The vast majority of this world in every generation, but especially in the last generation, accepts Satan’s lies and thus become his victims. This is a matter of Bible prophecy (See Matthew 7:13, 14; Revelation 12:9; 13:8; 13:14; 16:12-14; 18:23 and 6:14-17.)
We live in a world that has become partly fatalist; partly believing in behaviorism; and partly believing in atheistic blind chance so that nothing really matters. Many believe that human action is simply the result of electrical-chemical forces such as genes, heredity, hormones, plus external stimuli that trigger the built-in machinery in the human body and mind.
Some scientists now believe that homosexuality is simply the result of some abnormal or untoward event (“stress”) happening to the mother during the sixth to eighth week of gestation. Many have wanted for a long time to simply call alcoholism a “disease.” Scientists have been looking for years for evidence of the link between heredity and obesity. We are doing the same kind of research with regard to aggressive or violent behavior. Is it possible to decrease violent behavior, and thus reduce crime, with hormones and with diet? Yes, it is.
The conclusion of this kind of reasoning is that we live and act in the manner, first of all, that we are programmed to genetically, and secondly, after the manner that our parents and society around us have programmed us during the first few decades of life.
The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy recognize that the two factors mentioned above are very powerful forces in influencing human behavior. “Their children often receive this stamp of character before their birth; for the appetites of the parents are often intensified in the children. Thus unborn generations are afflicted by the use of tobacco and liquor. Intellectual decay is entailed upon them, and their moral perceptions are blunted. Thus the world is being filled with paupers, lunatics, thieves, and murderers. Disease, imbecility, and crime, with private and public corruption’s of every sort, are making the world a second Sodom.” Signs of the Times, October 17, 1878.
“The first three years is the time in which to bend the tiny twig. Mothers should understand the importance attaching to this period. It is then that the foundation is laid.” Child Guidance, 194.
But there is another element in human behavior that the devil does not want you to see. The devil wants you to believe that you are helpless to overcome your evil heredity and environment. It was he who worked that your parents might transmit to you an increased depravity, that you might be spiritually crippled by perverted home training or none at all. If you truly are helpless to overcome, then how can you justly be taken to judgment? And this is the argument that many believe today; it is one of the devil’s lies that creates millions of victims. The Bible teaches that we are all going to judgment. (Acts 24:15; II Corinthians 5:10).
Why are we going to judgment even though we have a defective heredity and come from a terrible environment so that we are internally and externally programmed to do evil? The reasons are first, that God has not given to the devil; or to our parents, or to anybody else the power to force us to sin. Sin is breaking God’s law through an act of the will. The devil can make it easier to sin than to obey God’s law—he did this for Joseph, Daniel and Jesus and He will do it for you. But the actual decision to commit sin, to break God’s law, is still up to us, the devil cannot force us to do it.
Though in ourselves we cannot resist the evils of our natures, God has provided all the help we need there too, He has promised, “The power that is near to deliver from physical harm or distress is also near to save from the greater evil, making it possible for the servant of God to maintain his integrity under all circumstances, and to triumph through divine grace.” Prophets and Kings, 545.