New Age—Old Lies | Christian Sermon by Dave Epstein
In Genesis 3 we are confronted with a “close encounter of the third kind”—not an encounter with the living God but rather with Satan, the “god of this world”—the god who rules the new age with the old lies.
Up until the 1960s Satan staged a frontal assault on truth. He emphasized a “scientific atheism,” which is making a comeback with Richard Dawkins and The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens and God Is Not Good; but this is no longer Satan’s primary tactic.
Now the approach is more subtle, more sophisticated, more “spiritual.” Satan loves to talk about “Jesus,” God, harmony and peace, brotherhood, unity, light, love, hope, angels, and salvation.
The Greeks laid siege to Troy for ten years with no success. So they built a large wooden horse and apparently sailed away. The Trojans were curious and ignored the warning to “beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” Therefore, Troy was captured, the people massacred, and the city burned. Beware of the god of the new age peddling old lies!
Five Lies Satan Loves to Tell
There are five lies Satan loves to tell in Genesis 3:1–5: the first two are meant to critically wound you and the last three will kill you forever.
1. You can’t really trust the God of the Bible: His character is suspect.
He is an unfair God. He wants to make the rules and give moral commands and restrict many of your freedoms and privileges (v. 1). “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” God is so unfair!
He is at best an ignorant and at worst a dishonest God (vv. 2–4). “God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it lest, you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’ ” Therefore, God is either ignorant and has no idea what He is talking about or He is a liar.
He is a selfish God (v. 5): “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” God doesn’t want to share His privileges and wisdom and deity with you. He is selfish and wants to keep it all for himself.
2. You can’t really trust the Bible either.
If you can’t trust the God who claims to have written the Bible, then how can you trust the Bible?
There are so many “uncertainties” in the Bible: “Has God really said . . . ?” It’s all a matter of opinion. It’s all a matter of interpretation.
There are so many “contradictions” in the Bible. God says, “You will surely die” and Satan says, “You will not surely die.” Who can you trust?
You can’t really trust the Bible because of higher criticism and liberal theology: The Bible may contain the word of God somewhere, but the Bible isn’t the word of God. We must first demythologize it, take the supernatural out, and reconstruct it.
You can’t really trust the Bible because of Neo-orthodox theology: The Bible may become the word of God, but the Bible isn’t always the word of God—“Has God really said . . . ?”
Now, if you have believed these first two lies, your spirit is already critically wounded! The next three lies will kill you forever.
3. There is no such thing as eternal death, final judgment, and hell.
Regardless of what the God of the Bible says, since you can’t trust God or His book anyway, “you will not surely die.” Haven’t you ever heard of universalism? Everyone will be okay in the end, because “love wins.”
A loving God would never judge anybody or send anyone to hell forever. Haven’t you ever heard of reincarnation? There are plenty of chances to overcome bad karma. God is the God of endless chances, not last chances.
Haven’t you ever heard of all those near-death experiences? What about those feelings of love, peace, joy, and that great light at the end of the tunnel? So forget the sinfulness of man, the holiness of God, and the atonement of Christ. Relax! There is no eternal death, final judgment, or hell.
4. You can be God!
You have the divine nature and life within you; you have just been so ignorant for so long. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (v. 5, emphasis added). Haven’t you ever heard of pantheism? Haven’t you ever heard of transcendentalism and the new age? All is one, all is god, I am god.
5. There is secret (occult) knowledge available to you, superior to the Bible.
Haven’t you ever heard of Gnosticism? Secret occult knowledge? “your eyes will be opened . . . knowing good and evil . . . desirable to make one wise . . . then the eyes of both of them were opened” (vv. 5–7).
Haven’t you ever heard of fortune telling, astrology, witchcraft, séances, crystals? You can have secret knowledge superior to the Bible.
Do people really believe these lies? All the time! Look at Adam and Eve (vv. 7–10). And the consequences are devastating (vv. 11–24).
The only effective response to Satan’s lies is God’s truth. The God of the Bible is the only true God and fully trustworthy. Therefore, God’s best-selling book The Bible is fully trustworthy also. There is eternal death, a final judgment, and a hell to come.
We are not God and never can be. Neither can Satan be God. Secret knowledge is that which Satan provides and it will kill you. Certain knowledge is that which God provides and Jesus Christ will save you.