Let’s read these scriptures together first, then let’s get into not being deceived further below:
“See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,‘ and they will lead many astray.” Matt. 24:5
“And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matt. 24:11-13
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead many astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matt. 24:23-24
“I appeal to brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the Doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve.” Romans 16:17-18
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of
darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 4:6-11
“Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while the evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
2 Timothy 3:12-13
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
“For there are many who insubordinate, empty talkers, and deceivers, especially those of the
Circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not teach.” Titus 1:10-11
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.” 2 Peter 2:1-3
“Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, for many false prophets have gone into the world. “ 1 John 3:11
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not be lose what you have worked for but may win a full reward. “ 2 John 7-8
We have many warnings about being mindful of those who creep into the church unknown and bring in destructive teaching. It seems we have become so complacent with our comfort that the church is overrun with heretical teaching that many in the early church died to defend against. We allow everything, as long as it is “nice” and has the name Jesus attached to it.
Anyone who brings up concerns about these things is labeled a legalist, cessationist, judgmental, led by the flesh, divisive, unloving, unkind, unfruitful, jealous, slanderous, and the list goes on.
The baffling thing is that if the claims that are being brought against these so-called false teachers are true; they indeed are the ones being divisive because they are teaching what is contrary to sound doctrine. And yet instead of people looking at these claims with an objective lens to see whether they are true; they disassociate with anyone who would say something that sounds mean.
One of my favorite pastors describes it in this way, “Christians today hold to the 11th Commandment, ‘Thou shalt be nice.” (Voddie Baucham)
The verses provided are by no means and extensive look at these teachings, what they are meant to do
in this context is cause people to think about the implications of being led away from sound teaching and promoting false teaching. An extreme example would be Jim Jones and the tragedy of Jonestown.
That is where we get the term “don’t drink the kool aid”. Many people have already drunk the kool aid and are unwilling to test the spirits to see if they are from God.
I understand that it is challenging and scary to put your beliefs and spiritual leaders to the test, but if they be true to the Holy Scriptures then there is nothing to be worried about. I also know that doing this will edify you as a follower of Christ, just as the Jews of Berea tested what Paul had spoken to them by searching the scriptures daily and believed.
I think the hardest part for most people is admitting that they have been deceived. You must swallow your pride and get those teachings, teachers, friends, whatever out of your life. We all know people who have been or are in abusive relationships and they know it, but when it comes to cutting the chord, they make excuses for the abuser, talk about all the good attributes of that person, and end up staying longer than they should. This is what I believe is known as Stockholm syndrome, but it may be better
explained as cognitive dissonance.
If you read all the way through, my challenge to you is to ask yourself;
Do you think the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God?
What does God reveal about Himself in the scriptures?
What does it reveal about Jesus?
What does it reveal about God’s Holy Spirit?
What does it reveal about man?
Don't take my word for it, I'm just a no good theologian.