Summary: We live in a world that is filled with danger. Warning signs and advisories are everywhere. We find warnings on packs of cigarettes, wines and toxic chemicals, skull and bones on poison (wine bottles should have one!). Now all such warnings are helpful to
Intro: We live in a world that is filled with danger. Warning signs are everywhere – Beware of Imitation, No Overtaking, Deep Excavation, Beware of Dogs (Phil. 3:2), Never Mind the Dogs, Beware of the Owner! We find warnings on packs of cigarettes, wines and toxic chemicals, “Rx” on medicines, skull and bones on poison (wine bottles should have one!). Government warnings on storms, El Nino, volcano eruptions and tsunamis are SOP’s. Now all such warnings are helpful to protect and preserve life and property. More importantly, warnings about spiritual dangers should be constantly issued to people (see Acts 20:31). Bible warnings are expressed by terms like “Take heed” (55X) and “Beware” (28X) in the KJB. Let’s now look at seven warnings from God’s word–
1. Beware of Falling (II Pet. 3:17). It is a shame to quit serving the Lord and go back to the old life! That’s why Jesus said to count the cost (Luke 9:62). Falling and failing in the spiritual life can happen even to the best – to Noah, David, Solomon, Demas (Philem. 24 cf. II Tim. 4:10). If you are a Christian believer, beware of coldness, backsliding and falling from your blessed relationship with the Lord!
2. Beware of Forgetting (Deut. 8:11-14). Moses’ constant warning to children of Israel: Never forget God! That is why memorials are common. Such are solid proofs of men’s short memories. Never forget that all your blessings and good things were only made possible by the Lord. Make it a habit to give God the glory and praise (Psa. 103:2).
3. Beware of a Wicked Heart (Deut. 15:9a; Prov. 23:7a). The heart of man is the seat of his thoughts and issues in life (Mark 7:21-23). This is where temptation is conceived and born. Whatever you premeditate in your heart will eventually manifest itself in what you do! The man with an evil heart will surely be destroyed; but he who guards his heart and fills it with God’s words shall be blessed.
4. Beware of False Prophets (Matt. 7:15). These are everywhere (I John 4:1)! Notice Paul says they won’t come with name tag that says “I’m a False Prophet.” Counterfeits come in disguised like the real men and servants of God. They talk, pray, sing, attend church, read the Bible, and even preach God’s word LIKE a true Christian; but they are not real Christians (II Cor 11:13-14). The Lord Jesus said that by their fruits they shall be detected (Matt. 7:20).
5. Beware of Hypocrisy (Matt. 16:6, 12) – which is their false doctrine and hypocrisy!! Be careful NOT to do the right thing, at the right time for the WRONG reasons! (Mark 12:38-40) Examples are: serving and giving to church to be popular and look good; fasting to appear spiritual and holy; praying long prayers with flowery words to impress others, studying the Bible seriously in order to boast of superior knowledge; preaching for money or material gain; helping the poor and needy only to use them later, etc. Good deeds done with wrong motives are Satan’s snares and traps that many have fallen into. Beware of eye-service! (Eph. 6:6-7)
6. Beware of Covetousness (Luke 12:15). Oftentimes, the extreme poverty and selfish desires of many provoke them to become lovers of money and things instead of God. Covetousness, being a materialistic view of life, is dangerous and damning that Paul even equates it to idolatry (Col 3:5).
7. Beware of Vain Philosophy (Col. 2:8). This warning includes vain traditions (Matt. 15:7-9) and false science (I Tim. 6:20). Christ and His apostles warned that no matter how appealing certain long-held beliefs are (if they are contrary to scriptural truth), we are to avoid and reject such.
Conclusion: Friend, you are exposed daily to many dangers and snares in this world. The most serious danger concerns your soul and its eternal destiny. Jesus declared, “…Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). That’s bad news! But the good news is, God can forgive your sins and save your soul if today you will heed His warning.