(Mark 13:5-6, 9a NIV) “5Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many…9You must be on your guard.
These words were spoken by Jesus to His disciples soon before Jesus would go to die on the cross. Jesus knew that His disciples would face many false teachers and much persecution after He was gone. And these words came true as the disciples had to combat false teachings from every side. But does this warning of Jesus still apply to you today?
It is said that there are around 21 different “major religions” in the world today. Within these 21 major religions there are many different “off shoots” that have different beliefs. For example just look at how many different teachings and beliefs are within Christianity! It is also said that there are thousands of “non – major” religions in the world such as tribal beliefs, sects and cults. And so I ask you again, “Does Jesus’ warning still apply to you today?”
By all means! There are many in the world, whether knowingly or unknowingly, who want to deceive you, to lead you astray! The cunning ways of the deceivers will try to get you to rely on yourself for salvation, to get you to trust in your wealth, your deeds or your reputation instead of on your Savior, there are also others who will try to convince you that Jesus is simply not your Savior, and there are those who will tell you that religion itself is a sham. False beliefs and false teachers surround you every day of your life.
And so “Watch out…Be on your guard!” And how do you do that? How do you know what are false teachings and what are true? By staying in God’s Word. As you daily read God’s Word, go to Bible class, and church your faith grows, your understanding of what is right and wrong grows, you protect your faith by strengthening it, and you are able to spot false teachings and false teachers. And as you protect your faith by staying in God’s word, God also gives you peace, comfort, joy, etc. as you are daily reminded that Jesus “watches out” and “guards” you daily from the devil and his temptations because of the salvation He has won for you!
Guarding myself from danger by staying in the Word of God, just like you,