I have learned that when the Lord says something we need to listen. No surprises in that. But when He gives us a warning about something we need to especially listen, for if He is warning us, then it is clear there is a strong reason for his warning. And it is even more important for us today when he is talking and warning about things that are happening in our time, not in the time when He walked the earth.
The Disciples Question
Jesus was speaking to his disciples as they marvelled at the temple, and He spoke of the time when the temple would be destroyed. His disciples said to him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?” (Verse 7) But Jesus’ response was quite fascinating and was given more for our benefit than theirs.
Before answering the question he made a point of saying these words. “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.” (Verse 8)
If the Lord was warning us to be wary then we should take heed. He was showing that these events would take place at some time in the future, and in the next few posts we will look at some of the signs pointing to that very thing. But what he was saying here is to beware of false Christs preaching a false gospel to try and lead you and I astray.
And over the years we have seen exactly this thing occur. There have been many who came proclaiming to be Christ or prophets of Christ who have led people astray to do all manner of evil, even taking their own lives. Some who come to mind are David Koresh and the Branch Davidians and the Waco massacre, Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple and the Jonestown massacre and the Heaven’s Gate sect who committed mass suicide on the appearance of the Hale-Bopp comet.
There were many people influenced by these and other sect leaders who stole their very life from them. There are many other sects that have had disastrous impacts on peoples lives, claiming to be led by Christ in their false missions. That is why Jesus warns us not to be quickly shaken in mind or belief and not to be led astray by these strange and diverse teachings.
He tells us that when we hear of wars and tumults not to fear because those things must happen. If we look at the world around us today there are wars and tumults in many places. I doubt there has been a period in history that has had more wars, tumults, incursions and uprisings than in these modern times. But Jesus tells us this will happen and not to be afraid. They all point to the coming of the Lord in due course.
Seeking the Truth
His warning was for each of us to focus on finding the truth. He says there will be many liars trying to pass themselves off as the Christ, but they will not tell you the truth. Their intent is to take people into bondage, whereas Jesus said, “The truth will make you free.”
To avoid the pitfalls and traps of these pretenders and liars we each must find the truth for ourself. We must go to the Bible, go to the Lord and seek the truth. And he has promised he will show it to us. “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Do you want to find the truth? Then ask questions. Lots of them. Don’t accept what anyone says until or unless they can back up their statement from the Bible. And by anyone I am talking about what you are reading here in my blog too! I am not the font of all knowledge and wisdom…God is and the Lord Jesus Christ is. But as a servant of Christ my desire is to share without cost what the Lord has shown and proven to me to be the truth over decades of learning from him and walking with him.
And if when you ask questions and they still either don’t give you answers, or the answers appear to be suspect, go to the Lord in prayer to give you clarity. He will do it, and to this I can testify wholeheartedly.
As Jesus said and as I repeat, do not be led astray! Look to Christ for your salvation and learn what is pleasing to God. Then he will keep you from falling and you will find the truth that leads to salvation.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Ambrozjo)