Word for Wednesday

Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying I am Christ, and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:4-5

Have you ever noticed the high veneration that Roman Catholics give to their pope? Mind you, the pope does not claim to be Christ, but he does claim to be the vicar of Christ, or Christ’s earthly representative. So he might very well fall into the description that the Lord Jesus gives in our text. Certainly he takes on a great deal of authority and claims to speak without error when he makes official proclamations. And just as certainly he has deceived many millions, the current pope Francis and all of his predecessors down through the centuries. They have caused those untold millions to trust in the doctrines of Rome rather than the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. But the Romish deceivers are not alone in their deception of many. False cults such as the Mormons have led millions astray with the outlandish claims of Joseph Smith and his successors. The Muslims have become the world’s most numerous religion, a religion based on the claims of an evil prophet named Mohammed. The Lord Jesus warned about these deceivers, urging His followers not to be deceived by them.

In a world that appears wide open to the deceivers, how do Christians protect ourselves from being influenced by them? It is good to know the facts about the deceivers, to know how they differ from what is taught in the Word of God, to know something of their errors and evil doctrines. If we know the truth about the deceivers, we can reject whatever lies their followers tell us. And we will be protected from those who would urge us to accept, or at least accommodate, those lies. But the best protection against the deceivers is to be occupied with the One Who could not and did not lie or deceive.

None of the deceivers have the credibility of verification of many witnesses like the Lord Jesus does. For example, Mohammed was alone in the cave where he claims an angel gave him revelations; there is no independent collaboration of his story. In contrast, the life of the Lord Jesus is recorded by four separate journalists, with references made to hundreds, if not thousands, of witnesses, all of whom agree on the details. This alone should convince us that those who would contradict the Lord Jesus are the deceivers. But if we study the words of the Lord Jesus, and come to know Him through His word, we will have the deep conviction that He is the Christ, and all others are the deceivers.

Our attention focused on the Christ will preserve us from the lies of the deceivers. -Jim MacIntosh

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