this lifestyle they discover that it is not easily stopped. In fact, the culture we live in is “in your face” with all kinds of sexual sin. Then, they seem to be surprised at the results in the lives of young people. The media exposes people to the use of drugs but fails to tell them that the freedom to participate leads to slavery. Everywhere we turn freedom is offered but not delivered. Anything that overcomes a person becomes the tool of Satan to bring the person into bondage. It may be a desire for power or popularity. It may be participating in illicit sex. It may be the use of tobacco. It may be drugs. All these things and many more lead to slavery!
These people that are called “waterless springs” and “clouds without rain” always lead to disappointment. These false prophets come into the lives of unstable people who have knowledge of the things of Christ but…
Knowledge is not enough. The letter of Hebrews has a similar passage to what Peter had to say in 2 Peter 2:20-21. These verses are often misused. Turn with me to Hebrews 6:4-6.  For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
Neither of these passages of Scripture teaches that a person who is genuinely saved can be lost again. What they teach is that the more a person knows of Christ and his way the more severe will be their judgment. Jesus told the story about a person who went out to sow seed. The seed was the solid word of God and was capable of producing life. The seed, some of it, fell by the wayside and the devil took it away. Some seed fell on the ground that had no depth and it sprang up but could not take root and then a time of testing causes them to shrivel up spiritually. Some of the seed fell among the weeds and thorns and was smothered to death without being able to produce fruit. In the best case the seed fell on well-prepared ground and quickly pushed its roots deep into the ground and produced much fruit. The last group are the only ones who were truly saved.
The letter of Hebrews tells us that these seed that fell along the wayside, or on the rocks, or among the weeds represent people who have been enlightened and are conscious of the gospel but fall away and find that it is impossible for them to come to repentance. Peter, as well as Hebrews, is simply stating the same thing that is found in First John 2:19, they went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us they would have continued with us. Or, as Jesus said, “He who endures to the end will be saved.” Or as Paul said to the Corinthians, “I preached to you the gospel which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold fast.” There is no salvation apart from persevering faith.
I grieve many times over those who come into the church for a time only to fall away when faced with a little difficulty. The Bible doesn’t hold out a lot of hope for those people.
Jesus spoke of those who called him Lord and claimed that many miracles were done in his name and he said, “Depart from me I never knew you.” Jesus does not say that he once knew them and now does not, he says that he never knew them. Peter talks about the false teachers as being a part of the church and still filled with greed and sensual passions. As we look at the worldwide church today we see so many that meet that description. These are not people who were once saved and are now lost but instead these are people who have rejected the truth and the way of righteousness. It would be better that they had not known the truth. Only those who persevere to the end are saved. We need to constantly examine ourselves to be sure we have saving faith! Where do you stand today? Are you bound to Jesus Christ or enslaved by Satan? Please put your hope in God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All scripture quotes are from: The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.