Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Don't Be Deceived ***

S. Matthew 24

O. Jesus discusses the signs of the end of the world.

A. There are a few moments in this chapter that has Jesus speaking of my concerns of the church today.
“. . . for many will come in my name . . . They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic . . . And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold . . . And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
It appears that there will be many that speak for Jesus, about Jesus. They will say they are of God or of Jesus, and they will ‘deceive many.’ There are many today that preach on the airwaves and via the internet, stoking fear and promoting war and division. The examples are as plentiful as they are scary. Millions of people listen and believe what all of these people preach.

Jesus goes farther.
“The day is coming when you will see . . . the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.”
First, we will define sacrilegious: ‘pertaining to or involving sacrilege;’ sacrilege: ‘the violation or profanation of anything sacred or held sacred.

Jesus could be in reference to many things, including his own life, the Cross, the Holy Trinity, the list continues. Those that ‘deceive many’ use these terms and symbols to desecrate the message and intent of Jesus. Jesus is very clear here; beware of false prophets and those that ‘turn away from me.’ This is the reason to forge a deep, personal relationship with God yourself and not through the words or teachings of anyone else. We must be careful as there are many that use Jesus as a weapon to move people to action, and not to spread the word of forgiveness and mercy. Instead, they use this to promote hate and their own agendas.  

The rest of this chapter of prophecy is focused on making the disciples realize that we need to do good now, because we may not have the opportunity to do good later. If we don’t start now, we’re wasting this opportunity, and if the return happens and we’re not paying attention to what we’re doing, we will be lost.

P. May I not be deceived. 

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