Dale Appleby

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Free with the Truth

Living in the Last Days involves a lot of contact with lies and deception. Sometimes in the church itself and a lot of the time outside it. Jesus encouraged his hearers to obey what he taught. “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8.31-32)

Tricking Christians is often done by other Christians. Nowadays there are many media that share deceptions about the Christian faith. The preventative, according to Paul, was the truth of the gospel shared among the believers.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph 4.14). See also Col 2.8-23.

In the face of deception, and conflicting values and influences, the sure guide of what God himself has told us keeps us safe.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3.14-17).

We do face a difficulty when we proclaim the gospel. The enemy has blinded the eyes of unbelievers so that they cannot see Christ’s glory. We do not need, we must not, resort to human methods of manipulation or persuasion to rectify this. We need to trust God’s power in the gospel.

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Cor 4.1-6). See also 2 Tim 4.1-5

The Last Days are characterised by great deception. We guard against it by knowing the truth. We help set others free by living and proclaiming the truth. We know the truth in the gospel, in the scriptures.

Dale

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