Mark 13:5. “Watch out …”
It is vitally important that we pay careful attention to the words of Jesus and the writings of Paul, John, James and Peter. All make reference to the great danger that Christians face of being deceived. This lurking danger, like a prowling lion Peter warns, threatened the first Christians, and will increase in its intensity and darkness as the time of Christ’s return approaches. Rabbi Jesus answered his questioning disciples, “Watch out that no one deceives you.” (Mark 13:5)
At this time, the leaders of the nations, responding to a virus, have determined and legislated what businesses and activities are essential and non-essential. The ministries and responsibilities of the Church have been neutered amongst the latter. That the active care of the spiritual needs of people during a crisis of death, job loss, isolation, great uncertainty and fear is not necessary is a flagrant deception and a peril for the future. This are not simple human thoughts, but minds deluded by the cunning wiles of the devil.
In what ways can Christians be deceived as the restrictions are eased? By accepting the idea that Christian practices are not essential. Pierre Breton described the Church as “The Comfortable Pew”. Could we be enticed into relaxing Sunday morning on The Comfortable Couch? Hebrews prods us in dangerous times; “Let us not give up meeting together … but let us encourage one another..”. (Hebrews 10:25)
Not having encountered an offering plate for several weeks, we might be deceived into thinking that giving our tithes to the Lord is an option rather than a regular sacred responsibility. “Now about the collection … on the first day of every week set aside a sum of money”. I Corinthians 16:1,2)
A third deception might be the validity of becoming bushel basket believers, hiding our light. It is significant that the New Testament word for witness is martyr. At that time, many died by Roman execution, because they professed “Jesus is Lord”. According to Scripture, such threats remain and will increase and spread across the nations.
“ … sons of the light … be alert and self-controlled … encourage … and build each other up.” (I Thessalonians 5:4-11)
Submitted by: Gord Gooderham