Have you ever heard of “optimism bias”? It is a characteristic that humans have that makes them optimistic toward themselves. A person may discourage someone else from doing something, all the while that very person engages in it. This is because most people think “that will never happen to me”. Every person is the hero of their own story, and the hero always has a happy ending.
The reason that man has taken risks throughout the years is because of the hopeful optimistic disposition that we won’t experience the negative possibilities. When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and said “this is one giant leap for mankind”, that leap had its origin in the belief that those three astronauts wouldn’t experience the same tragic end as those on the Apollo 1 team. We need to have an optimism about us, otherwise we would never accomplish anything.
But optimism bias is usually looked at in a negative way. Optimism bias can cause someone to engage in something that has been proven foolish. Why do people smoke when the packs are covered in warnings? Because most individuals don’t think they will be the one who gets cancer. Why do people drink and drive when there are thousands of drunk driving related deaths every year? Because they think THEY won’t crash THIER car.
The fall of man happened because Eve was convinced that “she wouldn’t die”(Gen 3:4), even though God had just promised “you shall surely die” (2:17). Eve was led astray by thinking “it won’t happen to me”. The fall of each individual typically comes from the same source.
If you went to David, as he was gathering stones to face Goliath and said to him, “Someone is going to end up committing adultery with the wife of their most loyal servant, get her pregnant, and then have her husband killed”. David most certainly would say, “it won’t be me”. But years later in 2 Samuel 12:7, Nathan the prophet tells David, “thou art the man”.
Every prodigal son who has ever gone on to live the most riotous way you could imagine, said at one time “it will never happen to me”.
Every alcoholic that has drank away their life, said to themselves, “it’ll never happen to me”.
Every person living on the street said “I’ll never end up like that”.
Every person who has gambled away their last dime has said, “it will never happen to me”.
Every person in the back of a police car said “it will never happen to me”.
Every person who has contracted an STD has said “it will never happen to me”.
Every marriage that was entered into because of pregnancy had two people that said “it won’t happen to us”.
Every marriage that has ended in divorce has had two people that said “it’ll never happen to us”.
Psychologists call it “optimism bias”. The Bible calls it “the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:13). We are decided by lusts (Eph 4:22), riches (Mark 4:19), unrighteousness (2 Thess 2:10), and the empty promises of human philosophy (Col 2:9).
One of the most egregious deceptive human philosophies is the teaching that once someone has been saved, they can never fall away. There are countless churches that are teaching people “it’ll never happen to you”. This is no different than that same lie that Satan told Eve in the garden.
The bible certainly teaches that no outside force can separate us from God (John 10:28, Rom 8:28-29). Salvation is an anchor that is securely wedged behind the veil in heaven (Heb 6:19). Satan isn’t going to sneak up there and loosen it.
But like any anchor, I can let go. Sometimes, the captain of the ship may cut the lines on the anchor. Did the anchor fail? No the anchor is still there, the captain cut the rope. The Bible says that we can fall from grace and “sever” ourselves from Christ (Gal 5:4). Thats cutting the rope. Collosians 2:19 says we can “not hold fast to the head” which is Christ. That is letting go of the rope. How many souls are lost because they have been told that falling from grace would never happen to them.
Therefore, everyone, both saint and sinner needs to “take heed”. We need to get serious about this.
“Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Col 2:8). We need to realize we can be deceived by man made religion. If we realize we can be deceived by man-made religion, hopefully we will ask questions about the denominations we belong to. Why couldn’t Paul start his own church in the first century (1 Cor 1:10), but it’s ok in the 21st?
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12).
We need to realize that sin is always crouching at the door (Gen 4:7). Sin is no joke. We have got to quit treating sin like God’s ok with it and doesn’t really care.
“Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God:” (Heb 3:12). We need to realize that we can believe today but die in a state of unbelief.
Hell will be filled with people who said “it will never happen to me” and lived their life like it. Heaven will be filled with people who realized “it could happen to them” and then took heed.