Pastor Troy Thomas
Bethel Church, LA
One of the most important subjects I can address in the time we live in is discernment deception. Jesus warns of deception three different times in Matthew. (Read Matthew 24:4-5, 10-11, 23-24.) There were many signs that Jesus gave concerning the last days. He felt the need to address this sign three different times. This signifies that there will be much deception going on in the last days. I believe that we are living in the last of the last days. 2 Thes. 2:9-10 states, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish: because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
I have been deceived before. I have thought that a lie was fact until the truth was revealed to me. Even now, I see through a glass darkly. I am continuing to learn. I began preaching right after I got saved in June of 1980. There were some things I preached in 1980 with much zeal and passion. I just knew that I was right on the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ. I preached in the early eighties that Jesus died on Good Friday evening and arose before day, early Sunday morning. I read Matthew 12:40 years later, “As Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The more I read and thought about three days and three nights, I could not get three days and three nights from Friday evening to early Sunday morning. So, I changed what I preached. Now I preach that Jesus died and was buried like the Bible says, and He rose like the Bible says.
Allow me to give you a few keys to not being and staying deceived:
We should remain humble. God resists the proud; but gives grace to the humble. How can we receive God’s truth when we think too highly of ourselves? A prideful preacher told me that he knew everything. He was a liar! It is almost impossible for a humble, teachable, prayerful, true Christian to remain in deception. God gives light and understanding to the humble.
Have a love of the truth. Not only have the truth, but love the truth. If we keep a love of the truth, we will search the Scriptures until we find truth. Jesus said, “Seek and you shall find.” Having a Bible is not the same as seeking the truth within its pages. I told God to give me the truth, even if it hurts me. Ask God to give you a love of the truth. With humility and a love of the truth, you will not remain in error.