Summary: If we're going to remain vital in our churches and in our own spiritual lives, we must watch out for the false doctrine of self-help spirituality and instead feast at the table of God's Word along with exercise in the gym of good works.

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Chuck Swindoll tells the story of a young lady who loved playing practical jokes. She had just graduated from a gourmet cooking class. So at an elegant student reception in a physician’s home near Miami, she decided to put her new cooking skills to the test.

She took dog food and put it on delicate little crackers with a wedge of imported cheese, bacon bits, an olive, and a sliver of pimento on top. Then she served them up – hors d’oeuvres a la Alpo.

She put those miserable morsels on a couple of silver trays and with a sly grin, watched them disappear. One guy couldn’t get enough. He kept coming back for more. When they broke the news to him, he probably barked and bit her on the leg! He certainly must have gagged a little. (Swindoll, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, p.147)

Do you know: Satan does the same thing to us. He dresses up a lie and makes it look so good, and if we’re not careful, we swallow it hook, line and sinker, or maybe I should say, dog food, crackers and olives.

Now, we might gag on dog food if it were fed to us, but Satan’s lies are no joke. They are deadly poison, and they will destroy the spiritual vitality of any Christian or any church that indulges is such deceptive delicacies.

The question is: How can we avoid being taken in? How can we keep from being deceived by teaching that sounds so good, but is absolutely deadly to the soul?

Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to 1 Timothy 4, 1 Timothy 4, where the Bible warns us about deceiving spirits and how to keep them from destroying our churches and our own spiritual vitality.

1 Timothy 4:1-2 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (NIV)

The Bible warns us that we must WATCH OUT FOR LIARS IN THE CHURCH especially in these last days before Jesus comes.

We must be careful lest false teachers lead us astray. We must be on the guard against deceiving spirits who can make a lie sound so true.

Nearly 25 years ago, Randy Hunt, in his book, The Seduction of Christianity¸ wrote: “Christianity may well be facing the greatest challenge in its history: a series of powerful and growing seductions that are subtly changing biblical interpretations and undermining the faith of millions of people. Most Christians are scarcely aware of what is happening, and much less do they understand the issues involved.

“The seduction is surprisingly easy,” Hunt said. “It does not take place as an obvious frontal assault from rival religious beliefs. That would be vigorously resisted. Instead, it comes to some Christians in the guise of faith-producing techniques for gaining spiritual power and experiencing miracles and to others as self-improvement psychologies for fully realizing human potential that are seen as scientific aids to successful Christian living.” (The Seduction of Christianity, Hunt & McMahon, pg. 11)

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