“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with giddiness, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come upon you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.” Luke 21:34-35
“For man also does not know his time; as the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.” Ecclesiastes 9:12
“For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks into a netting. The snare takes him by the heel, and the noose takes hold of him. A rope is hidden for him on the ground, and a trap for him in the path.” Job 18:8-10
There are trappings everywhere, yet as this discussion begins, understand that without Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are already trapped, doomed and on your way to Hell. Without Christ, all is lost, nothing is gain.
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss because of Christ.” Philippians 3:7
There is a prevalence in society of drunkenness, drug abuse and a partying lifestyle associated with all sorts of sexual immorality and debauchery. Even in small town America, hardly a week goes by without a high speed police chase, a stabbing, a shooting, a murder, armed robbery or some off the wall crime that is usually committed by someone who is on drugs, most commonly meth.
If one pays attention you can notice the trappings that have caught the souls of men all around you.
If you were to visit the bar on a late Friday night you would hear music that is full of men’s rage and lusts blasting as those who remain are so intoxicated they probably wouldn’t even notice you observing them. There the souls of people partaking in drunkenness, debauchery and other fleshly lusts would continue on with their night. Indeed if state laws didn’t prohibit buying drinks after 2am, certainly there would likely be deaths every weekend from those who wouldn’t stop drinking.
If one was curious as to what took place at a gas station on any given night, receiving a job at a local gas station hot spot would certainly provide an insight into the lives of men. As evening came and men got done with work, the lines would start to form and the souls of men would purchase quantities of beer, man after man. Mixed in would be those who would lean on the counter, scratching their lottery tickets, hoping for a break and those who would purchase the regular lottery tickets, hoping that the god of mammon would be on their side. Pack after pack of cigarettes would be sold to those whose lives seemingly required the drug to manage.
Each layer of obvious sins could be looked at and peeled away, layer after layer, like an onion. Should one peel away to the core, sin would reel its ugly head, a lost soul, someone without Christ, damned and doomed to Hell without the grace and mercy of an Almighty God who is willing to forgive them and grant them eternal life through Jesus, should they chose to consider their ways and repent from their wickedness.
Yet sometimes sin is not so obvious as those ‘sinners’ who are at the bars, buying the booze, outside the local strip joints, gambling houses or slinging rocks on the street corners. The devil is very crafty in his presentation of sin and oftentimes what should be very obvious is not at all readily seen for what it is.
The staggering divorce rate in America suggests that marriages are not honored as God has commanded they be.
“For this, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31
The arguings of families who have an appearance of being well-dressed, well-groomed and successful according to the vehicles they drive and the home they live in, is astonishing. Their family unit that should be honoring to the Most High, their Creator, is broken. Time spent as a family doing something that everyone is enjoying is rare as the children are stuck playing video games, the mother is scrambling to retrieve her phone to send off a quick text that she has just realized needed to be done and the father looks at the product of his household, the demeanor of his wife, and realizes his place is simply to pay the bill for the unthankful family that has just ordered their food. With a slight smile he looks to his wife, whom simply gives him the eye that he has done what was required of him so far today.
“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unyielding, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.” 2nd Timothy 2:3-5
“As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, those leading you cause you to go astray, and they swallow the way of your paths.” Isaiah 3:12
Still someone who wanted to observe men, an outside, a citizen from another Country who wanted to see whether or not those who at least claimed to serve Jesus were of a different attitude, character and spirit, might visit a restaurant on Sunday afternoon, after the main church service is over.
“For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21
If a person were to in advance get a table in such a restaurant, eating a meal, just prior to the onset of the rush, what they would see would not be those who had just learned the teachings of Christ, those who had just humbled themselves before the Lord in worshipping Him and in prayer, knowing that without Jesus as their High Priest they could not make supplication to their Creator. What they would see is a loud, proud and boisterous crowd enter in.
“The expression of their faces witnesses against them; they have declared their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have recompensed evil upon themselves. Say to the righteous that it is well; for they shall eat of the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! For the evil, the recompense of his hand, shall be done unto him. As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, those leading you cause you to go astray, and they swallow the way of your paths. Jehovah stands up to plead His case, and stands up to judge the peoples. Jehovah will enter into judgment with the elders of His people, and their rulers. For you have eaten up the vineyard, the plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean that you crush My people, and grind the faces of the poor? says the Lord Jehovah of Hosts. Furthermore Jehovah says, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched out necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and make a tinkling with their feet; therefore Jehovah will attach scabs to the top of the head of the daughters of Zion; and Jehovah will lay bare their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, and their headbands, and their crescents of the moon, the pendants, and the bracelets, and the veils; the turbans, and the leg ornaments, and the sashes, and the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the rings and nose jewels; the festal apparel and the outer garments; and the mantles, and the purses; the mirrors and the fine linen; and the turbans and the veils. And it shall be, instead of a smell of perfume, there shall be an odor of decay. And instead of a belt, a rope. And instead of well set hair, baldness. And instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war.” Isaiah 3:9-25
Should this person also eat at this restaurant on other days they would notice a difference with this crowd. The percent of scantily-clad women would be notably higher. After all their Sunday dress is not at all glorifying the Lord, but rather a spectacle more prone to a night club. Rather their dress would become a distraction, a trapping in their church, as they would do the work of their father, navigating the minds of men away from any Truth that may be spoken from the pulpit and instead full of the lusts of the flesh.
“But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who consider it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, delighting in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls; having a heart exercised in covetousness; accursed children.” 2nd Peter 2:12-14
“You are of the devil as your father, and the lusts of your father you purpose to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44
The observer might also note that this crowd of people were particularly demanding, rude and despite their constant smiles, jesting and friendly gestures to those who had come into the restaurant with them, a certain herd mentality amongst all of the now patrons would demand that their needs be met and even what was right be exceeded. They would want for free, what should be of cost.
If the man observing needed any further evidence of the naughtiness of those who had just pretended to be disciples of Christ, they could get a job at that restaurant. Their they would hear the cries of the poor workers noting that on Sunday’s they would have to work very hard for an hour or two when the church people came, yet their tips would be very petty compared to most day. Apparently they would surmise that they had given all in the ‘tip jar’ to the church they attended and were therefore impoverished at the moment.
The generosity of the people could only be obtained once during the day.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, desiring to hear pleasant things, they will heap up for themselves teachers;” 2nd Timothy 4:3
Sin is obvious when someone is gambling away their livelihood, while there are hungry mouths to feed at home. Yet it is not as obvious for those who proclaim to be christians, yet go on their once in a lifetime trip to the strip on Las Vegas. One can see evil when children are beaten, yet the man who neglects his children due to the cares of this world, neglecting the Word of God, that is one that is not seen as frequently.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Dear reader, the list of trappings could involve many volumes of books, even then there would be more that one wouldn’t even consider or acknowledge. Yet without Christ ALL ARE TRAPPED and on there way to Hell. Without the forgiveness of sins, without accepting the free gift given by your Creator, without Christ having died on the Cross for YOUR sins and repenting plus believing into Him, ALL is lost. Without Christ you are trapped, the devil has you right where he wants you. All you have to do is die and the trap is sealed around your soul, without any hope for you whatsoever.
“For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” Ephesians 2:8
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. The one believing into Him is not judged; but the one not believing is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But the one doing the truth comes to the Light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been worked in God.” John 3:16-21
“…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves being thrust outside.” Luke 13:28
If you are reading this, you can still cry out to God Almighty, you can still seek Him who Created you, you can still accept the gift of Salvation. You can not break free from the trappings of men yourself, only through Jesus Christ can you be set free.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. They answered Him, We are Abraham’s seed, and have been in slavery to no one at any time. How can You say, You will be made free? Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Everyone practicing sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not remain in the house forever, but the son remains forever. Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall truly be free.” John 8:32-36
“Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, and from the traps of the workers of iniquity.” Psalms 141:9
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1st Peter 5:8