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Don’t Be Deceived

If I climbed up on the roof of my house and thought I could fly, does it matter what I believe when instead of going up I end up falling down and doing my body some great injury?  Does it matter what a person believes? 

You may find this fascinating, but if you asked a number of Christians this question they will strangely answer no.  Bear with me here.  If you asked the average Christian how a person is saved they will likely tell you that a person can only be saved through faith in Jesus Christ, and they would be absolutely and Biblically correct in giving that answer.  Belief on Jesus brings salvation.  No problem there. 

However, if you ask the same Christians why they believe what they believe about the Bible and why another Christian believes something else about the Bible, and the difference is significant, generally, when pressed, you’ll get the response, “Well, it doesn’t matter what you really believe just as long as everyone believes on Jesus.” 

As sincere as these people are, would they be correct in making that assertion?  If it didn’t matter what a person believed about the Bible just as long as they believed on Jesus, why did Jesus in His sermon about the last days warn His followers to be careful not to be deceived by false teachers?  If it wasn’t important why did he mention it four times in one sermon? 

Jesus said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…And many false prophets shall rise and deceive many…For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:4, 5, 11, 24)

What makes Christ’s warnings more important than we first realize is that the deceptions Christ is referring to are not for the casual observer but are especially geared toward the committed, converted Christian - the very elect.  These people of faith diligently study their Bibles, have a committed prayer life, and actively share their faith.  It is these individuals that the enemy of souls is after because they are a threat to his cause.  If the devil can get these Christians to believe something contrary to what the Bible teaches he knows that he has a very real chance to steer that person astray and cause that person to be eternally lost.  

Does it really matter what you believe?  Actually, according to Jesus, it matters a great deal, even your eternal destiny.  It is important to know what you believe about God and the Bible is substantiated by the Bible.  Know what it is you believe as a Christian because the Word of God tells you that it is so.  Be a student of the Word of God and not a follower of another person’s thoughts.  For we are living in a time when earth’s greatest deception is about to take place right before our eyes (see Revelation 13:3, 4) and so closely will the counterfeit resemble the truth that it will be impossible to distinguish between the two except by the Holy Scriptures.