Conscience is the battleground where our various proclivities and compulsions fight it out with the things we know to be true and proper.
If religion and God’s tenets form our conscience, then the stakes are raised. It not only becomes a personal conflict over civil rules or ethical standards but it rises to the level of spiritual warfare – the battle between good and evil.
Anyone who reflects on the issues of living a spiritual life, according to God’s tenets, will realize that these are issues pertaining to the human heart and mind. God, through religion, wishes to win over our minds and hearts. Similarly, maleficent influences seek to rule hearts and minds.
Victory on this level means complete victory. Principles of life obtained by the human heart and mind, through conscience (or the lack of it), cannot be quashed by physical threats or by brute force.
If the ultimate battleground between good and evil is played out on the psycho-turf of the human heart and mind, why then, do people still believe God will return to earth to “kick butt?”
God compels no one towards having religious faith or belief, otherwise he would have come down from the cross and asserted his divinity and authority, right there and then. Compelling belief accomplishes the opposite, for it destroys free will, which is a gift from God and a derivative of love. God wants to be accepted from the principle of love not from the tip of a sword, unless that sword symbolizes the power of divine truth (as opposed to polished steel).
I have maintained throughout many posts that the Sacred Word contains deeper levels of meaning by which physical things can communicate higher, spiritual qualities. When these deeper meanings are applied to the “end times” as recorded in Revelation, including the great battle of Armageddon, we will find that these scenes pertain to events taking place within the inner lives of people. This is where God makes His ultimate and final stand. This is the only “place” where true spiritual warfare can take place and allow the Lord to make all things new – from the inside out.
Even a careful reading of the literal meanings of the words used in the New Testament back this up this thesis. When the Lord speaks about the end times, he states that the current generation will not pass until all these things are fulfilled (Matt. 24:34). Well, the generation the Lord addressed has long passed. Elsewhere, the Lord states that “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation” (Luke, 17:20). One will not point to anything unusual and say, “Look here,” or “Look there” (Luke, 17:21). So, what gives here?
The only place left to look is WITHIN us. This new wrinkle on biblical interpretation certainly allows God to fulfill his promise within a generation – anyone’s generation. The caveat is we have to take part in the fight.