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  • Rick LoPresti

Virtual reality

The term "virtual reality" was first used in 1938 to describe the theater. As computer science advanced, it became a description of the simulations computers can do, usually with a headset. The word virtual means "almost, or a simulation just like the real" but not actually the real thing. A virtual thing almost but not quite like the real thing. It has some of the same characteristics and features and a real thing, but it is just simulating it. It is taking advantage of the ways our senses have learned to perceive reality, and fooling them into perceiving the simulation as real.

The enemy of our souls and this world are virtual reality artists. They generate things that appear like the real, substantive things God has for us; but they are just simulations which fool our spiritual senses. Hebrews 5:14 speaks of mature Christians having their senses exercised to discern. A truth-loving, Spirit-filled Christian should be able to distinguish what if from God and what is just a simulation. Only God is the Creator. The best the rest of us, including the devil, can do is use what He has already created, or imitate it. Some people believe the image of the beast spoken of in the book of Revelation (13:14-15, 14:9-11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20, 20:4) is going to be some form of computer generated virtual reality.

When the serpent spoke to Eve in the garden, he was essentially offering her an alternative reality to the one God created for her and her husband (Gen 3:1-7). God already gave them a paradise of beauty and life. He gave them all the trees that were pleasant to the eyes and good for food, except for the one that would kill them (Gen 2:9 & 16-17). They had the opportunity of eternal life, but they gave up the real for a far inferior simulation which did not last at all. When the consequences of their choice began to take effect, their new "reality" was not to be compared to the blessings of God.

The best this world can offer us is a simulated imitation of what God has for us. A bar is a good example. When we go to church, there are the pastor and the people of God, the Spirit of God, an altar where we can talk to God about our issues, worship music, and an offering. At a bar, there is a bartender, "friends", "spirits" called alcohol, a bar where people can pretend their troubles are temporarily gone and people they can talk to about them, there is music, and the bar is happy to take your money. I have never woken up the next day sick and ashamed from having been to church. A bar is a poor substitute.

Sometimes the reality of our circumstances in this life can be unpleasant, but trying to escape through a fake substitute does not work. It is far better to immerse ourselves in the truth and presence of God than to settle for the lies of virtual reality. The truth will make you free (Jn 8:31-32). We can try to fool our senses into a deceptive temporary comfort, or we can experience the provision of God for our eternal souls.

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