Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 7-9, Mark 13
Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ & will deceive many.”
For false Christs & false prophets will appear & perform signs & miracles to deceive the elect – if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
I have read these verses (& others similar) many times & find them scary. If the deception will come from within; how do we guard ourselves against it?
However, when I read vs 22 today, those words “if that were possible” really stuck out to me. After reading it again, I realized that it didn’t say that they (the false prophets) did deceive only that they came to deceive.
We have hope! “If that were possible,” & Jesus goes on to say, “I have told you everything ahead of time.”
God has given us what we need in order to recognize truth and/or false teaching through his word & continual access to him through prayer.
Now, there will definitely be many that will be deceived. I believe this will largely happen if we take our focus off of God & his will & turn it to our own wills & selfish desires. When we start making the bible “work for us” & reading it through our own eyes (in order to justify ourselves) instead of through God’s eyes, we have lost our focus.
We need to read God’s word, searching for true understanding from him.
Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come
We don’t know when we will be confronted with false teaching (in many ways we already are when we hear of churches accepting gay lifestyles & teachings that seem to just appease the crowd rather than to “step on toes” bringing forth truth) but we need to be prepared. Search the bible & grow in faith now, so that we will be ready & can recognize it.