Snubbing Christ and His Apostles Makes One Susceptible to Deception

The ministry of the Lord Jesus and the ministries of his disciples, although powerful, had many struggles in common. One of their struggles was the struggle to be believed by skeptics. Both Christ and his disciples went out of their way to take actions and present teachings to prove without any doubt that they were carrying out God’s will and that Jesus was truly God in the flesh.

But despite all the miracles, healings, ministering to the poor and outcast, and solid godly teaching backed by genuine godly lifestyles, there were many who had just set their minds on rejecting outright whatever Christ said and did or what his apostles said and did. The Lord Jesus became so disgusted (and rightfully so) with this attitude that he confronted his detractors about where such rejection would ultimately lead them. In John 5:43-44, he stated:

43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

Essentially, Christ pointed out that rejecting him meant they were opening themselves up to accept people who were into humanistic self-glorification. Dismissing him meant they would rather be deceived by ungodly people who would stroke their egos and who would expect them to return the favor. It would be nothing more than the blind leading the blind as they both ended up in a spiritual ditch. So it is with all who embrace false religions.

Paul faced a similar situation with the Corinthian church. There was a group within that church that despised Paul and sought to diminish the validity of his role. It prompted him to pen these words in 2 Corinthians 11:

19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.

20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

With a hint of sarcasm about their being caught up in their own so-called wisdom, Paul told his detractors that they were happily putting up with fools in their midst. They “suffered” (allowed, tolerated) people who made them their spiritual slaves by their deceptive doctrines, or who took advantage of them in some way, or robbed them, or who sought to be placed on pedestals, or who even flat-out insulted and abused them. But those who were really concerned with their best interests, like Paul, were considered useless and rejected.

This group had things totally backwards, pushing aside what was good for them while inviting in what was bad for them. But that tends to be how it is with those who reject God’s truth, even in our day whether they are in church or not. It’s a sad state of affairs. Thankfully, God is patient and merciful enough to give even the most stubborn among us a multitude of chances to change our way of thinking to line up with his will. It’s always a beautiful sight to behold when someone so deceived eventually undergoes the Lord’s paradigm shift in their lives.

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