Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Ye shall be as gods!

Meditation for the week of January 16, 2011

2Thessalonians 2:3-4  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Genesis 3:5 "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Wouldn’t it be nice to be God or at least “like God?”  People would respect and fear us.  We would be able to control everyone and everything around us.  People would follow us and fight for us.  We would be rich.  We would never be sick.  We would be smarter than everyone else.  We would “have it made.”

People who want to be “like God” do not worship God, they worship themselves.  They do not submit to God, they ask others to submit to them.  They do not ask people to take up their crosses to follow them, they ask people to take up their swords to follow them.  They do not use “religion” to serve others, they use “religion” to control others and to get others to serve them. 

We all have differing ideas about what God is really like.  But nearly everyone thinks that when God says “Jump,” people should say, “How high?” on the way up.  God is more powerful than everyone else, and He is smarter than everyone else.  Even though most of us would like to be all powerful, the crucial issue in the deception of Eve was that she would have knowledge and would know things.  The early church had people called “gnostics” that also told the Christians that they had mystical intuitive knowledge that others didn’t have.  If a person can convince people that they have understanding and knowledge that most people don’t have and if that person also has a charismatic type of personality that causes people to like him, a person like that can get most people to do just about anything.  He ends up being very powerful.

Deception in spiritual things has always been an issue.  Satan is a liar and the father or originator of lies (John 8:44).  We all want to follow people we admire.  How can we tell whether we are following a good person like the Lord or a bad person like the man of sin of  2 Thessalonians 2?  I believe the answer is in Matthew 7:16.  The passage has to do with knowing people by their fruits.  The passage is not dealing so much with whether people are saved or lost but with whether people are false prophets.  A false prophet will be known by his fruits.  A false prophet  is compared to thorns and thistles.  These are weeds that can hurt us and that do not produce fruit that can nourish us.  The Lord was meek and gentle.  A false prophet will usually deceive by flattery and then if that doesn’t work, he will intimidate.  He will ask people to fight for him and his causes.  He will usually ask them to take up a sword and not a cross.

In order to avoid being deceived by a person like this we need an intimate knowledge of the Lord.  This is gained through the consistent prayerful meditative reading of the Word of God which we call the Holy Bible.  Those who are saved have the Holy Spirit indwelling them, and He teaches them the things concerning the Lord Jesus.  The Bible tells us to be careful with whom we associate and to identify quickly with no man, especially if that man is going to be a leader (1 Timothy 5:22).

While I believe that the deception referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2 occurs after the believers of our day are caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) and will be part of the seven years of tribulation that is to be poured out on the earth, yet religious deception is abounding in our day.  Basic truths with regard to the need to “repent and believe” are not being taught.  Eternal conscious punishment is considered too cruel for our God of mercy.  Social ills are being corrected without correcting the heart of man through the new birth and the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.  The sinless nature of Christ is denied and He is not seen by many as God.  The accuracy and reliability of the Bible is questioned. 

Who we believe and follow is an important issue.  Our destinies for eternity depend upon believing and following the right person.  That person is the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are not God, He is!

Bruce Collins

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