People chose evil due to doubting God and thinking their way is better–not caring what God would want or even caring what the conscience is saying. The conscience can be burned away through constantly choosing to ignore it. Eventually, it quits talking.
There is an enemy of our souls. He works through our lusts and cravings telling us we are entitled to have what we want and to do as we please. It is not that we lose our souls through making wrong choices. The Lord is our Shepherd. He has a hold on us, even when we make horrible choices. The danger of losing one’s soul comes when we determine that God has no place in our lives and that we will live it just as we wish. Given enough time on that path, common sense gets lost and love for others bleeds off. Many have reversed that course by turning to God and asking for forgiveness. This is what it means to say “the soul is saved.”
Murderers, rapists, drunkards, robbers and addicts who persist have in their ways give over their souls to one who is out to kill and destroy. A person may hardly notice they are cooperating with the schemes of the devil who hates God’s people. It is a gradual process. At any point they can turn to God.
The story of Genesis portrays God extending beautiful intimacy with the humans He created. All was well until Satan got Eve, and then Adam, to doubt that God knows best. Once that lie was accepted, these two took the next step: believing that God was keeping something good and blessed from them. Firmly planted, this lie took hold and resulted in a great loss for them–even the loss of eternal life.
God’s intention was for them to live forever in the beautiful place He created for them. This was lost, as they could not live forever. Now, they would know death. Meanwhile, everything would not be given to them; they had to earn their bread through hard labor. What joy comes through seeing the full truth! An amazing part of the story of Adam and Eve is that God still has them firmly in the grasp of his love, even after bad choices cost them so much.
Sorrowfully, their intimacy with God was cut short. The light of God which surrounded and enfolded them was gone, replaced by the darkness their disobedience brought. They now stood naked before God. Love prevailed, as God makes coverings for Adam and Eve. God’s mercy causes Him to slay animals so their skins can clothe His loved ones.
This is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ who would come to the earth, in due time, to lay down His life for all humanity. Through His teachings and his actions, Jesus portrayed the heart of His Father to us and showed us God’s will. The core of Christian truth is that Jesus sacrificed His life for us, and that His very own blood was shed to cover our sins.
All of us will encounter countless temptations in this life. We can yield, if we want, as God has given us the great gift of free will. Or, we can surrender our lusts and our cravings–our prideful desires for amassing wealth or having power and control over others. Another choice is to keep our hearts ensconced in Scripture and bath our lives in prayer, seeking God’s will for our lives. In this way, God, our Creator, will be at the center of our souls. We can walk clean knowing that through Christ’s offering of His blood to cover and redeem us from our sins, we are lifted out of our failures. It is through our trust in Him that we can be whole, free from the entrapments the enemy of our soul weaves around our feet. (James 4:7 instructs us well: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”)
It is astounding, even hard to grasp, once we know that Jesus chose to die for us. The whole scene could have been different. For when the Roman soldiers came to arrest the Lord, Peter decided to help Him escape. Jesus quickly stopped Peter, saying, “Put your sword back in its place. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:52-53) In view of so great a sacrifice make for our eternal benefit, is it so hard to study Scripture in order to truly know–and hold in mind–what He has taught? Doing so will see us resisting pride-driven desires and selfish reasoning.
Knowing that God loves us against all reason, gives us the power to resist the temptations that perpetually come our way. This creates a longing in us to follow God’s will. This very longing is initiated within us by God–through the Holy Spirit.
It is a fact that when we read the teachings of Jesus Christ day-by-day, loving and serving the Lord becomes our foremost desire. And, as we continually yield to God, His will is portrayed through our lives. It is certain that once we have set our will to belong to Him, God will not let go of us. Our souls are safe.