No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14
In the above verse, Paul is warning the church in Corinth to beware of false teachers and leaders who will mislead people away from God. Satan is called the father of lies and a deceiver in the Bible, and he can even appear to us in the form of an angel of light that most people would think must be from God. We as followers of Christ must learn discernment if we are going to stay faithful to our Lord and His purposes. We must learn to make decisions based on content and fruit and not just appearances. The great Baptist preacher of the 1800’s, Charles Spurgeon, once said that real discernment is not the ability to distinguish good from evil, but to distinguish good from “almost good”. The devil is a master at producing “almost good” things to try and get us to buy into them. Satan quoted scripture to Jesus while He was being tempted in the wilderness, and the devil “almost” had the scriptures right, but the application and intention were wrong. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day knew the Old Testament texts, but likewise, their conclusions and applications were wrong. We must be very careful who we listen to in these very divisive and hateful days. Look to the application of any message and see if it lines up with scripture and the Spirit of God’s ways. Look at the fruit of whoever is trying to influence you in that you examine their lives and values and see if that is who you really want to be leading you in the ways of Christ. Some will try to say this is being judgmental, but it is actually being obedient to Christ and what He commanded us in Matthew 7:15-20. Now of course no one perfectly lives 100 percent like Jesus, but they must be living by faith, love and humility if you are to let them guide you in your priorities of life. This is why we are told that not many of us should be teachers as we will be held to a higher level of accountability by God. (James 3:1) There will be a day of reckoning for all who mislead others in the ways of God and who cause people to stumble in faith and righteousness. Be sure you are a daily Bible reader and person of prayer to properly discern God’s Word and the influences around you. Be faithful to obey God’s Word and directives to you and serve the Lord in your church so you are putting your faith into action and making a difference. We only have this one run at living a life that counts, so be sure you are practicing discernment so you do not get misled and can stay right in the center of God’s will. Blessings!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek