Recently several politicians have been telling us that unless we follow their plan, planet Earth only has twelve years left. Can we make it?
About 2000 years ago, the Bible revealed that during the End Times in a period often referred to as the Great Tribulation, the earth would indeed experience environmental catastrophes on a scale that had never been seen before. We, of course, should always do what we can (within reason) to be good stewards of the environment. Jesus, however, seems to be more concerned about spiritual pollution.
In a manner that almost comes across as a ‘btw’ (by-the-way), Jesus tells us that before He returns there will be wars and rumors of wars, and earthquakes in “diverse” places. However, He really stresses the importance of not being deceived by imitation christs and false prophets the world would encounter in His absence. In addition to telling people to run for the hills at the appearance of the “antichrist” (Mt. 24:15-16), on three different occasions He says things like:
For many will come in My name saying, ‘I am the Christ’ (Mt 24:5)
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray (Mt 24:11)
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect (Mt 24:24)
These imposters will attract large crowds, perform miracles, and deceive not a few, but many.
How is this possible? There are a number of reasons that I will share this weekend in our teaching series, but one reason would be due to biblical illiteracy. The U.S. Treasury goes to great lengths to protect our currency from being counterfeited. At one time our Treasury printed $500 bills. However, due to the expertise of counterfeiters it was considered too high of a risk and phased out in 1945.
Spiritually, we need to get in the habit of doing the same. Notice that Jesus says many will come and many will be deceived. For starters, false teachers will tell people what they want to hear, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers who say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Tim. 4:3).
My mom was a career banker, who began as a teller. I recall her telling me that one of the ways she was trained to recognize counterfeits was to become familiar with the genuine. She became so familiar with authentic currency that she’d recognize the counterfeit by it’s feel and look. There would simply be something that wasn't right or that didn't sit well with her.
I want to encourage you to get into your Bible. Become so familiar with God’s Word that regardless of how likable and popular a particular spiritual leader may be, you’ll instantly recognize them as a fraud and/or their teachings as unbiblical.
How good of a “teller” are you? Keep becoming familiar with the genuine and you wont be led astray by the counterfeits.
More this Sunday at 8:30am or 10am at North Chapel’s church services.
To read past blog postings by Dr. Bobby Brewer (Lead Pastor of North Chapel Bible Church), Select Here