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Deceptive Churches

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

It’s depressing seeing the condition of the church at large today… There’s a lot of deception, a lot of subtlety…

And, in some ways, it’s not all the church’s fault – they’re just helpless sheep following their misguided leaders.

See, all that subtlety and deception – that’s exactly how the Adversary has always worked. He likes taking part of the truth and mixing it with his own lies.

I see churches today who “preach” a lot of love, a lot of grace, and yet they completely miss the gospel. There’s no mention of sin, no mention of repentance, often no mention of Jesus’ cross and His blood’s atonement for our sin. Instead what we hear is how we were “born to live wild” and “free” and that God came to restore us to our created value.

And again, there’s some truth in that. But salvation is more than just an awakening of our true worth and value; it’s more than becoming alive and “jumping in the river.” Salvation is turning away from our old path of sin and selfishness and kneeling at the foot of the cross, where Jesus paid for our pardon with His own blood. It’s embracing the risen Savior who conquered death. And it’s choosing to live a new life by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.

It’s a broken man realizing he is broken and headed to destruction and acknowledging that hope can only be found in Jesus Christ.

See, these false, deceived churches speak a lot about love – but love is more than an experience; it’s more than the warm fuzzies you get from being “in Daddy’s presence.” Love isn’t afraid to speak up and tell you the truth, even when it hurts. And the truth is, this world, for the most part, is on the path to destruction, and no amount of positive experiences or spiritual encounters or even singing of worship songs with hands outstretched to heaven is going to save that person.

Only Jesus can save. As it is written, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

And don’t be deceived, not everyone who claims the name of Jesus is His. As Jesus Himself said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

Later on, the apostle Paul also testified:

“You know that wicked people will not inherit the kingdom of God, don’t you? Stop deceiving yourselves! Sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunks, slanderers, and robbers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

“That is what some of you were! But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

If you are living in sin, you might be well in the right to be concerned about your eternal fate. After all, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (1 Corinthians 5:17)

If you’re still living in the old way of life, what has really changed? What kind of gospel did you accept?

Friend, be careful:

“If, after escaping the world’s corruptions through a full knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Messiah, they are again entangled and conquered by those corruptions, then their last condition is worse than their former one.

“It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and turn their backs on the holy commandment that was committed to them.

“The proverb is true that describes what has happened to them: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,’ and ‘A pig that is washed goes back to wallow in the mud.'” (2 Peter 2:20-22)

We simply cannot continue to live in sin as children of God. To do so is to spit in the face of our Savior, to return to our own vomit.

But these big churches don’t tell you anything about sin. Instead, they promise without reservation, as if speaking on God’s behalf, “Who said you were unworthy of My love? It wasn’t Me.” Yet how can you promise what you have not offered in the first place? When you have not even explained the gospel in real truth and clarity, how can you promise peace?

They are just like the false prophets and deceptive priests of old:

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)

Hear me out, people… We live in evil times. There’s blatant evil all around, that’s for sure, but there’s also plenty of evil operating under the guise of righteousness:

“Such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Keep a watchful eye and a vigilant spirit. Stay in the Word. Know it. Turn away from your sins and follow Jesus.

As it is written,

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)


“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)

Let us not become entangled in strange teaching that promises life but delivers only emotional highs. Instead, let us hold true to “the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” (Jude 1:3)

May we do so in Jesus’ name and by His power. Amen.

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