In Matthew 24, Jesus tells his disciples that many would be deceived as they anticipated His return. Within the text, we do not see Jesus answering the disciples’ specific question regarding “these things” from verse 3.
“Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (KJV)
What Jesus does in this instance is give them a warning to prepare them. This is a warning that still rings true even to this day and unfortunately, many have not heeded this warning. Verse 4 reads as below…
“See to it that no one misleads you.” (NASB)
“Take heed that no man deceive you.” (KJV)
This statement does not have to be talking only about His coming. Clearly this warning can be used as a standard against many things. The obvious one would be sin. I do not want to throw out all the context though as there is much to think about or as many who know me would conclude, “many rabbit holes to go through.”
Matt 24:5 “for many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ”, and will mislead many.” (NASB) or “shall deceive many” (KJV)
In my own lifetime, I seem to recall there being several times where there have been people who have made the claim that “the world is ending, Jesus is coming back”! They would even have a day picked out. The one that has stuck with me over the years was when Mark Blitz did it back in 2015. Much of it had to do with the “blood moon prophecy” and that it corresponded to the lunar eclipse that took place on September 28th, 2015. The unfortunate part about this is that there were people who were “duped” by this fraud. We do not need to be confused about the return of Jesus. We are given ample amounts of warnings for us to be prepared for His coming. Look at what Jesus said.
Matt 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (NASB)
There is no need to take a simple issue and turn it into a complex issue and yet, man does just that. Man always has to interject his own thoughts into the equation as if our words will do a better job than God in revealing his will to us. Again, considering the context, Jesus is telling his disciples to not be deceived by anyone regarding His coming. That warning is good for many things. Allow me to give you several examples of what I mean.
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived, Bad company corrupts good morals.” (NASB)
1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals….” (NASB)
Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (NASB)
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (NASB)
There is quite a bit to unpack here. I could go on but for the limited space that I have, I pray that this will be evidence enough to show you that we ought to take this seriously. Back when I used to play sports, and even when I coach from time to time, I always remember being told and telling my players to never underestimate your opponent. It has also been said to never underestimate your enemies. With what I am about to say, on the surface appears to be very harsh, but I can assure you that it will not be as harsh as eternal condemnation. We may not realize it, but our enemies are sometimes the ones that are closest to us. Those whom we love the most might very well be your enemy when it comes to spiritual things. We can do one of two things. 1.) We can continue with status quo and never make an attempt to convert them to the Gospel or 2.) We can make an attempt to convert them to the Gospel in hopes that they too, will be able to taste of the heavenly gift. That they will be enlightened and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus tells us that we are His friends if we do what He says. Why not make that a standard practice in our lives? Why not take heed to the warnings given to us? Why do we read God’s word and then not heed it? Is it because we don’t understand it? Is it because we believe it does not apply to us? Or is it that we just do not believe it to be true?
Whatever the case may be, it is my hope and prayer that you do believe God’s word to be true. If you have simply found yourself in a “bad spot” in your life and just need some encouragement, then I hope this article will help you realize that there are many things that we need to watch out for. If you are not prepared for the return of Jesus, then do something about it right now. I will close as I am reminded of an old hymn “Tomorrow May Be Too Late”.
“Today is the day of salvation, Tomorrow may be too late. There’s danger and death in delaying, Accept God’s saving grace; His life on the cross He has given, O come while yet you may, Give Jesus your life and thus walk in His way, Tomorrow may be too late.”