The Deceived Church
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (NKJV) says, “3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!”
There is so much deception among Christians today and it really comes down to one thing: people are willfully ignorant of the truth. I love what Paul wrote here because of its present truth and I want to break it down for you. First we must understand how scripture works. Romans 15:4 and 2 Timothy 3:16 tell us very similar things: that all scripture is meant to teach us something and that it’s no accident that we have each and every one of them. We need to cling to, learn from, and be guided by scripture first and foremost above every thought, idea, counsel, or experience. Scripture keeps us grounded and always points us to the Father and His will for our lives. Aren’t you glad that we have as 2 Peter 1:19 says, a sure Word. One that’s unchanging and firm. Our faith should always be built and strengthened upon His Word first, before any tradition of man!
So let’s look at 2 Corinthians 11:3 again, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Christ, His Word, His direction, and His will are not hard to know or comprehend. God DOES NOT work in mysterious ways. He has revealed or given us the ability to get everything He wants us to know. Notice Paul says here, “…as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness…” This is how people get off. God has given us His will and direction, written it down for us, sent His Son to show us, and sealed it all with His Holy Spirit, which He left to stay upon the earth until Jesus comes back. Yet, people constantly revert to what they have known, what they see, or what they feel exactly the way Eve did when she ate the fruit. I find it interesting that people often come to church seeking change and then spend so much time rejecting the way to have it. Though the Bible tells us not to lean on our own understanding, people generally won’t consider anything but their own understanding and this is why they fail. Hosea 4:6 tells us God’s people are destroyed through the willful lack of knowledge.
2 Corinthians 11:4 continues with, “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached…” What does that mean exactly? What message did the apostles of our Lord bring and preach? What things did they see and what were the effects of that type of preaching? Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” Demonstration of the Spirit and power! Yet, today it is popular to reject this idea of Spirit and power because people are not seeing it, because though all things with God are clearly received by faith in Him and His works, people willfully reject them for a myriad of reasons. The church goes without, not because God wills it but rather because they are deceived into rejecting the very teaching that saves them.
God’s will is for His people to be knowledgeable and fruitful in that knowledge but this will not happen if we reject knowledge. Romans 1:28 says, “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.” God will let you have what you are settled on in your own mind. You choose life or you choose death, and deception is always and most definitely a choice.
Join us at Family Church Mayville for a service Sundays at 10:30 am or 7 pm. We’d love to meet you and share the Word of God with you!