© 2014 • Hillcrest Church of Christ
by Danny Boggs
Two California men pleaded guilty in federal court in 2001 to scamming eBay users out of $450,000. Their biggest haul came from a fake painting. The winning bid was $135,000. Not only did the swindlers palm off a phony painting, they drove the bids higher by using false identities to bid on the painting fifty times themselves.
Satan works that way in religion. He deceives us into thinking we are getting something that we are not. He does whatever it takes to make us give up the most possible for it.
Jesus said that lying is Satan’s native language (John 8:44). He masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). While some of Satan’s lies are more apparent, others are hard to catch because they are told through people who seem so trustworthy (Matt. 7:15; 2 Cor. 11:3,13-15). Indeed, religious teachers can be deceivers or self-deceived. We should accept nothing religiously except the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 6:3-5). God intends to save us through knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4).
Pride, pleasure, family tradition or religious tradition can all get in the way of knowing and obeying the truth that saves (1 Cor. 3:18-20; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; Col. 2:18). God will not force us to believe the truth if we are determined to believe a lie (Rom. 1:24-28; 2 Thess. 2:10-12). “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6).
Love the truth (2 Thess. 2:12). Know the truth (John 8:31-32, 17:17). Believe the truth (2 Thess. 2:13). Obey the truth (1 Pet. 1:22-23). Don’t buy Satan’s art! It will cost you your soul.