HOPE IN PERILOUS TIMES

 

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
We have just ended our women’s fellowship. We shared testimonies of God’s goodness and grace. We praised God with songs. We prayed. The Word was to expose the evil spirit of deception. We have made many mistakes in teh past. But in the Word of God there is hope for the hopeless!
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money… from such people turn away” (2Timothy 3)

As you see in the scriptures above, there is a peculiar attack upon the women in the church. There are religious men who ‘creep’ into homes and take the women ‘captive’. This is the work of the devil, trying to repeat the strategy used in the Garden of Eve, when the woman was deceived first. The aim of the deception in the home is to divide that home. These women read the Bible but are not able to locate and retain the truth, the Gospel of Christ Crucified. These women are called ‘gullible’. To be gullible it means to be foolish, silly, easily deceived and cheated.

Some say that by nature, the women are more easily deceived than the men. They quote this scripture:
“And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1Tim 2:14). They say that because Eve was deceived and not Adam, it means that all women all over the world and to the end of time are more easily deceived than men. They say that is the reason why they should keep silent in the churches and they should not have positions of leadership in the church. It is a pity, but there are many denominations that forbid women to preach the Word of God. What can we say to this? It is true that the man was created first before the woman. It is true that the devil was crafty enough to attack the woman first and he deceived her to sin. But it is not correct to generalize that all women are more gullible than men. In the history of the church, most leaders of cults were men. Most of the warnings in the Bible against deception are given to men. Our Lord warns all believers, men and women, against religious deception. Paul, John and Peter do the same. They do not warn men against the deception coming from the women but from the religious evil spirits. This is a spiritual matter. All over the world, the unbelieving men discriminate the women and they have succeeded in keeping them quiet even when they should speak. A smart man who is married to a foolish woman is foolish too!

What can we do? How can we protect ourselves from deception? The first lesson is to identify these deceivers and to ‘keep away from them’. In Greek it means to avoid them, to turn away and take another path; to deliberately withdraw from these dangerous religious deceivers. This is not an easy command to obey. There is something attractive, magnetic about a hypocrite. The deceivers are more entertaining than the honest people. If you want fun in this life, if you are not born again and filled with the Holy Spirit these wicked and skillful deceivers shall surely lead you astray. But if you desire to live for Jesus, you have to separate yourself from the world and come to the Cross. Then you are safe!

The second advice is to protect yourself against deception by knowing the truth. That means know sound doctrine! That is why the husband is told to teach his ignorant wife at home sound doctrine, so that she will not be easily deceived by false teachers (1Cor 14:35). You need to aggressively ‘preach the Word’! Be known as a serious ‘violent-take-it-by-force’ Christian! Preach the Word of God in season and out of season. That means you preach the Word all the time! When you feel like it or not, in sickness and in health, to people who rejoice and to them who mourn! You preach it to one person or to a thousand. It does not matter. To successfully do this, you need to study the Bible until it becomes part of you.

The last weapon against deception is self-control. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit!

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