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Summary: Paul’s concern that his flock are being deceived, and the deceptions we face today. This was preached on Bible Sunday, so ends with and emphasis on the Bible as the way to avoid being deceived.

Do not be decieved - Colossians 2:1-5

Deception

Paul is worried. He is struggling for the believers at Collosae and Laodicea. There are some new ideas being spoken about. They are questioning Christ’s divinity. We have already heard the message that Paul gave a couple of weeks back – The Supremacy of Christ.

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Col 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

Col 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Paul has a battle on his hands, and he is not free to come and fight it.

Paul considered himself the apostle to the Gentiles. Today he might be the bishop of a very large diocese. He cares deeply for all those that God has placed under his care. He does not want them to be deceived. He wants them to understand the full nature of Christ – or at least as much of it as they are capable of.

In Colossae there were suggestions that the only way to salvation was through secret knowledge. These people also denied that Jesus was God. The belief is known as Gnosticism. Its secrets, and therefore salvation are only available to those they are passed on to.

Paul is very worried that some of the Colossians may be deceived and cease to be believing Christians.

There are many things that can deceive us – as human beings we a fascinated by the strange and unusual and are drawn to them. Our senses are also limited, so what we think we see isn’t always what we do see.

Try these:

Optical illusions

http://www.optillusions.com/

Those of course are just carefully designed tricks. They do not do us any harm, either physically or spiritually.. There are deceits that do harm us though.

Any suggestions?

[Get a list]

fortune telling

palm reading

tarot cards

horoscopes

astrology

ouji boards

clairvoyant – even fake ones like ’The Mentalist’

black and white magic

witchcraft

tea-leaf readings

seances

communication with people who have died or passed on.

When Saul visited witch of Endor she brought Samuel back to speak to him. Samuel was not at all pleased, and God was furious.

These things can be dangerous – whether you are a Christian or not. There are other things that deceive us also. They may be a lot less obvious, but they take away from us our faith in Christ Jesus. They deny is some way or another the Supremacy of Christ.

Some of these messages are almost subliminal

- Its OK to shop on Sunday, instead of worshipping with your fellow Christians. Or play football, or whatever it is you do instead of joining together with Christ’s body.

- It is not OK, once you have made the decision. I once knew a man whose archery club met on Sunday mornings. The after a long struggle he gave his life to Christ. But the archery was too great a draw on Sundays. With no connection to the church he may be lost forever.

- It doesn’t matter how I behave outside church. If your general behaviour at work and in the home isn’t the same as you behaviour at church there is a problem.

- It’s OK not to talk about your faith. We’re English, so we don’t talk about God or politics in polite conversation. These things are private. Do you believe? Or not? Did Christ change your life – how is it possible not to talk about it.

- The odd little white lie can never do any harm, and it will make life so much easier.

We all do thee things from time-to-time, but we must be ready to acknowledge it as sinful, and repent

Here is another more obvious attack, but it is still a danger to us:

"There probably isn’t a God, so stop worrying about it and enjoy your lives." - (Slogan on London Buses)

There is much that could be said, but this is just one slogan, so I’ll keep it short.

- this is minimalist rationalism. If I can’t see it, I can’t believe in it. There is more in heaven and hell than can be found in this philosophy. We have a rational God – He created an ordered universe so that we can use our gifts and abilities to make sense of the world around us. He also used the rational ordered world to make himself hidden, so that people would have to search for him. He is so much more than purely rational, as are his creation.

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