"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning."
"knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" gives the enemy extreme glee and satisfaction.
Not only is he stealing these souls from God, but the devil also knows that these who "have lost their salvation by getting tangled up and enslaved by sin again" will be worse off than before."
Therefore, those who once knew the glory of salvation but backslide into a sinful, unrepentant lifestyle; will actually reap worse punishment than if they had never known the Lord Jesus Christ.
Scripture tells us that they would have been better off "to have had no knowledge of the way of righteousness":
"For it would have been better for them to have had no knowledge of the way of righteousness, than to go back again from the holy law which was given to them, after having knowledge of it." 2 Peter 2:21
The reason that the backslidden/ lukewarm Christians deserve and undergo worse punishment is because in that state, they are actually "trampling the Son of God under foot".
They are treating the blood of the covenant "as an unholy thing." By doing so, they are insulting the "Spirit of grace" which is a grievous action which results in more severe eternal punishment:
How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?" Hebrews 10:29
In fact, the Savior despises this lukewarm state so much that He refers to it as a condition that apparently makes Him sickingly disgusted.
He actually warns those who become lukewarm that He will "vomit them" out of His mouth:
"But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth" Revelation 3:16
Please note that the majority of warnings found in the New Testament are mainly to believers, not to unbelievers.
Unbelievers would not be reading and digesting God's Word to begin with so the warnings are issued to believers who are supposed to familiarize themselves with Scripture.
Perhaps the reason that many people become backslidden and lukewarm is because they are neglecting to read and study the Bible.
If only all professing Christians would revere His written Word and actually read it and take it to heart.
They would then be well aware of the horrifying consequences of falling back into a state of unrepentance and/or obsession with the things of this world.
"It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:31
ha satan (satan) tries to tempt believers in the same way he attempted to tempt Yeshua: with the kingdoms of this world.
The enemy tantalizes believers with earthly gain in order to woo their affection and devotion away from God.
In doing so, the things of this world become idols to them, wherein they put their earthly lives above the Kingdom of God.
"...the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8
God makes it beyond clear in His Ten Commandments that we are to put Him first and put nothing above Him.
Yaweh literally warns us that He is a "jealous God." As our creator, He deserves all the glory and all of our attention:
Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
A good way to determine if we are giving God the priority He not only deserves, but also demands is by honestly evaluating our lives.
We need to evaluate and sincerely admit where most of our time, money, efforts, and thoughts are focused and that will prove to us which god we serve...the god of this world or the almighty living God, creator of Heaven and Earth.
In our modern day, high tech society there are so many mediums of entertainment by which satan can try to lure us away from serving God.
All of the laptops, IPODS, Iphones, Ipads, televsion, radios, video games and other such technological devices take up much of most people's time, money, efforts and thoughts.
Interestingly, several of these time consuming devices are titled with an "I" as in the Iphone, Ipad, etc.
It is almost as if this "I" denotes the self-centeredness that the electronic item promotes.
With the mass production of these many man made "idols", modern day mankind has literally made idols and are worshipping the works of our hands."
Isaiah 2:8 Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.
God warns us to worship only Him and we are to be consecrated to Him and set apart from this world.
However, satan has deluded many professing Christians to where their appearance and activities are no different than that of the world.
They watch the same movies, wear the same clothing, seek the same entertainment and desire the same pleasures as those of the world.
So very many have been deceived into constantly pursing the things and riches of the world to where they belong not to God, but to the ruler of this world, ha satan.
Many lukewarm Christians justify that they are not "sinning" if they are not drinking, doing drugs, immoral sex, theft etc.
They do not realize that to put the things of the world over God IS sin.
So, when they allow the pleasures and material items of the world to become their priority, they are actually living in unrepentant sin.
They have unknowingly slipped into entanglement by the corruptions of the world, which overcomes most, causing them to lose their salvation.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Satan successfully lures many into this "idol worship" through "the love of money" and through the desire of the many things it can buy.
If only professing Christians would look into God's Word, they would see how seriously dangerous is the ground they are treading on.
It is, in truth, leading to them being overcome by worldly desires which makes them "an enemy of God".
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God" James 4:4
In America and other western, prosperous countries, this ploy to steal men's souls is most effective.
These financially blessed countries offer a vast array of glitter,glitz and allure of worldly possessions and entertainment.
Satan has blinded the Modern Day Church to where they are under the impression that they are "good to go" and truly saved just because they walked an aisle, made a confession of faith and perhaps even attend Church regularly.
They are blind to the fact that if their main focus and desires are for the attractions of this world that they are NOT "good to go".
Quite to the converse, they will be left behind when the Bridegroom returns for His Bride who is supposed to be awaiting Him, untainted by the things of this world.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
In fact, we can see that the description that Yeshua gave of the lukewarm Church of Laodecia accurately depicts the condition of most of today's "church people".
"You say, 'I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." Revelation 3:17
In the last days Church of Laodecia, physical wealth has become a set back and a detriment for many as it leads them into "ruin and destruction", compromising their salvation:
"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction." 1 Timothy 6:9
If only professing believers would believe the warnings that Jesus gave to us regarding earthly riches.
They would then heed the many warnings in Scripture of the pitfall of worldly gain, causing them to flee from the temptations of the world.
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”Matthew 19:23-24
The spiritual battle waging for men's souls is ongoing and the enemy is pulling out "all the stops" as he knows his time is short in these last days.
There are so many worldly things crying out for men's attention and affection.
There are multitudes who have been deluded into thinking they can have the "best of both worlds".
They think they can serve God while constantly in the pursuit of money and all the fun and property it can buy.
However, God made it clear that we cannot have divided allegiance. We have to choose either God or the things of the world because "no one can have two masters":
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24
Sadly, we can see all around us the many who profess to belong to Christ, while all outward appearances prove that Mammon is their god.
The allure of the world even causes many who claim to love the Lord to not want to even hear about the His soon return; because it will interfere with their earthly lives and future worldly goals.
This "fatal attraction" that the devil has so cleverly dangled before mankind is accepted by so many that Yeshua warns us that only a FEW FIND THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO LIFE:
"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and ONLY A FEW find it." Matthew 7:14
This grave warning is why we need to guard our hearts, setting ourselves apart , loving not the world or the things of it.
Scripture tells us regarding those who are of the world that :"the love of the Father is not in him".
If the "love of the Father" is not in us, our destination will not be the glories of Heaven but instead, the terrors of hell for all eternity:"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
This is why in these final days,we need to hone in our focus on the Lord, confidently abiding in Him so we will not be ashamed before Him at His coming: