Summary: I have seen in my own life and in the life of other Christians, something that disturbs me; it’s that we are often more concerned about the things of this life than we are about the things of the life to come.
Title: A Warning to Believers
Text: "Let no man beguile you of your reward."-- Colossians 2:18
I have seen in my own life and in the life of other Christians, something that disturbs me; it’s that we are often more concerned about the things of this life than we are about the things of the life to come.
Many people live from paycheck to paycheck, and they face the possibility of poverty, if they become sick or lose their job.
No one seems to be able to keep his or her head above water with the same ease of their father and grandfather.
The poor and middle-class have to work hard for their daily bread.
That’s why this poor world is so engrossed in the latest cares and concerns of daily life, and why the things of God are only considered now and then.
That’s not the way it should be.
We should love God with all of our heart, and all of our soul, and all of our strength, and serve Him with a spirit of total commitment.
If we do these things, the Bible says we have only done our reasonable service to Him.
Just think about that; even if we love God that much, we have only done the minimum, it’s nothing great.
Now the Apostle, who wrote the verse I read, gives us a warning, however, there have been several meanings given to his warning.
Out of the meanings, there are three which are worthy of notice.
The verse says, "Let no man beguile you of your reward."
What the Apostle could have meant here is:--
LET NO MAN BEGUILE ANY OF YOU who profess to be followers of Christ of the great reward that will come to those who remain faithful to the end.
Now, folks, many of us have praised the Christian life, but the fact is, the number of starters is far greater than the number of the winners.
"They that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize."
"Many are called, but few are chosen."
Many start out, who appear, at first, to be Christians, but after a while, even if they did run well, something holds them back so that they do not obey the truth.
And they go out from us because they were not one of us, because if they had been one of us, they would have continued with us.
Now, we may expect that since we have started to run, that some will come and try to force us out of the race course with an open and honest wickedness.
Some will tell us plainly that there is no reward to run for, that our religion is all a mistake, that the pleasures of this world are the only things worth seeking, that there are pleasures of the flesh and the lusts of the flesh, and that it’s a good idea to enjoy them.
We will meet the Atheist with his contempt and with his sarcastic laugh.
We will meet with all kinds of people who will tell us to our face to turn back, because there is no heaven, there is no Christ, or, if there is, it’s not worth our while to go to so much trouble to find Him.
Therefore, be careful of these people.
Stand face to face with them with confidence and courage.
Don’t pay any attention to their jokes and their laughter.
If they mistreat you, consider this to be an honor to you, since persecution is the tribute that wickedness pays to righteousness.
But the Apostle’s warning is not really against those people who openly come to you in this way.
He knows that you will be on your guard against them.
Rather, he gives a special warning regarding some others who would like to beguile you; that is to say, who will try to turn you away from the right road, but who will not tell you that they mean to do it.
They pretend that they are going to show you something that you didn't know before or something that will improve you.
It may surprise you to know, that in Paul's day there were some who took the Christian’s attention away from worshiping God, and convinced them to worship angels, instead.
They said, “Angels are holy beings; they keep watch over you; therefore, you should talk about them with great respect."
And then when they gained confidence, they said, "You should ask for their protection."
And then after a little while they said, "You should worship them; you should make them your intercessors."
And so, step by step, they went on and established an old heresy which lasted for many years in the Christian church, and which is not dead even now, and that’s how the worship of angels crept into the churches.