Loving Truth or Believing Lies

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Grace Fellowship in Rusk, Texas Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 10:30 AM

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Loving TRUTH or Believing LIES

Matthew 24:1–4 (NKJV)
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.
And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 (NKJV)
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

What is the greatest danger that we will face in the last days prior to Christ’s return?

A pandemic? Inflation? Climate change? World War III? Chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons?
The greatest danger we will face is “deception”.
2 Corinthians 4:3–4 (NKJV)
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Revelation 12:9–11 (NKJV)
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Jesus’ Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:1-25:46)

The Disciples Three Questions
When will these things be? (Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple)
What will be the sign of Your coming? (Second Coming)
What will be the sign of the end of the age? (The end of the Gospel Age and the beginning of the Millennial Age)
In response, Jesus began by giving them a warning against being deceived. In fact, He warned of deception four times in twenty-one verses.
Matthew 24:4 (NKJV)
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Matthew 24:5 (NKJV)
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
Matthew 24:11 (NKJV)
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:24 (NKJV)
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Paul Warned Against Deception Prior to Christ’s Return

Deception could come in three ways:

Through a false spirit operating in false prophets, false christs, and false teachers.
Through a false report (fake news)
Through a false epistle (extra-biblical writings attested to be equal to Scripture)

Two things must happen prior to Christ’s return

The Great Falling Away (Apostasy, revolt, rebellion among those who once professed faith in Christ. This is not speaking of the saved who then become lost. They were false converts from the beginning. They were tares among the wheat.)
1 Timothy 4:1–2 (NKJV)
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
2 Timothy 3:1–5 (NKJV)
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
2 Timothy 4:3–4 (NKJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
The Revelation of the Man of Lawlessness (the antichrist)
He is called the son of perdition (destruction)
He will oppose all that is of God
He will exalt himself in the place of God
Currently he is restrained from being revealed.
The “mystery” of lawlessness is already at work to prepare the way for him.
The lawless one will come according to:
The working of Satan
With all power, signs, and lying wonders
With all unrighteous deception among those who perish.
Revelation 13:4–9 (NKJV)
So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

Why will People be Deceived?

They did not receive the love of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10)
They did not believe the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:12)
They had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:12)

What is their Judgment?

God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie. (2 Thessalonians 2:11)
Romans 1:20–32 (NKJV)
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools,
and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

How to Avoid being Deceived

Humble yourself. You are not immune to deception. Pride makes you think you cannot be deceived. To believe that you cannot be deceived is to be deceived already.
Receive the truth.
Believe the truth.
Love the truth.
Walk in the truth. (3 John 3)
Test everything by the truth.
1 John 4:1 (NKJV)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NKJV)
Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Response to the Word

Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. He is THE TRUTH. (John 14:6)
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