Deception is the order of the day. Everywhere we look, people are being deceived. It results in fraud, i.e. people being cheated. Yet they glory in it, making their own lives a shambles and the lives of others miserable. What is it that brings forth such a condition?
First and foremost is the rejection of God. Romans 1:28 says it best:
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
Other translations use the word depraved or reprobate for debased. They all work well. The word comes from the Greek adokimos. Strong’s #96 describes it as “counterfeit, unapproved, failing to pass the test; literally worthless.” Paul goes on to list the outcomes in Romans 1:29-32 for those with such a mind:
They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Those who live like this are upside down in everything they do. God warns of such people in Isaiah 5:20:
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
A woe is a declaration of judgment. If a woe has been uttered by God, His prophets, or His angels, they truly have no hope. It is the reason Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 warns so urgently:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Deception leads to unrighteousness. The deception is directly tied to a debased-depraved-reprobate mind. “Don’t allow that to happen!” Paul exhorts the church at Corinth. If you do, if you engage in these activities that are anti-God, you will not inherit His kingdom!
These sins and the ones he outlines in Romans 1 have the same source and the same outcome.
Remember what Jesus said to His disciples in the Olivet Discourse. They asked Him questions about the temple and the end of the age. The first thing He did was to warn them in Matthew 24:4:
“See that no one leads you astray.”
“Watch out that no one deceives you.”
The Greek word for deceives is planaó. Strong’s #4105 describes it as “deviating from the correct path or roaming into error, or to be seduced.”
If we’re on the right path, it’s the one that leads to the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14). Few find it or walk it, to their destruction. Why? Because they allowed it to happen.
The implication from both Jesus and Paul is that we have a choice. “Don’t be deceived.” It’s up to us whether we allow ourselves to be led astray. Sadly, the majority of the world chooses that road to perdition. Again, the people going this route will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Time is running out. Soon all the cards will have been played and the game will be over. This world is on a downward course. The descent can last only so long before it crashes and burns. The vast majority of people living on the earth have no clue as to where all this is headed. The veil of deception covering their eyes, ears, and mind is actually growing more opaque everyday. The sin and lawlessness all around us is becoming the norm because people don’t know the truth.
Does the truth set us free (John 8:31-32)? Oh, yes! It frees us to apprehend the world through a different lens. It gives us the means to know that there is hope only in Christ Jesus.
Because of this, we have a duty – a responsibility – to God while it is still day and the darkness hasn’t completely fallen. We are to be light to those wandering in the dusk.
What is it that enables us to do this? The psalmist tells us in Psalm 119:105:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
God’s Word is the answer. It is the answer for us to remain able to see, and it is the answer for us to guide others into the light of truth.
Our posture in these last days should be one of reverence and awe for all that God is and that He is doing. When we look to Him, when we bow before Him, when we obey Him; He will use us to His glory. And it will all be good.