God’s people know it’s time to examine ourselves before Passover (just four weeks from tomorrow night!), like Paul instructs in 1 Corinthians 11:28.
So a well-meaning fellow ponders his life and realizes he could be deceiving himself big time. But he knows God knows what he needs. So he asks God to guide him where to go in the Bible. He opens it to Matthew 27:5: “Judas went out and hanged himself.” Then he opens his Bible again, to Luke 10:37: “Go thou and do likewise.”
I hope you’re laughing! Because if we did that thinking it was God’s directions for us, we’d be deceived! Deadly deceived! And we deceived ourself! Instead, we need to rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
But what if for months it seems like every time you open your Bible, your eye falls on the same word!
And its variations. What would your reaction be?
This has been happening to me for several months! Every time I open my Bible, it’s talking about being deceived or being deceitful.
“But I’m not deceitful. I’m straightforward. Above board. What you see is what you get.
This means nothing! God’s not trying to tell me anything.”
Well, OK, for others reading this blog. Or for those who will hear the sermon on this …
I wish I could say that, but I know better.
A few years ago I wrote a blog post titled “Is the Whole World Deceived—Except You?”
That’s based on Revelation 12:9 that shockingly says “Satan, the one deceiving the whole world” (New Living Translation). Yes, deceiving—continuing to deceive!
“Man, how can they be so dumb!” Well, how can we? OK, even after 52 years as a Christian, how can I?
Today, it’s easy to see that the whole world is deceived like we would have never imagined, back when Walter Cronkite nightly said “and that’s the way it is” and we all believed it was. Only a few years back I used to think CNN was the network to trust. Now the name always makes me think SIN. Does anybody trust the fact checkers?
1 Corinthians warns us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Smartphones anyone? Mine is probably smart but it sure baffles me about how to use it effectively! Now a new one: masks? Deceiving and dividing whether you believe in them or not—even brethren. That looks like a warmup for vaccines, and how that could divide brethren who have all the answers.
Satan is such a Master Deceiver that so many people do not even believe he exists
Even many who call themselves Christians! A Barna survey in 2009 found that only 35% of Christians thought Satan exists as a living being rather than personifying evil. You’d have to think that figure would be less in 2021.
In the cloak and dagger movies, the perfect strategy is to induce the opponents or victims to think you’re dead and no longer a force to reckon with so you can then carry out your schemes with ease.
Ephesians 2:2 identifies Satan as “the prince of the power of the air” who broadcasts his attitudes and moods invisibly like radio and TV signals so that people are not aware of how he is influencing them any more than they are thinking about breathing.
In His Olivet prophecy, Jesus warned that the end times would be so deceptive with false Christs and prophets that if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived (Matthew 24:24). We who have committed all to wanting to be the very elect should take that as a warning to “let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
An Antichrist Man of Sin is coming who will deceive so many by out-of-this-world miracles that appear to be good. We today are being set up to want the assuring miracles and smooth talk he will dispense. A man of God? He sits in the temple as God! (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Jeremiah 10:23 says our own hearts are something above all things. Bloody? No, deceitful! We are easy pickings for the Master Deceiver.
What’s the antidote for Antichrist: “a love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10). We must study God’s Word, live it and have a developing relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Proverbs tell a Christian to diligently be open to correction and sincerely respond to it. But
A really smart Christian will do more and actually ask for it,
from God especially who promises to not give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The Bible says Satan is deceiving the whole world. No exceptions. Each of us needs to ask ourself: How am I being deceived?