The only way to spot a fake dollar bill is to compare it to a real one. Counterfeits of all kinds are skillfully crafted with the explicit purpose to deceive, and without examining it against an original, deception will follow almost automatically. Most of us know some stories of people who were victims of deception, and how much it cost them.
Truth became unpopular with the introduction of political correctness some time ago, setting the stage for the total onslaught against truth that we now see. Fake news is now the order of the day, shaping people’s minds to think—and behave—in a certain way. Any deviation from the official narrative is seen and treated as asocial, conspiracy minded, and outright dangerous. The church did not escape this offensive; sugar coated preaching continues to attract the Biblical illiterate in large numbers—the blind leading the blind. It is hard to find a church where an undiluted message, that is relevant to our times, can be heard.
Accurate knowledge of the truth is your strongest protection against the painful (and in some cases fatal) consequences of deception. This is one of the reasons why God gave us His written Word, filled with truth from beginning to end. God, Who knew the end from the beginning, revealed His will and plans to arm us with truth against the schemes of the devil. Jesus spoke in simple terms to draw our attention to the true value of the truth:
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31,32
While the truth shall make you free, there is a condition to it: you must dwell in the Word—our handy source of truth. The point is that you need to know the truth for it to do its work, for its power is only activated when energized by faith. To abide means to dwell, literally meaning that you must spend much time in the Word. It is heartbreaking to see Christians of long standing make poor decisions, and then ask for prayer to help them cope with the consequences that follow. Walking in the truth of God will spare you such heartaches. Ignorance has always been Christianity’s most ferocious enemy, for it leaves the door wide open to the devil—an invitation that he will never pass by.
How do you abide in the Word? By having it abide in you. Note that the original word translated as disciple in the verses above, actually means student—we are therefore called to be students of the Bible, not just fans or casual readers. Only then will you gain the level of knowledge that enables you to properly discern false teachings, twisted facts, and deception right away.
A good skill to develop is the ability to detect the subtle differences between good and almost good, and not just between good and evil. Bear in mind that all deceit usually contains elements of truth. For this reason every Christian should develop an appetite for our Scriptures, for the well-being of our spiritual lives depend on it. There is a threat of real danger hanging over the heads of lazy Christians who fail at these things:
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-1
The verses above are among the most scary in the Bible. Do you realize how important it is to love God’s Word? There is little chance of escape once you fell into the pit of delusion that comes from God. And be careful of various interpretations that may do more to tickle your ears than reveal truth to you.
Sanctify[a] them by Your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17
The apostle Peter, in chapter three of his second epistle, touches on the prevailing conditions of the last days—a good portion of Scripture to study. He warns us against the subtle deception that will come from some pulpits, something that the ill informed might fall prey to:
…and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 2 Peter 3:15-17
Solomon in all his wisdom knew the value of truth, even in his day:
Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding. Proverbs 23:23
We live at a time that the prophets of old spoke about. They mentioned things that were hard to describe in their day, things that did not exist then, and explained it the best they could. Today we see what they saw, and understand that another era is coming to an end. What we know as the era of grace, or the church age, is about to close. It is hard to wrap our minds around this truth. It is equally hard to come to terms with the world they way it is changing day by day, and our survival instincts cause us to believe that things will return to normal. Unfortunately, that is false hope.
It doesn’t matter how good a life you enjoyed, the hope that we have in Christ exceeds anything that the world could ever offer you. Let’s turn our eyes to the Lord, and the promise that we have in Him. He is our life and our hope. This world is passing away, being destroyed from within by it own corruption and wickedness. We are about to witness the biggest change the world has ever seen, and we have the privilege to have a part in it.
Instead of lamenting the loss of freedoms that we were accustomed to, let us consider the exhortation of Peter in this regard:
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you… 2 Peter 3:11-15
“…looking for, and hastening the coming of the day of God.” We have a role to play while darkness is falling on our world; we ought to hasten that Day by looking forward to it, as the bride looks forward to the arrival of her groom.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
We have free study materials for everyone who desires to discover their identity in Christ as a new creation. What old things have passed away? And what became new? You are not the same person anymore, and the Bible tells you who you are in Christ. Find out in our free pdf with no obligation on your part. Excellent for personal or group study!