A forest scene in autumn. A tree trunk is in the right foreground with a sunburst peeking around the right side of the trunk, and multi-colored leaves scattered throughout the background.

There are many signs that seem to indicate we may be living in the Biblical last days. One of those signs is rampant deception, both in the world and in the church.

Deception, A Sign of the Times

When the word deception is used it brings up all manner of images, and it took me a long time to realize that deception is thought of differently by different people. The lost think about con men and shysters while the saved equate it with the lost. Even though both of those views are correct, neither of them is exclusively true.

When I got saved I didn’t think much about what following Jesus meant. Maybe that’s because that aspect was never emphasized to me, I don’t know. I was just told to ‘trust in Jesus’ and everything would work out fine! But since that time I’ve realized we all face deception – saved and unsaved alike.

Nearly everyone who knows the Lord considers the unsaved to be deceived in some form or another. We think like that because until they give their hearts to Christ they are deceived. But they are not alone in the susceptibility to deception.

The idea that Christians can also be deceived may come as a surprise, but it’s a very real risk for each of us. Understanding what deception is, how it is presented, and what we can do to avoid it, is crucial.

Regardless of who gets deceived, the common thread (of course) is that the originator is Satan.

The Father of Deception

John 8:43-44

Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (NKJV)

Satan (or Lucifer, as he was once called) is revealed in the Bible as the consummate deceiver. He was responsible for tricking a third of the angels into following him in rebellion against God. The result was disastrous for those who listened to him.

Satan’s next ploy was to trick humankind into following him instead of listening to God. The result was equally disastrous for Adam and Eve, and that doom has been passed down to us. We are as prone to his seduction as our parents were, but we have something they didn’t have. We have the example and promise of Jesus!

This is Part One of a multi-part series. Keep watch for the next installment!

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