Let No One Deceive You!
By Pastor Doug Cox
In his second letter to the church at Thessalonica the Apostle Paul gave them an admonition. They had been deceived into thinking they had missed the Lord’s coming. He told them to “not be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word of by letter, as though the day of Christ had come.” Apparently, someone had used Paul’s name on a fake letter to convince them they had. Next, he says, “Let no one deceive you by any means for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.” (See 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3)
So, the admonition to them was to “let no one deceive you by any means.” Deception is a powerful tool. The devil is a master deceiver, and many humans take a close second. Jesus warned that deception would be very prevalent in the last days. For instance, over the last 24 hours, news feeds have been filled with false reporting that Israel bombed a hospital in Gaza. Could it have happened? Yes of course. But the question is, did it?
Sadly, a large majority of media outlets ran the story, not caring if it were true or not. Israel was portrayed as murderers. The Middle East Eye reported that “Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces used live fire to disperse protests that erupted across the occupied West Bank, over Israel’s bombing of a Gaza hospital that has killed at least 500 people.” Washington lawmaker, Representative Rashida Tlaib tweeted that “Israel just bombed the Baptist Hospital killing 500 Palestinians (doctors, children, patients) just like that.”
Come to find out it wasn’t Israel that bombed the hospital after all. The truth is it was hit by a stray Hamas rocket that was supposed to kill Israelis. But just like that a lie is out there, being broadcast as the truth and don’t expect that truth to spread very quickly. And don’t expect to hear many retractions or apologies to Israel. Just be ready to hear more stories that will provoke people to hate and be divided.
Friends, the devil is at work. And even though Revelation 12:12 is something that will happen during the tribulation period, the words in it still send a clear and stark message. “…Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” The good news is with the truth of God’s Word and the help of the Holy Spirit we don’t have to be caught up in the deception.
Here are some comforting words from David found in Psalm 25:1-5. “To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You. Let me not be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed. Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD. Teach me Your paths, lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation, on You I wait all the day.”