Dangerous Deception

Read: Matthew 24:1-14

Did you hear what happened at a Burger King restaurant recently?  Employees in Coon Rapids, Minnesota believed a prank caller when he called the restaurant, told them their was a gas leak, and instructed them to quickly smash the windows in order to prevent the place from blowing up.  An hour later the employees learned that it was all a prank and they had to begin boarding up the windows.

It’s easy to think that we are not that gullible or short of common sense, but there are many ways in which we can be deceived into believing things that are not true or believing things that are contrary to the will and purposes of God.  Jesus spoke often about being careful of this danger.  In Matthew 24 he reminds his disciples, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.”

In his book “The Me I Want To Be” John Ortberg shares this story.  He writes, “Recently my wife and I went fly-fishing for the first time. Our guides told us that “to catch a fish you have to think like a fish.” They said that to a fish life is about the maximum gratification of appetite at the minimum expenditure of energy. To a fish, life is “see a fly, want a fly, eat a fly”….

While we were on the water, I was struck by how dumb the fish are. Hey, swallow this. It’s not the real thing; it’s just a lure. You’ll think it will feed you, but it won’t. It’ll trap you. If you were to look closely, fish, you would see the hook. You’d know once you were hooked that it’s just a matter of time before the enemy reels you in.  

You’d think fish would wise up and notice the hook or see the line. You’d think fish would look around at all their fish friends who go for a lure and fly off into space and never return. But they don’t. It is ironic. We say fish swim together in a school, but they never learn.”  John finishes that story by writing, “Aren’t you glad we’re smarter?”

We live in a culture that advertises many things, many thoughts, many opinions, and many deceitful paths.  I’m not sure this is different than at any other time or in any other culture, but I wonder if in this current “Post-Christian” world we are leaving good Godly discernment and decision making up to those who may be pandering for their own agendas.  I’m not thinking of or speaking of any current issue or situation necessarily but I am encouraging you to seek after the truth of God in any and all situations.

As John speaks about with the fish, we need to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.  We need to be smarter by being focused on God’s Word, God’s Wisdom, and God’s Will for his people.  We need to be careful that we are not deceived by the whims of this world, this culture, and the claims of truth that do not line up with our faith in Jesus our Lord.  After all Jesus said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life.”

Make it Personal:  As you watch and read the news, scroll down Facebook and Twitter, and hear various thoughts and opinions on things make it a habit to test them with God’s Word, God’s Wisdom, and God’s Will.  Pray that the Lord would lead you to the truth and that you might be protected from any dangerous deception.

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church