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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Enduring to the End
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3)
Our world is becoming spiritually dark. The Western nations are revealing the moral corruption and the chaos of the spiritual and material realms that always result when man makes himself God. Soon men's hearts will be failing them for fear because of the tumult and shaking on every side.
The disciples asked:
When will these things be?
What will be the sign of your coming?
What will be the sign of the end of the age?
The verses that follow portray the events of the future—perhaps of the immediate future we are facing.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (Matthew 24:4)
Deception has always been a problem for Christians. In the days to come deception may prove to be an even more serious issue.
In addition to the satanic deceptions that come to individuals there are several experiences and hopes that have been presented to the Christian churches as a whole:
The grace of God is an unconditional ticket to eternal residence in Paradise. Even though we do not live as a disciple we shall go to Heaven anyway and live in a mansion on a street of gold, experiencing every delight.
God is love and not wrath, not a consuming Fire.
God is not to be feared, only reverenced.
God will "rapture" his saints before they experience tribulation.
God wants the Christians to be rich in this world.
The Christian can speak a creative word of faith, similar to the Words of God in the first chapter of Genesis, and thereby get whatever he wants.
These deceptions have been marvelously successful in keeping the elect in a state of perpetual childhood. Because the six errors we have just mentioned have resulted in sin and disobedience, the Lord Jesus is removing the lampstand of testimony from the churches. The saints are not working out their own salvation with fear and trembling. The churches are filled with lightness, foolishness, self-will, self-love, bitterness, self-seeking, and sometimes immorality, incest, drunkenness, profanity, and violence.
There is much Christian "ministry," but the testimony of God, His Person, His way, His will, His Kingdom, has been destroyed.
We have been deceived by Satan working through men. Sometimes the people deceiving us are fully persuaded they are fundamental Christians doing the Lord's will. Nevertheless the damage is done. The great need of the hour is for God's people to turn to Him in confession of sin and sincere repentance.
The experienced saint recognizes that the voice that tells him God would never allow him to suffer but wants him to be prosperous and happy in the world is not of the Lord. When Peter attempted to turn the Lord away from suffering, the Lord commanded: "Get behind Me, Satan." The Lord resisted Satan who was speaking through Peter. He did not let Peter deceive Him. This incident teaches us that the voice of Satan can come to us through the most earnest Christian.
To be continued.