Reed all About it

By Dr. Allen Reed



“Who Changed the Signs” – “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’”

Genesis 3:4, NKJV


The fleeing Nazis in World War II were being chased out of France. As they retreated, they changed all the road signs, a trick that confused our armies and sent them in many a wrong direction until it was realized those signs could not be trusted.

There is a growing awareness among discerning folk today that they have been had. They’ve been tricked. They have followed all the enticing invitations posted along the way:  “This way to success,” and they run down that road till their sides are aching, and they finally realize the road gets steeper and more demanding, and the definition of success keeps changing. “This way to happiness!” says another sign, and they dash down that road until they begin to notice all the unhappy people coming back.

A lot of people are becoming aware that some enemy has changed the signs. He has posted his false directions in most attractive and creative ways, using the best and cleverest minds and media. “Here is life!” it announces. And he sends them toward death. “Here is happiness!” He invites and they soon learn he has changed the street sign. That was not “Happiness Boulevard” at all. It was “Misery Avenue.” His motto is:  “Promise them anything, but give them hell.”

In the third chapter of Genesis we see Satan making his first pitch, stealing life and happiness and fellowship with God away from Adam and Eve. It may or may not be surprising to discover he hasn’t changed his line one bit. Why should he? It is still working. The things he said to Eve he is still saying to you and me.

The reason Satan’s temptations sound good to us is because there is an element of truth in each one. Satan knows we can handle outright lies, but a half lie is most dangerous. Tennyson said:  “A lie that is all a lie can be met and fought outright; but a lie that is partly truth is a harder matter to fight.” Satan asked Eve:  “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” Well, that was true; that is what God said, but it was phrased in such a way, with such a veiled suggestion, that it was a lie. Satan does the same today. “Did God really say, ‘You are not to love anything or anyone more than Me?’ Did He actually say, ‘You are to honor your father and mother?’ Did God really say, ‘You shall not commit adultery?’” Really? He told them, “You shall not surely die.” That was a half lie. It is true they did not die immediately. But they did die a disastrous spiritual death. Their sin did what sin always does. It separated them from God.

They tried to hide from God; they could not. You can’t hide from God either. When God found them they began to blame each other. Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the serpent. Tell me, when you get caught, do you try to place the blame on someone else? What should be our response? The right way is to face up to it. You don’t have to run and hide. The Bible tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) God won't change the directional signs. If you will confess your sins, He will forgive.


A LITTLE HUMOR:  A young preacher observed that hundreds of cars drove by his church, apparently without noticing it. He decided to put up a sign by the busy street. The sign read:  “If you’re tired of sin, come on in.” A few days later someone had written on the bottom:  “If not, call 899-3335.