I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (Luke 12:4-5)
Relate: One hundred fifty-one days ago today marked the beginning of what was the bloodiest battle in the Civil War up to that point. Near a little town in western Tennessee called Shiloh, about 107,000 soldiers collided leaving behind over 23,000 dead, wounded, or missing. The level of devastation left both armies shocked. Neither side had any idea that three years and other, far worse, battles were still to come.
There was a worse thing that happened on this day in history. Ninety-six years ago today Congress voted by overwhelming measure to enter WWI on the side of the allies. By the end of the war we would rack up over a hundred ten thousand dead and two hundred thousand wounded making it the third highest casualty total in our military history. If the outcome either of these events were known beforehand, they almost definitely would not have happened.
But that was not the worst thing that happened today in history, either. One hundred eighty-three days ago today in Fayette Township, NY, a man named Joseph Smith, along with a small group of followers officially organized the Church of Christ. Later they would call themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but most would know them by the term Mormons. This organization would grow and spread to over 14 million worldwide. While they do no damage to the body, they have been active in leading many to hell.
React: It almost goes against my nature to say something as harsh as that last sentence, but sometimes the truth must sound harsh. We know from John 1 and 1 John 5:20 that eternal life comes through Jesus and, explicitly through an accepting of who He is and what He has done. Mormons will commonly say that they believe Jesus is the Son of God, but they say we all are. They claim He was created as first among God’s “spirit children”. They will then credit him with all that the Bible claims He does, but clearly their Jesus is not the same Jesus we know and believe. Jesus is the True God and eternal life. (1J 5:20) To deny this is to be denied by Him on the day of judgment. More than any physical death, this is what I fear.
God, let me never stray from the truth of who You are. Let me never wander from the reality of what You have done. You alone, God, my Savior died to take my sins then rose to give me life. You alone are God. Let me always worship You in the reality of who You are.