I need to watch out. I can be deceived. I can be led astray. Faith can falter and waiver. I have a responsibility to pay attention.
There are leaders who aren’t who they say they are. Their credentials, while sounding great, are fake. They deny Jesus, His death and resurrection, either directly or by omission.
He said, “Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One,’ or, ‘The end is near.’ Don’t fall for any of that. When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.” | Luke 21:8-9 (The Message Bible)
There will be religious delusion, and even God’s people will be in danger of being deceived. Satan is a counterfeiter who for centuries has led people astray by deceiving their minds and blinding their hearts.
Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful things, not acting deceitfully or distorting the word of God, but commending ourselves before God to everyone’s conscience by an open display of the truth. But if our good news is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the good news of the glory of the Messiah, who is the image of God. For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus the Messiah as Master, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:1–6).
Israel was often seduced into sin by false prophets, and the church has had its share of false teachers.
Most people are naturally concerned about the future, especially when world events are threatening; therefore, religious racketeers can prey on them and take advantage of them. In every age, there are those who either claim to be the Messiah or claim to know when He will return. These false prophets often “use” the Scriptures to “prove” the accuracy of their predictions, in spite of the fact that Jesus clearly stated that nobody knows the time of His return.
“Be not deceived!” is our Master’s admonition, and we must take it to heart. The only sure way to keep our balance in a deceptive world is to know the Scriptures and obey what God tells us to do
Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Master and Savior Jesus the Messiah. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. (2 Peter 3:17–18).
It is foolish and hurtful to become so obsessed with Bible prophecy that we start to neglect the practical things of the disciple’s life. Blessed are the balanced!
Source: Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 261). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.