Before we get into the teaching today, it might benefit some to know what autopilot is and how it works…and then we can tie in the truth of this to show a spiritual application of it.
The word autopilot is derived from the two words: automatic pilot. Autopilot can not only fly the plane, but it can climb the plane to the right altitude, turn the plane, speed up the plane, and even land the plane by itself on the runway with no help from the pilot. Most airports are set up with what is called Instrument Landing System (ILS) or Microwave Landing System (MLS) Autoland Approach, and this is what allows jetliners to land by themselves…even in heavy ground fog.
But autopilot is a very dangerous thing for Christians, and here’s why. People come to the Lord one day and then expect Him to do everything for them. They do the very first thing, which is to get the plane in the air (the most fun part), but then they just relax and put their lives on autopilot and cruise along with seemingly no bad weather. And it appears to be a smooth ride.
But eventually the plane has to land and refuel, or it will crash and burn. This is where I see a whole lot of Christian’s crashing and burning. Their takeoff is good…the engines were hot, they were on fire, and they were soaring with Christ. But then the wicked one comes along and tells them to just sit back and do nothing and let autopilot take over.
The problem with this thinking is that an autopilot in a plane is made up of several AI’s (Artificial Intelligences) that are working in conjunction with each other to control all aspects of the plane. In our vehicles we have cruise control; and all it does is control our speed only. But in a plane, one controls speed, another the heading, another the landing, another the pitch, tilt, and turn maneuvers, etc. We can liken this to Christian’s being controlled by others after they get the “plane” up. Many are controlled by lies, sin, false teachers, a life of ease, etc. And unless these issues are corrected while in flight, the “plane” will crash and burn…eternally speaking. I’m afraid the landing lights will not be turned on for many who bring their plane in for its final landing. Because people are trusting in the “artificial intelligences” (doctrines of demons) to get them there safely. God’s Word is our compass, and He alone is the pilot, and we do what he tells us to do…exactly how He tells us to do it. All of the instructions to fly the plane and safely land it without crashing and burning can be found in the “Flight Manual.”
What could cause a person to think that they could begin their flight in the spirit, and then be perfected (while in flight) by the flesh? False doctrine is what causes this phenomenon to happen to people. They have believed a lie that everything is okay as long as they once confessed Jesus at one time in their life.
And because people won’t take the time to get in God’s Word for themselves and see the truth…a lie is easier to swallow. I’m going to make a rather pointed statement here: if you’re not spending time in God’s Word, then you just flat out don’t love God. Because Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments” – He said in John 14:21 “He that has My commandments, and KEEPS THEM, he it is that loves Me” – He said in John 14:23 “If a man love Me, he will keep my words” – He said in John 15:10 ”If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love” – and He said in John 15:14 “You are My friends IF you do whatever I have commanded you.”
Did you notice the word “if” in four of those verses? These verses (and the promises attached to them) are very conditional. Over and over in scripture you will find the phrase “whosoever will” and as I have been meditating on this phrase, I have really come to see the truth even more of what I have been teaching for two years now…everything is a choice, and you are free to make whatever choices you want in life.
Many choices that people make will have dire consequences for them. Some will lose marriages over their choices, some will lose dear friendships, and others will lose out eternally…all based upon their freedom of choice to follow the flesh, sin, selfishness, unrighteousness, and uncleanness. Twenty-nine (29) times in each gospel (KJV) you will find the phrase “Take heed.” 116 times in the gospels alone!!! Wow…we had better start paying closer attention to His word. Three times within 19 verses in Hebrews 3-4 (3:7, 3:15, 4:7) we can find the phrase “harden not your hearts.” Shouldn’t we be living out our lives in the utmost fear and carefulness before this righteous and awesome God?
Psalm 119:109 says, “My soul is continually in my hand.” Hmmmm…so then whose hand is your soul in exactly? According to this verse, it is in your own hand. In other words, it is your responsibility to get the plane off the ground, take care of all the inflight work that needs to be done (pilots have to constantly navigate through storms and tumultuous weather, and they have to chart and keep records, etc.), and it’s your job and your responsibility to get the plane landed safely so that all of the other passengers on board (your family, and friends) can continue to live.
Your living affects your spouse. Your living affects your children. Your living affects your friends, and whether some of them will make it or not. I absolutely tremble at the thought of not making it, or one of my family members not making it. There is a holy fear within me that is a guiding compass to my conscience. And when the arrow just ever so slightly begins to point anywhere else but Godward, I stop immediately and turn until my inner compass lines up with His moral compass.
David had 21 children that are named in scripture (we know from 1 Chr. 3:9 that he had more that are not named), and of these children, we know that three of them did not make it: Adonijah, Absalom, and Solomon. I personally think that the reason Adonijah did not make it was because David never disciplined/corrected him (see 1 Kings 1:6). I think the reason that Absalom didn’t make it was because David never forgave him for his sin (until the very end of his life, and then it was too late…the emotional damage to Absalom was already done) and chose to banish him from the family, and this caused a deep root of bitterness to spring up in Absalom that he could never let go of (see 2 Sam. 14:24, 32). A man cannot do this to his own son and not expect eternal consequences.
And his dearly beloved Solomon did not make it either. You will remember what David said to Solomon in 1 Chr. 28:9, “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” This word “if” is the biggest littlest word in the entire bible. It carries with it conditions that must be met. In other words, when you see the word “if” in scripture…you can bet your last dollar that the whole door (of truth) is hanging, and swinging, on that hinge. What hinge, some may ask? The hinge of the word “if.“
God had even said of Solomon at one time, “…I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues strong in keeping my commandments and my rules, as he is today.” 1 Chr. 28:6-7. And we know that Solomon loved the Lord at one time, for it is written in 1 Kings 3:3, “Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.” Take special note of the seed of compromise in his life even in the beginning. Scripture teaches us in 1 Cor. 5:6 and 5:9 that a little leaven ruins the whole lump. You cannot love God and have a secret sin…which according to this scripture is really what? Sacrificing to demons. If there is sin and compromise in your life, I am here to tell you today from what the Lord Jesus told us in John 8 and in 1 John 3 that you are worshipping demons. I didn’t write the bible…but I am going to tell you the truth of what it says.
And here is the fate of Solomon…”And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. 1 Kings 11:9-10
And we see in the first eight verses of this chapter that in Solomon’s old age, he served all the devils of his wives and concubines. We have no record of him ever repenting or of returning to the Lord in the end. Even after the Lord appeared to him twice, he still went further and further into sin and devil worship. What a sad way for the life of one who was once called by God “my son” to end. But take special note that he started off his flight well. Because the Lord said in that 1 Chr. 28:7 verse, “…as he is today.” So we see that Solomon was obeying God and loving God at one time; but the passage in 1 Kings 11:9 shows us that his heart grew cold and turned away from the Lord. We have three books of the bible written by a man who started off well and was passionate for God…but he crash-landed in the end and took many lives with him down the dark, dark runway of eternity. He had the power and the wisdom and the spiritual experience to lead his wives and children to God. Read for yourself what happened to his wives, and his children.
But Solomon’s fate cannot be laid at David’s feet. Solomon chose to serve demons after his father had taught him better. This was willful sin. And the book of Ezekiel says that none of Solomon’s righteousness will ever be remembered by God because he died in his sin. Just stop and think about this for a moment. Let the gravity and seriousness of this set in to your heart and mind. We’re not talking about some infidel or ungodly king here…we’re talking about Solomon who was loved by God at one time, and it is recorded that he loved God at one time. What happened?
He put his life on cruise control and trusted in his former righteousness and standing with God. He presumed (as millions have and still do) that God was with him at one time, and therefore God would be with him always, even if he forsook God and God’s word. Oh, the deception that people fall into by believing this lie; a lie that I now call “The Oldest False Doctrine in the Bible.”
I have news for you…it doesn’t matter necessarily how you start off, but how you finish the race. If you don’t abide by the rules of the race as set forth in the “Rule Book” then you are disqualified. Paul plainly bears this out in 1 Cor. 9:24-27 and Hebrews 12:1. In the former passage Paul shows that there are rules that must be followed to finish the race and obtain the prize. In the latter passage Paul shows that if you have sin in your life, then you can’t finish the race.
Finishing the race well is what matters. Getting the plane in the air is quite easy (there are many children who fly planes), and putting it on autopilot is the easy way out. But…the plane has to be landed eventually. On Saturday night a Boeing 777 crash-landed at the San Francisco airport. According to what we know right now, he was too short of the runway and coming in too slow and at the wrong rate of descent. He hit too hard at the wrong pitch and buckled the landing gear, which in turn tore off the tail section of the plane and some poor people lost their lives. Pilot error is the cause. Your pilot error (spiritually speaking) can cause you to crash and burn…and it can also cause others who are “flying with you” to lose their lives eternally.
The bible has a lot to say about how our living, and our teachings, can cause others to lose out eternally. Get your plane off autopilot, and begin to work righteousness, and work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Hebrew 3:7, 3:15, and 4:7 says, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says (and is saying right now to you), “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
Please notice carefully the words “if you hear His voice.” Now here is the hundred-thousand-dollar question…can you, can you really hear His voice…right now…today? “For him who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.” Exodus 32:33 – “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.” Revelation 3:5. Let’s make sure that we are living a life of obedience, and be found by Him preparing for the next life, remembering that scripture says, “For surely there is a hereafter.” Jesus did not spill His blood to give everyone a life of ease and contentment in this life…He spilled His blood to prepare them for the next life!!