One of the burning fires in me is to exhort and warn the brethren to be sober and alert concerning the events foretold of the last days in God’s word. Far too many of us are not heeding Jesus’ exhortation to “keep watch and pray”; we’ve fallen asleep and allowed our hearts to be weighed down by the concerns of this world.
I’m afraid the voice of the skeptic has lulled us to sleep and made many of us doubt the signs of our Lord’s return.
Therefore, we are going to look at something about the end times that is not often given sufficient attention, but, if we pay careful attention to it, we can see that this work is well under way!
“TO KNOW IF YOU LOVE ME”
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘let us go after other gods’- which you have not known- ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
False prophets sometimes have power, but they use that power to cause God’s people to stumble. Yet God uses their depravity to test whether or not His people love Him with all their heart and soul. God is not satisfied with a 1/4th of your heart, nor a 1/3rd, a 1/2, nor 2/3rds, nor even 3/4ths of your heart; He demands the whole of your heart and soul. Therefore, God tests the hearts of men, as it is written, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). God tests the deceitful heart of man and renders to him according to the fruit of his doings.
Therefore the Spirit testifies:
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
We are warned of the powerful signs, lying wonders, and unrighteous deceptions that will precede the coming of the Anti-Christ and overtake those whose wicked hearts did not love the truth but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness. Therefore, God will render to them the fruits of their doings; He will send a strong delusion upon them in the end times so that all of them may be condemned!
Indeed, the fact that this message may shock and astonish so many people today is evidence that the truth has not been received and false teachers have led us astray after a different god to serve in futility a god that is not the God who revealed Himself to us in Scripture!
2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words…
Peter correlates false prophets with today’s false teachers who have crept in with their unrighteous deception and seduced many people to follow their destructive ways! The simplicity of obedient faith that flourishes in the Lord has been substituted with a mysterious, ethereal, faith that is dead and buried in the cemetery of inactivity!
But why has this happened to us?
BECAUSE YOU TOLERATE THEM
20 But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Look! I will throw her into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her practices. 23 I will kill her children with the plague. Then all the churches will know that I am the One who examines minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works.
Contrary to the unrighteous deception that has leavened the Church today, Jesus examined the conduct of the Church and commanded repentance because of their wicked deeds.
And what was the Church in Thyatira’s wicked deed? They tolerated the prophetess Jezebel (whether Jezebel was an actual person, or the spirit of Jezebel acting through multiple people, it does not matter). The Church in Thyatira excelled in good works of love, service, faith, and patience- even increasing their work above what it was before- yet Jesus warned that He would cast into a sickbed and great tribulation all who failed to repent and continued committing adultery with her.
The scripture consistently warns us about the consequences of loving unrighteousness!
When we see the swarm of false teachers who preach deceptive lies in unrighteousness to deceive the people, we must take heed and be sober, for we are being tested to see whether or not we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind!
Test yourself and examine whether or not you have listened to lies and been led after a more palatable false god to serve him in futility. Have you been rejected any of God’s judgments, judging Him as evil because the love of the truth is not in you?
Be real and sober- don’t deceive yourself!