Echoes From the Campfire

If we ever become complacent, we’ve lost the battle.”
              –Stephen Bly  (Shadow of Legends)

    “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.”
              –2 Peter 3:17 (NKJV)
One more look at those who may be delusional.  Remember, it is “a belief or altered reality that is persistently held despite evidence or agreement to the contrary.”  One of Jesus’ parables was about a delusionary man found in Luke 16:19-31.  In fact, this man was the model of a fool.  “Only a fool fails to plan ahead for the inevitable.” (Gary Inrig)
    When reading this parable do not get caught up in the rich man’s life on earth, but look at what he wants Abraham to do.  He wants Lazarus to go back from the dead to warn his brothers.  The rich man, now in Hades, says that they would believe if they saw someone raised from the dead.  “Not so,” replied Abraham.  “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:31, NIV)  In other words, if they will not believe the Word of God, they will not believe a miracle.
    Take a look at the following Scriptures and see where men continue to be delusional in the midst of miracles.  This is taken from Gary Inrig’s book, The Parables: Understanding What Jesus Meant.

         –At the Exodus, Israel is miraculously delivered from Egypt, sees God’s power in the desert, and yet persists in unbelief, so that God asks, “How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?” (Num. 14:11)
         –Elijah and Elisha perform undeniable and evident miracles, yet the northern kingdom persists in its rebellion, resulting in God’s exile of the nation (cf. 1 Kings 18:16-46; 2 Kings 2:19-22).
         –The Lord’s miracles are met by unbelief and blasphemous denial of who He is (Matt 11:20-24).
         –The raising of Lazarus from the dead results in some believing (John 11:45), but only intensifies the unbelief and antagonism of the Jewish leaders (John 11:46-53; 12:10-11).
         –When the Jewish leaders admit that the apostle “have done an outstanding miracle” (Acts 4:16), they intensify their persecution.
         –The empty tomb does not lead the unbelieving to come in faith, but to concoct a false story, to explain away the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Matt 28:11-15).

    People look at the Word of God and mock it, laugh at it, scorn it, and try to change it to fit their beliefs and actions.  “People are responsible for hearing and repenting before what God has said in the Word” (Inrig).  Yet they will choose to believe a lie.
    We must heed the warning of Peter, be steadfast, guard the truth, “do not be led away with the error of the wicked.”  “Our present relationship to God through His Word determines our eternal relationship with Him” (Inrig).