I had just finished preaching a short series of 4 messages from Malachi and living a life of holiness, when the 2 friends came to see me in my office. “Pastor you are too severe, all this talk of holiness. We are leaving the Church.” Six months later the friends had fallen out with each other and it came to light that they were living an immoral lifestyle.”
The deceivers were trying to mislead me.
Having shared a list of sins (and there will be more) the Apostle says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” Ephesians 5 v 6
Who are the deceivers? It is those people who come and lead you away from the Apostle’s teaching. They will demonstrate that to use people for gain is a blessing; to grab for the riches which do not belong to them is to be rewarded by God; they come with attractive large personalities but it is just a shell of emptiness; their words sound good but they end up being powerless dialogue.
Not everything that you see and hear is what you think you see and hear.
Not every friend is a friend because of what they can bring some are friends for what you can make them.
“No one” are usually “Someone” They are usually good with words, respected leaders perhaps, they may have a following, but it doesn’t make it right.
“No one” can be “Everyone” and there can be a consensus of opinion, but it doesn’t make it right.
The problem is when deception has struck it is hard to see it is deception. The deceived don’t know they are deceived till it is too late.
That is why we tread carefully in the light of God’s wrath which was poured out onto Christ on the cross. We walk in the light of that surrender.
If we live not to gain then we will not be deceived.