The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

09/22/2009

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Deception 101


"Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many"

These words were given in response to the disciples question about the end of the age, or His next coming. Since this subject is much deeper than devotional material, (He WILL return) I will use the verses to talk about how we can be deceived if we are not careful. Earlier in His ministry, Jesus spoke of "watching out for false prophets....they will come in sheep's clothing" (Matt. 7:15). Paul said something similar in Acts 20:29-30 to the elders in Ephesus. He talks of "savage wolves coming among them, distorting the truth." Even Peter chimes in on the subject saying, "But there will be false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you....Many will follow into their shameful ways" (2 Pet. 2:1 & 2).

Today's text strongly implies that man can be led astray. Powerful political leaders have led people down the wrong paths for centuries. They are able to prey on man's dissatisfactions, to move them to place they should not be. Jesus, Paul and Peter are not speaking about that here however. They are speaking about being drawn away from the truth of God's Word. Whether it is done consciously or just because people think they are just smarter than God, there are those who would attempt to draw us away from God's message.

So....How does man keep from being deceived? First we must heed the warning that deception is possible. Forewarned is forearmed. Love the truth of God's Word and revel in it. Model it in the way we live so that others will know that we are the way we are because we love the truth of God. Don't ever stop studying . Its like preparing for a big exam. The only way to answer the questions correctly is to have studied the material. Good teachers will ask hard questions often cloaking a false answer with a partial truth. They want us to have put in the study time. Being in the truth is like being in a good marriage. We know that what we have is good and we cling to it and are enriched and made better by it. Paul goes so far as to say, "even if an angel from heaven preaches a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be condemned" (Gal.1:8)!!

Knowing the truth indeed makes us free....Our credo might be, "The gospel of Jesus is the truth, and I'm sticking to it."

Have a wonderful day...Make a difference.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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