Have you ever believed a lie and then later discovered the truth? If so, you know how damaging deception is. It can ruin friendships, destroy reputations, and leave a trail of painful, lingering consequences. The damage is particularly horrendous when the deception is spiritual, because it can mean the difference between going to heaven or hell.
It would be nice to think that once we’re saved, we could never again be spiritually deceived, but that’s not the case. Satan is always looking for ways to lead us astray so he can ruin our testimony and hinder our spiritual growth. That’s why it’s so important for Christians to be discerning—and this ability will be developed in us only as we grow in our knowledge of scriptural truth.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia because they were quickly deserting Christ for a different gospel (Gal. 1:6-7). Someone had come into the church and distorted the gospel of grace, telling them they needed to be circumcised and obey the Law in order to be saved (Gal. 5:3-4).
Although this may not be the issue today, the belief that any kind of good work or performance can earn God’s acceptance is still being falsely promoted in certain Christian circles. At the other extreme are those who say it doesn’t matter what we believe or do because everyone is going to heaven. They wrongly conclude that a loving God would never punish anyone.
Jesus clearly warned that deception would increase as time progressed (Matt. 24:4-5). Now is the time to study God’s Word, because knowing truth is our only protection against being led astray by misinformation.