Do you realize how important spiritual discernment is ?
Even thoughout the churches of Christ, there is error…. seducing spirits deceiving many people….. and there is no guarantee that because we are not deceived today that it wont happen tomorrow !
Yesterday, I wrote about the “convenient” god…. the god that people fashion in their own minds…. the god that puts them at the center of their own universe…. and then causes them to go on a rampage in the “authority” of this, their god…. fully convinced that “he” has shown them “the light” and all the others who “sit in darkness” need to hear about it…. they are being led by a seducing spirit… dont you think ?…. and then they build churches and start a new “religion” or perhaps, if the doctrine is not too different from what they had before, it becomes just a “spin off” or a “splinter group” of basically the same church.
This does damage to the true church of Christ because…
1. it deceives and confuses “innocent sheep”…. “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29)…. “But even if WE, or an angel from heaven, preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8)
2. it spoils the testimony of the Church to the world… Jesus said “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35)…. and the world sits back and says, “see they can’t even get along with each other… far less agree on what the Bible really teaches…”
The severity of the problem can be seen from the UNPARDONABLE SIN (Matthew 12:31 – 32 and Mark 3:28 – 30)…. which is, basically, ascribing the works of God to the devil…. if you cannot tell whether the work is “of God” or “of the devil” then you are spiritually blind…. and DESPERATELY in need of SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT….. most Christians have SOME spiritual discernment (or they would not be Christians at all)… so the “seducing spirits” have to be more “subtle” and your ULTIMATE defense against their deception comes from 3 sources:
1. The BIBLE…. do you believe it is 100% truth ? …. because as soon as you waver and accept that “some parts could be wrong or inaccurate” you are open for deception…. how well do you know it ? …. you should know it very, very well, but more than that you should study it… comparing Scripture with Scripture to understand what is THE TRUTH. (Acts 17:11, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20)
2. PRAYER… you need to pray against deception… and if your heart is right with God and you are are not willfully sinning against Him… then He will answer your prayer … “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28). Also see: Luke 21:36 and Matthew 26:41
3. GRACE OF GOD…. GOD is able to protect His chosen from deception… and He does this even if they may “forget to pray” on occasion…. even though, we may be diligent, we are frail humans and make mistakes…. how thankful we SHOULD be that our Salvation and “Journey through this World” does not depend on our own abilities (wisdom, knowledge, memory,etc.) but on GOD’s GRACE and MERCY towards us. (Ephesians 2:8)
Even “spiritually mature” Christians can be deceived in “subtle” ways concerning the “fine points” of the TRUTH
Our defense against this is constant prayer and praise and a heart totally surrendered to Jesus bound up in a faith that GOD Himself will not allow us to stray from His Light.