TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
Many moons ago in my high school boys Sunday school class, my teacher, Frosty, shared an analogy with us. I don’t remember the story verbatim but I think this was pretty much the gist.
He said once upon a time, a man had died and was standing at the foot of the pearly gates. Before the man entered, Saint Peter gave him a choice of where he would like to spend eternity.
His first choice was straight ahead through the gates to walk along the streets made of gold. But his other choice was this raving party he could go to filled with scantily clad supermodels drinking and dancing.
The man weighed the two options set before him but wound up choosing the party with the supermodels.
As the man walked through the door to the party, all the women disappeared and the man fell into a never ending pit of fire and flames.
As horrific as that sounds, the point Frosty was trying to make is that the devil will throw many temptations at you that seem desirable and fun, but will only lead you away from God and straight to an eternity in Hell.
Reflecting on Frosty’s analogy got me thinking about the types of worldly pleasures Satan uses and throws our way to turn our backs on the Lord.
Of course from the story, one of the first examples that comes to mind is the partying lifestyle that the devil makes so appealing to lost souls. Drinking, drug abuse and sleeping around may seem fun for a few hours but can end up destroying you physically and spiritually. You also kill any type of witness you could possibly have for Jesus Christ if you are seen in public participating in these activities.
Popular music is a second thing the devil uses a lot to pollute our minds.
The music itself may seem harmless but some of the lyrics I’ve heard would make Satan himself blush. And as speaker Nick Hall mentioned during Winter Jam 2013, when the band One Direction talks about “getting some,” they’re not referring to a handful of Skittles.
I’ll admit, a lot of pop music is very catchy to me and very easy to sing along with. But before you know it, you might find yourself singing about sex, drugs or violence, and not even give it a second thought.
Then there is the seemingly limitless amount of content you can find on the Internet.
A lot of the Internet is great as it allows you to reconnect with old friends and family members. And there’s a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips anyone can research.
But the devil also throws plenty of filth your way which is very easy to stumble upon if you’re not careful.
The Internet is loaded with pornography that can be discovered way too easily. As soon as online solicitors get your email address, your spam folder gets stuffed with that garbage almost hourly. And a simple typo in a Google search can sometimes be all you need to produce images no eyes need to be seeing.
Then there is the online gambling the devil so conveniently provides on the Internet. You don’t even have to leave your house to lose this month’s rent in a hand of poker.
These are many temptations the devil will try to place before us, but as Christians it is very important we resist such worldly pleasures.
Even if some of these things sound fun, you should always take a minute to ask yourself one simple question: If this was the last day of your life, is this the activity you would want to be doing? We need to keep in mind what is truly important to you and — most importantly — to God.
The Bible backs this up with several different verses regarding the devil and temptation.
James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.”
And 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”
And James 5:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Everyday we are likely to face temptations — whether we are out and about, or even in our own homes. But don’t let the devil win the battle for your eternal soul. Overcome your temptations and give all the glory to the one who truly deserves it — our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com