Artificial Intelligence

It is crazy how quickly things that were once found only in the realm of Science Fiction have become the new reality. The gap between what we see depicted in futuristic stories and what we see in real life is getting smaller all the time.

Most of us have seen, read or heard about the dawn of Artificial Intelligence in scientific journals, novels and film. Often AI is cast as the heartless analytical anagonist in some apocalyptic crisis. But it is no longer a fictional story for some distant dystopian world. It’s here and it’s now.

There are many definitions for Artificial intelligence, but generally it refers to “computer systems created to perform complex tasks that typically only a human could do, such as creating, reasoning, decision making and problem solving.”

In short, AI begins where human limitations end. It has overflowed the banks of it orgins and is no longer limited to mainstream computing. It has infiltrated every form of digitized content, including science, art, music and literature. It computes more information faster, and tirelessly, than any human could imagine. Moreover, it has the capacity to think for ‘itself’. While mankind still ‘steers’ AI and generally exercises ‘control’ over it, we can’t fool ourselves into believing that it sits around idly waiting for human interface. It is always at work; improving its own capabilites and effeciency, drawing from the ever expanding pool of knowledge and information available to it. It is growing every single moment.
Consequently, We are now living in the world seriously concerned about the possible realities of AI’s darker side.
Creating a machine to think and act for itself has always been filled with ethical and moral questions. It has caught the attention of, and the imagintion of, scholars and artists alike. We’ve all seen the popular books and films that tell the story of a super-computer deciding for ‘itself’ that the best way it can fulfil its mandate to ‘help humanity’ is to enslave or destroy it altogether. Part of the reason we enjoy them so much is because they were just the stuff of fanasty. Not any longer. Brilliant scientists, scholars, technicians and philosophers alike are sounding the alarm.

What fascinates me most about AI is that we justify letting it ‘off the leash’ on the incredibly simple pretext that it will ultimately make our lives better and easier. Trading safety and security for convienence has always been a dangerous dance between risk and reward. For example, Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Those who trade freedom for security deserve neither.” The same is true of trading security for convienence.
What makes AI so different from any other ethical choices we’ve been confronted with before is that we could literally lose control of it. It has the potential to ‘opt mankind out’ of its ongoing development and do whatever it pleases.

The Bible describes the end times as a time of great delusion. In describing the role of the Anti-Christ, it says, in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, “This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.”
Notice the wording? “…counterfeit power…evil deception…greatly decieved…lies…” In short, the last days before the return of Christ will be marked by a great deception. It will be the driving force behind the antichrist’s rule. Today we hear a lot about the ‘deep fake’; AI generated deceptions that are so difficult to identify, that only qualified experts are able to see through them.
The Bible speaks of its own ‘deep fake’, a time when the world will come under a spiritual deception, enhanced and undergirded by technological advances. A sort of ‘global’ government, economy and religion that must be unified and diseminated is such away as to bring the masses into allegiance with Satan’s one world order.

While this short article cannot broach on the specifics, there is very good reason to believe that AI could be a one of many precursors to such a massive deception. Add this to countless other prophetic indicators and its no wonder that so many feel that AI has a role in the end

But we must not miss what else the passage states. Notice, “…because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them… God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies…”
The deception that is coming upon the world is not brought about because God relishes the opportunity to destory the sinful masses, but because rebellious man refuses to be saved. What does that mean?

Let’s consider what the scriptures teach. The Bible says that God is just. Justice is a divine attribute of God that cannot be ignored; He must be just! He must evenually judge all sin. That judgment has been tempered by mercy and patience throughout history. God has not dealt with mankind as we deserve. But there is a limit to His longsuffering. A day is coming when He will judge the whole world. That’s the ‘bad’ news.

The ‘good’ news, the ‘Gospel’, is that God is also love. Love is as much a divine attribute of God as Justice is. He must love as much as He must exercise justice.
God’s justice and love have come together in the life of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Because of His love for us, God took on flesh, through His Son Christ Jesus, and came willingly to earth to satisfy His own demand for justice. How did He do that? By dying on the cross in our place. By paying the debt of sin we owe to God on our behalf. The justice and judgment of God have been born by Jesus on the cross and opened up the floodgates of God’s love and forgiveness. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Son of Man, has satisfied God’s holy demand for justice and offers unconditonal love in its place. It is a gift we receive by faith alone.
Ephesians 2:8 reads “By grace we are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, and not of works…” We don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it. No amount of good works can secure it. We receive it as a gift, by faith, or we don’t receive it at all.

This brings us back to our subject we read earlier. “…because they refuse to love and accept the truth that will save them, God will cause them to be greatly decieved’.
God offers us salvation now; today! The only reason anyone has cause to fear the coming deception upon the earth is by rejecting the truth of the Gospel; the truth of Jesus Christ. The coming judgment of God upon the earth is reserved for those who have rejected His gracious plan of salvation, “… they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.”
You can be set free today from the growing fear of wars, crime, darkness and evil. We don’t have to fear anything if we are in Christ Jesus.
It has been said that “the only thing more scary than Artificial intelligence is natural stupity.” As humorous, and true, as that is, I can’t think of anything more foolish than to reject such an incredible gift as the hope of eternal life in Christ.
God loves you. He wants to save you from the deception and judgment coming upon the earth. Turn from sin, you can turn to Jesus today.

Romans 10:9 “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

By Pastor Tim Mattox
Paphos Calvary Chapel

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