In the context of the last days, Jesus uttered a powerful warning, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22, NKJV). Who are the “elect”? He later says, “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31, NKJV). A little scary, isn’t it, when the deception in the last days will be so great that even the faithful ones will be in danger of being deceived?
Read Revelation 12:9. Who is deceived by Satan? How do we understand these words?
Obviously, God is going to have some faithful people in the last days, as He has had all through the ages. However, the wording here shows just how widespread Satan’s deception really is.
Read Proverbs 14:12. What powerful warning is presented here?
People are often told to follow their own conscience in order to determine for themselves what is right or wrong, good or evil, and then live accordingly. But the Scripture says that we are all sinners, all corrupted (Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:9-18), and so to trust our own sentiments is almost a guaranteed way to, sooner or later, get it wrong and even to do wrong. A lot of evil has been perpetrated through the ages by people utterly convinced of the rightness of their cause. That is, they followed the “way that seems right” to them.
Instead, we must immerse ourselves in the Word of God, and from His Word, as we surrender to the Holy Spirit, learn truth from error, right from wrong, good from evil. Left to our own devices, or even to our own senses, we can become easy prey to Satan’s deceptions.
|Think through examples of people, who had acted based on what they themselves believed was right, or even what they believed was God’s will, but had done evil things. What can we learn from these tragic events?|