Don’t Be Deceived
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”Matthew 24:3-4
The first thing Jesus told his apostles to answer there question was, Watch out that no one deceives you. Jesus talks about deception two other times in this chapter: At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:10-11) For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
Jesus emphasizes deception in the last days because Satan, as an angel of light, easily deceives many people. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14) Those who do not know God’s Truth from the Word can easily be deceived by Satan’s lies. Most of God’s people know the Truth and Satan’s scheme is to infiltrate the church and slowly twist scripture. It’s imperative that Christians are grounded in the Word and in the Truth. We should verify everything we hear because we can easily believe everything we hear from respected Christians. Every Christian should be encouraging but also be on guard for false teaching.
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1) Within God’s family, the church, we hold each other accountable because we love and care about all in God’s family. But don’t be deceived — Satan will try to deceive the church by deceiving a well-respected Christian. Sometimes that Christian may not be aware of their influence in the Church. This one example of how Satan gets a foothold in the Church.
There are a number of churches in the world which have gone directly against the Word, and sometimes they omit the truth or change the truth. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. (Galatians 5:7-9) In Paul’s day, Satan had false teachers in the church, and it’s the same today. One respected person in the church can turn the whole congregation toward false doctrine. Satan will use self-justification as a tool against us and the church.
The only way to overcome false teaching is know the Word in our hearts. Pray that the Lord opens your mind and heart to his truth and to awaken the Spirit whenever you hear false doctrine. If there is any indication of false teaching in the church you attend, bring the scripture to the attention of a church leader. Remember, you are responsible for your eternal life and you minister to your brothers and sisters in the church because of the powerful love you have for them.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32) Hold to Jesus’ teaching in the Word and you will be free from false teaching.
Today, know the Word and be alert for false teachings. Pray for the Spirit to be sensitive to false teaching and to alert you when false teachings occur.
Prayer: Lord, help me to never be deceived by false teachings no matter how inviting it is to my sinful nature. Let me live by your truth because the world is living by Satan’s lies and false teaching is numerous as we approach the last days. I pray that lost souls may find your truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen