Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Kingdom of Hell

I have written about the Kingdom of Heaven in a previous blog. It is God’s rule in our lives and by extension through us it moves into the world around us. His love changes us (2 Corinthians 3:18 and other verses). Our response to His love is to love in return, loving others as we have now learned what love is (1 John 4:19). Love is the prevailing characteristic of Heaven.

In contrast to the Kingdom of Heaven, C.S. Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters as a description of hell, where a major demon coaches a minor demon. I read where Lewis said that this book was the easiest for him to write, and yet it was the one he enjoyed writing the least. He modeled the culture of hell after corporate America, and as someone who has worked with many global enterprises, I understand why. In most corporate cultures, people are encouraged to be “nice” without being kind. They are driven by their personal agenda over the needs of others, often succeeding without thought to what is right. I believe the corporate culture is now the prevailing culture of society: it is commonplace in the American political environment as well as social media; I see love dwindle from society while lust gains an ever-stronger presence; I see the culture of hell advancing.
Love (agape) is a decision to give, and lust (eros) by comparison is the desire to get.
I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but I’m pointing out my observation of what Scripture foretold long ago: in the last days the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12) It makes sense that the Kingdom of Hell, the reign of hell’s culture, would become the predominant worldview in the end times. It is made of many alliances, people joining forces to establish their position and advance their agenda. It is very much like the Survivor TV show, build an alliance with others so that you can get rid of the stronger, independent competition, all the while waiting for when you will betray your allies because they are no longer useful in achieving your personal goals. It’s like Hitler’s rise to power. It is like his speeches that were designed to appeal to the listening audience based on their reaction to his opening statements. He would tickle their ears, give them what they wanted to hear, appeal to their desires and manipulate them for his own purposes. His neuro-linguistic programming leading them to agree repeatedly on the way to a demonic conclusion. And wolves in sheep’s clothing are teaching in this way from the pulpit. 

Satan has been using this tactic for millennia: eat the fruit and you will be able to judge good and evil; you will be like God Himself. It is our own lust that makes us so pliable, useful to the Kingdom of Hell. Yes, everyone wants to be happy, and God gave us things to enjoy, both in this world and the next. But our pursuit of pleasure is what pulls us in the wrong direction. It is our avoidance of pain that hinders our growth. And our ancient enemy will try to exploit this weakness in us. Bait is placed upon the trap; will we pursue it? Gnats and adversity stand in our way; will we allow them to discourage us? 

We have no hope apart from Jesus. It is His daily working in us that allows us to will and act according to His good purposes (Philippians 2:13). Since ancient days, the alliances of the hell’s culture have been working in rebellion against the Kingdom of Heaven, and whether it is ultimately the financial elite, the socialist revolution, a caliphate, or an alliance that brings about one global kingdom, nothing surprises our God. We are told to trust in God and do good things, to live in the land and practice being faithful. (Psalm 37:3) We are told to surrender ourselves to the Lord and not to be preoccupied by the evildoer that succeeds in wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7) We are told to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the good desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4) When we trust Him, He acts on our behalf (Psalm 37:5), making our righteousness shine like a light (Psalm 37:6). It is only in His Presence that we are changed and made able to stand. 

So pray and in His power be made strong for one more day: give us this day our daily bread, the Bread of Life; lead us away from temptation and evil. Lord help us to spend each day in Your Presence, sensitive to the leading of Your Spirit, obedient to Your leading, in Jesus’ Name as King of All!

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)