I was catching up with a good friend of mine when the conversation turned to the current social scene. He brought up something very profound—but also troubling—on the issue of homosexuality. “Do you realize,” he noted, “how quickly society has gone from ‘God made me this way’ to ‘it’s MY choice’, in a matter of a few years?”
That was a ‘thought nugget’ that came over the plate like a fastball.
One of the sure signs of the end times—just before the rapture of the church—is the fact that men and women will become more and more stubborn in their sins. Jesus Christ covers this and other signs of the downward progression of this world in His summary of bible prophecy and end times signs in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 (KJV). If you know your Bible, the rapture can happen at any time and will occur without any particular signs or tips in place. It is just going to happen, and Christians will be ‘caught up’ out of this sin-sick world.
Until that time comes, Satan and his forces will be using the same old traps to trick people into feeling secure in those sinful areas of behavior that are NOT pleasing to God. What makes matters worse is that many people will not be smart enough to spot the new snares that go along with the old traps.
TRAPPING AS AN ART FORM
If you are familiar with some of those old frontier-type TV shows, you are aware of the term ‘trapping’ or ‘running a trap line’. Back in the days of the wild frontier, Trappers would earn a great living by baiting and setting traps for a variety of wildlife, capture them, kill them, skin them, and sell their hides for a hefty sum at a local Trading Post. Those Trappers who were proficient in this area of frontier living would know what bait to use, and the best places to set their traps to catch the critters of their choice.
Daniel Boone’s coonskin cap didn’t come by online order. He had to use the right bait, trap a raccoon, kill him, skin him, and make his hide hat sized. It was an ugly, bloody process to trap and prepare hides for sale, but it was an economic necessity for food and survival. Bottom line? IF you didn’t know how to bait and set your trap and get an animal into your trap—you weren’t much of a Trapper.
TO BE A GOOD FISHERMAN
I know that I am taking the long way around the mountain in my column, but it is necessary to explain and ‘set up’ how things were done in the old days before the ‘clicky-clicky’ age in which we currently find ourselves.
In another sport, there are those who like to fish and are good at it. Veteran fishermen must know how their prey reacts to certain baits and lures. This is what makes a fisherman successful instead of a wannabe with a fancy fishing outfit—and no fish! The right bait makes all the difference in the world as to whether you come back from your fishing trip with fish to be cleaned or a bunch of stories about the fish that got away!
A good fisherman knows it may take hours in a boat or standing offshore to bring in ‘the big one’. It also takes a firm knowledge of baits and lures to land a fish. Good fishermen understand patience and the process and are willing to put in the time. At the end of the day, they are on the dock posing with their prize, rather than just talking about the one he (or she) did not catch. True, there are times that the best of the angler set will come back empty-handed—but not that often. Should they fail, they merely adjust their bait and lures and head back out at the next opportunity to fish again.
THERE IS ANOTHER FISHERMAN OUT THERE
If I may stick with the fishing theme for a while, there is another master fisherman out there who has plenty of baits and lures to catch the souls of men and women, boys, and girls. His name is Satan (aka the devil) and has been at his craft for many years—with great results. While the Bible maintains that there is nothing new under the sun, Satan does his level best to use the right bait to ‘make’ the old look new, and the deadly look desirable. If he doesn’t snag his limit for the day? The devil is more than happy to pick up his rod, bait, and lures tomorrow to resume the hunt for souls.
Let us take a quick peek into the bait and lure section of Satan’s tackle box. It might provide some clues as to how to protect yourself from getting a hook in your jaw and reeled in as his prize. Keep in mind that these are only a few examples
There is the bait marked Sexual Freedom
This particular bait has led to young men and young women trapped and hooked into homosexuality (sodomites), transgenderism, pimps, human trafficking and prostitution just to name a few. Unfortunately, the side effects will leave one weak, used and (eventually) physically destroyed. The lure often used with this bait is that of money and physical satisfaction. The antidote that will cut Satan’s fishing line can be found in the KJV Bible: Romans 12:1-2; John 3:16-17; Matthew 4:4 and other sections of Scripture.
There is the bait marked A Froward Mouth
This particular bait has young men and young women trapped and hooked into using foul and nasty language that would make a telephone pole change color. The side effects will leave a person mentally weakened and ‘hanging out’ with like-minded people instead of upright people. The lure often used with this bait is the tang of feeling like a grown-up. The antidote that will cut Satan’s fishing line can be found in Matthew 5:6, 8; James 3:5-13 and other sections of Scripture.
There is the bait marked The Occult
This particular bait has young and old involved in witchcraft, mysticism, racism, feminism, socialism, communism, rebellion against authority, magic, false religions, drug use, and other such harmful involvements. The lure often used with this bait is the illusion of power over people and a belief that one is above and beyond human civility because of their knowledge and dabbling in the unknown and unseen. The antidote that will cut Satan’s fishing line can be found in Romans 10:9; Matthew 4:10; Mark 5:1-20; Acts 16:14-34; Acts 19:13-20 and other sections of Scripture.
The last bait we will examine during our time together is The Lie
This particular bait has many believing that they can ‘bend’ the truth slightly to draw attention to themselves and bring wealth, power, social position, political advantage and a host of other diversions into their possession. The lure often used with this bait is the belief that little white lies are not harmful, and bigger exaggerations are beneficial. The antidote that will cut Satan’s fishing line can be found in John 8:44; Romans 3:4; 1 John 1:10 and other sections of Scripture.
If you are reading this and are feeling smug about not getting baited and lured, I caution you to check yourself, before you wreck yourself. Good fishermen know that it may take a combination of baits to get a fish on a hook. Pray the devil does NOT know the right combination to get you swimming towards his boat. Trust me. You do not want to wind up ‘stuffed and mounted” on the devil’s wall.
In the end analysis, the Word of God can shield a person from falling victim to the devil’s baits, lures, and lies. Yes, there are a host of temptations out there that are ready and willing to trap and draw a person into sin of all types. However, as God provides worms for birds, and sunshine and rain for the flowers and the fields, He can provide a way of escape from the trap line IF one has the courage to ask Him and take him at his word.
Where one is trapped, they become a slave to the trapper and must have more of the immoral activity to keep them ‘hooked’. The more one feeds on the bait, the more one gets hooked. Eventually, they lose their ability to fight the sin and are reeled in for the devil’s victory.
Unless those who are trapped take the way of escape and freedom from their sin as outlined through the Bible. Satan may have the right bait for you; but the right prayer to God can free you from the fishing line; repentance from being suckered into taking the bait can bring back your strength and common sense and one may swim off into victory through Jesus Christ. (Philippians 4:8). This may sound simple, but it has worked for a lot of years and set a number of captives free. You may laugh at what I’m writing, but praise God I ain’t mounted on the devil’s wall!
Mike Ramey is a Retired Minister, KJV Bible Teacher, syndicated columnist and book reviewer who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The Ramey Commentaries” is one of a variety of his columns appearing and abounding in print and cyberspace, written from a biblical, business, and common-sense perspective since 1996. To drop him a line—or a whine—the address is still the same: firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2022 Barnstorm Communications International.