Summary: Of all the things scripture expresses concern about, it is "deception" among God’s crown creation.
Matthew, Mark and Luke record an interesting verbal interchange between Jesus and His disciples. It concerns the “end of days.” They asked Him, “tell us about the sign of the end.” Jesus’ initial response was almost ominous, “watch that no one deceive you”…
Have you ever been deceived? How did it make you feel?
Have you ever considered how much of our society is built on deception? We are told that gambling is remedy for all our financial woes, that pornography is not immoral, that violent and immoral TV is not harmful, that sexual immorality is okay, that homosexuality is not really a sin, and that there is NOT ABSOLUTE TRUTH.
We are told this while we continue to see our culture spiral downward in almost every area which truly counts.
Results of all this deception is young people without a cogent understanding of moral moorings. And without those moorings – society is racked with bedlam.
You don’t believe this? Why is it that we can kill unborn babies and call it choice? Why is it that we can pass out condoms and call it safe sex and at the same time not pass out the Bible which is a huge supporter of safe sex? (By the way, the safe sex concept from the Bible is the only true form of safe sex that works)
We could list, name, and explain all these illusions and deception forged on our society, but the truth is, every person in this building both knows and understands this truth.
We have been studying the epistle of 1 John. We find ourselves today in chapter 3, reading verses 4-9. Prayer
Verse 7 says, “Little Children, let no one deceive you.” Hey says this in the midst of several serious topics which He must have felt “believers” would be attacked, harassed, and deceived on all of these issues. Let me suggest four areas which He tells us to not be deceived;
1) DON’T BE DECEIVED ABOUT SIN.
I submit to you that we have become too flippant, too careless, too skewed in our view of sin. Today we are literally told that “sin is no big deal” or the little/big lie.
The Bible still says, “sin” is breaking the law. This is God’s law. It is the law which displays corruptness in each of us. When the law says, “don’t steal” and we slip that pen from work in our pockets or take that paper from our desks to our house, the law has revealed our sinfulness.
The Bible says that sin reveals our connection. This passage is loaded with concepts which disturb us. The last part of verse 6 says, “Everyone who sins has not seen him or known him.” Verse 8 begins by saying, “the one who commits sin is of the devil…” Verse 9 then puts the nail in the coffin when John writes, “everyone who has been born of God does not sin.”
Is there anyone here whom that frightens as badly as it does me? Three times in this one passage it tells us that Sin is of Satan, the one who commits sin is of Satan, and those born of God does not Sin.
Contrast these biblical teachings with the modern “attitude” today; “sin is not that big of deal”, “oh, it was just a little sin”, “it was just a little white lie”, “no one got hurt”, “live and let live”…and the list goes on.
Remind you of a couple of things; first: there are no biblical degrees of sin; Next, SIN is what crucified Jesus: finally, sin identifies us what Satan.
Don’t be deceived about sin.
2) DON’T BE DECEIVED ABOUT SATAN.
In the 1970’s Flip Wilson’s character “Geraldine” put an almost acceptable face on the Devil as he made popular the phrase, “the devil made me do it.” While there is truth in this statement, the seriousness is lost.
Verse 8 speaks clearly about the Devil, whom we know as Satan. (Read)
With the first mention of Satan in Genesis 3, we discover his character, his characteristics, and his cause. HCB calls the serpent the most “cunning.” Other translations use “clever” or “crafty”. We need to get our minds around what this means and how it relates to his deception. He is the father of darkness, lies, opposed to God, full of pride.
Satan’s first recorded words reveal Satan’s purpose and persona, “did God really say…” And with this subtle question, the fall of mankind began.
Satan is not on the defensive with believers, he is on the offensive. Here’s the truth: He is on the offensive because believers have been deceived in their thinking about him and thus, it has been a long time since he was attacked. So, as a roaring lion – he roams seeking whom he may devour.