Does it matter if it’s real?
This weekend’s USA TODAY WEEKEND has a front page feature article entitled: Does It Matter If It’s Real?, that discusses the fact that we are – indeed – “deluged by deception.” From lip-synching our national anthem (with the mic off) in front of global media to celebrity staging and cheating, it seems that what we see isn’t necessarily what we honestly get, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder – but chances are it’s an illusion.
Should we be surprised?
No. I believe it’s a sign of the times: the end times.
One of Satan’s greatest tools is deception. Deception has been a fact of life for mankind since the serpent first deceived Eve in the garden:
Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:13)
As we read Scripture, we find deception has continued to be a plague for mankind from the dawn of creation. Scripture reveals that deception always works in harmony with desire for our own way. People are, by nature, selfishly proud – so we are easily deceived.
Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips. The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. (Proverbs 14:7-9)
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors. (Hosea 10:12-13)
People are prone to being deceived because we are – by nature – self-focused, self-centured sinners. We love to have our “ears tickled” and, by nature, have a desire to follow and worship something larger than ourselves. The Bible compares us to sheep, who need a Shepherd to follow:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
A bigger deception is coming. The world will someday – and the USA TODAY article shares why it could be sooner than later – turn its eyes to the biggest deceiver of all in worship. God’s Word is clear:
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)
Jesus, when responding to the disciple’s question about His Second Coming and the End of the Age, warned them repeatedly about deception. He told them that deception would be a serious problem in the last days and that many people would fall victim. Listen to and heed that warning – and carefully discern truth from deception! This deception will be so great that Jesus felt an urgency to warn us about it:
For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, ‘ and will deceive many. … and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:5, 11)
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24:24-25)
TAKE HEED, lest any man deceive you… For false christs and false prophets shall arise and shall show signs and wonders to seduce, if possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:5, 22)
God’s Word warns us about the Great Global Deception that is coming:
Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. (Revelation 13:11-14)
Be wise. Scrutinize. Evaluate what you hear in the eyes of Scripture as the early church did:
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11)
It’s a sign of the times we live in. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.
Jesus said: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)