Humans seem to have an endless capacity for self-deception. They will happily follow an evil leader to their destruction while ignoring a good leader. During the second world war, millions of people in Europe willingly followed Hitler on his campaign of conquest, in the full knowledge that his schemes and designs were deceptive and evil. In the 13th chapter of the Revelation, people show a similar inclination to follow the beast:

Everyone living on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the beginning of creation in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed. Whoever has an ear, should hear. Anyone destined to go into captivity will go into captivity. Anyone destined to be killed with the sword must be killed. The believers must endure and be faithful.

Sometimes following the crowd and doing what everyone else is doing seems like an addiction. We know that the path we are pursuing will in the end lead to death, but we somehow lack the willpower, courage, strength of convictions, or motivation to overcome inertia and head off in a different direction towards what is good. We fail to listen to God’s voice, and so we willingly march off into captivity and to be killed by the sword.

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