At the end of the day, when turbulence and strife and division pervade your country and, indeed, the whole world, from where do you derive your hope? In what do you place your faith? In whom do you place your confidence and expectation – and why?
We live in turbulent times.
In fact, man has lived in times of doubt, war, deprivation, conflict and danger since the fall of Creation.
Yet, there has always been the promise of restoration. And it is nearer than most of you think.
If I were to tell you that our world is on the brink of complete justice, peace, abundance and the re-creation of an Eden-like existence, would you recognize what I am talking about? Would you understand we are living on the precipice of “the restitution of all things”?
Would you know that all of history has pointed to this coming promise in the near-term future? If you did, would you change anything about the way you are living? Would you want to reexamine your priorities if you knew this information is readily available to you and everyone else in the world?
Might you open your mind to the idea that you could be truly “left behind” if you didn’t change your ways in a hurry?
I doubt anyone has ever posed such audacious questions to you in your lifetime. I know no person in my life has ever asked me such things – at least, not quite like this.
Am I talking about personal salvation? Yes – but much more.
Because this is a message not only for unbelievers in God. It’s a message for all.
Thus, the big question, “What do you believe?”
For those followers of Jesus, do you know what’s ahead for the world? Or are you thinking the world will go on as it has been for the last 6,000 years? Are you one of those Christians who believes God used evolution as His process for creating mankind and the world in which we live? Or do you believe the Bible is literally and inerrantly true? Is what you think you know about God’s Kingdom based on what you have heard other men tell you? Or have you independently and faithfully examined the Scriptures for yourself with the guiding of the Holy Spirit to see if your beliefs are true and pure?
The reason I ask is simple: We live in a world of lies, deception and fraud.
You probably already know that.
But how do you know you have not been deceived yourself?
Even Adam and Even were deceived, while they walked with God, talked with God and lived in paradise. We are all subject to deception. The Bible is full of warnings about deception:
- Deuteronomy 11:16: “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived. …”
- Job 15:31: “Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.”
- Isaiah 44:20: “A deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
- Obadiah 1:3: “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee.”
- Luke 21:8: “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:9: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:33: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
- 2 Timothy 3:13: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
- Titus 3:3: “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”
And how about this these two?
- Isaiah 66:4: “I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.”
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
So, the question is, “Have you been deceived?”
Surely, we all have been.
But are you free of deception about the most important matters of all?
How do believers know that Jesus is the way? And do we really know where He is leading us?
When Jesus came to His own brethren, His own people, many were deceived and did not recognize Him as their Messiah – even some who could recite from memory all of the Scriptures themselves. How is that possible? Because they had deceived themselves – often by believing even more profoundly in the traditions of men.
When He comes again, how many of His own people will recognize Him and not be deceived? Don’t many today also add to and subtract from Scripture, often believing as strongly in the traditions of men as the truth God offers?
There are good answers, but do you know them? Do you really know them? Do you passionately seek the truth under the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Do you accept this responsibility for yourself or leave it to priests, pastors, gurus, rabbis and teachers?
What will the world be like when He returns? If you cannot answer that question with assurance, then you are subject to deception. The answers are knowable. But, if you can’t tell others, you don’t know the answers well enough. And, if you don’t know the answers, you not only can’t help others, but you are subject to deception yourself.
Let me say this: Those who recognized Jesus when He came 2,000 years ago did so because He fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah – what He did, from where He came, the timing of His coming. Likewise, we can rely on prophecies about His Second Coming – what He will do, how He will come and the timing of His coming – to avoid deception and to learn what He expects from his true followers.
Is there any more important task for believers today than to ensure we are on the straight and narrow path that leads to life and not on the broad path that leads to destruction?
It’s never too late. Your eternal destiny is riding on it.
ALSO: Get Joseph Farah’s book “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians, and the End of the Age,” and learn about the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith and your future in God’s Kingdom. Also available as an e-book.
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