There are a lot of preachers in the world today and there appears to be dozens of churches in most major cities, at least in America.
People are enamored with this preacher, that priest and the other prophet throughout the world, but most of these preachers, priests and prophets disagree on integral doctrinal issues, or even who God really is.
Truth is critical.
Jesus stressed the importance of truth and avoiding deception, not once, not twice, but three times in Matthew 24, as He pointed out the signs of His return to His disciples.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you” Matthew 24:4.
“And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many” Matthew 24:11.
“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 24:24.
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved, but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” Matthew 24:22.
Notice, Jesus said that even the very “elect” of God, speaking of those who walk circumspectly before the Lord with diligence, even those would be deceived, if God did not shorten the days, because of the level of deceitfulness in the world in these last days. This should tell us all how very subtle and deceitful satan is and how powerful he is working through deceivers who come “in the name of the Lord.”
Jesus never begged anyone to follow Him; He didn’t plead. He made the offer and if people rejected Him, He went to the next town. I find it very noteworthy that Jesus repeated Himself about deceivers, false prophets and false Christs three times.
I cannot express to you how vitally important it is for each of us, every single one of us, to stay earnestly in prayer and the reading of God’s Word daily, in order to know it very well for ourselves, so we will not be deceived. We MUST know the Word of God for ourselves – it’s critical.
In fact, if you are really serious about your walk with God; if you truly desire to know Him with all of your heart, soul and might, then it is imperative that you abide in the Lord, as the ancient prophets did, and as Christ Himself walked before God. These were their habits:
Daily prayer: preferably at least three times a day, as in the prophet Daniel’s example (Daniel 6:13). Throughout His ministry, Jesus also prayed frequently, as we read in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John concerning Him.
Daily reading/studying God’s Word: The road map to salvation and eternal life is the Word of God. God Himself, in fact, is The Word (John 1:1). It is impossible to know Him without knowing His Word (Psalms 119:11). The more you read (prayerfully), the more enlightened you will become and your relationship will become intimate with God. God said, “And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all of your heart” Jeremiah 29:13.
Assemble with God’s people: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as you see the day approaching” Hebrews 10:25. Be extremely careful about your selection of a church in this day and hour. There are many churches in the world today, but they disagree on what the Bible actually says. Measure what the preacher teaches with the Word of God. If it doesn’t measure up, run from there! You would be better off communicating with God’s people by mail, phone, or internet, if you are unable to locate a church where truth is taught.
We are living in the last days, friends, in the perilous times spoken of by the Apostle Paul, as he wrote to Timothy,
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. The “power” of what, you might ask? The power “thereof” – of godliness! A vast many more preachers today do not preach holiness. In fact, most of them will tell you that you can’t live holy! This is contrary to the Word of God. Through Christ, we can. Jesus not only came to save us, but to empower us to live as He lived! The entire reason He came as a man, and not in the God-form that He was in heaven – was to specifically be an example to us, showing us that through Him, we can live holy.
The Word of God tells us,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13.
“For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” 1 Thessalonians 4:7
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” Hebrews 12:14.
I am not saying that Christians never err, nor commit sins. I am saying that if we do, the Word of God tells us that we have an advocate with the Father and we should repent, but we are not to live willfully in sin. The Word of God teaches us,
“My little children, these things I write unto you, that you sin not; and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” 1 John 2:1.
“Know you not that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16.
The Word of God clearly tells us here that if we dwell in sin, “yield ourselves” to it, we are servants of satan. There is a difference between messing up and repenting, versus remaining in a state of willful sin.
Imagine this: If you walked a path every day on a high, precarious cliff and there was a 1,000 foot drop on either side, with a fiery pit at the bottom of either side of the road, wouldn’t you walk straight and circumspectly on the narrow path and not veer off to the right or left? Certainly, none of us would veer off or falter – the answer is quite easy. Nevertheless, when it comes to being faithful to the Lord God, the One who died for us, the One who saved us and has prepared a glorious eternal life ahead for those who accept Him as Savior, which also includes surrendering to His will, people have the audacity to say, Impossible; we must sin! Most preachers are telling the masses that you CAN’T walk in holiness! They are liars and they teach doctrines of devils,
“Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” 1 Timothy 4:1.
It is imperative that we know the Word of God and follow it. God is the Word.
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” Luke 9:23.
Many preachers today are saying, “You can’t backslide.” God will keep you, even if you live in sin, that’s okay, you can’t lose your salvation.
“And he that takes not his cross and follows after Me is not worthy of Me” Matthew 10:38.
The Apostle Peter spoke of these things,
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage; for if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning, for it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment given unto them; but it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” 2 Peter 2:19-22.
“Then said Jesus, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” Matthew 16:24.
This is Bible truth, but tragically, you will not hear it from many preachers today.
Time isn’t on your side, if you aren’t taking up your cross and following Jesus. We are quickly approaching a critical point prophetically and times are going to change rapidly. If you really want to follow Christ, your walk with the Lord won’t be like many of the preachers are teaching today. The Apostle Paul, before laying his neck on Nero’s chop block, admonished Timothy,
“Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” 2 Timothy 3:12.
Many preachers today are encouraging a life of selfishness, prosperity, social gatherings and niceties, with enticing words; but living for God, truly living for God involves sacrifice of self and selfish desires, according to God’s Holy Word.
Time is winding down, friends, and if we intend to follow Christ, as His Word teaches us to follow Him, we must redeem the time,
“See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15-16.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
Are you prepared to stand before God and give an account of the life you have lived on this earth? If not, salvation is only a prayer away. Please visit the How Can I Be Saved page of this website. Your eternal destiny depends on it. God bless you.
*For greater light on the theme included in this message, please visit the Eternal Security page of this (sister) website.