Deception is such a scary and dangerous thing. It is possible to think you are right and be very wrong.
According to Dictionary.com, to deceive means to mislead by a false appearance or statement.
Deception is the act of deceiving. There are many ways that we can be deceived.
We deceive ourselves, and we are deceived by people.
There are 4 places in the Bible that plainly state “Do not be deceived.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,”
What is the deception mentioned in this verse? It is that one would think that ungodly, sinful people will enter the kingdom of God, or go to heaven. The obvious truth here is that they won’t. They will not. The unrighteous will not be in heaven. Do not be deceived about that. God has said it. Now before we start thinking that “the good folks” will go to heaven, let me remind you that there is none righteous. The righteousness that saves and gets people into God’s kingdom must come from somewhere else. If anyone will believe in Jesus and turn away from their sins, God will forgive them of all their wrongdoings and He will make them righteous. If you have that righteousness, Christ’s righteousness, then you will go to heaven. Do not be deceived into thinking there is another way.
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.””
What is the deception mentioned in this verse? It is that one would think that the resurrection of Jesus is not true, and therefore they can live however they want to. The obvious truth here is that Jesus has been raised from the dead and the power of God is working, and therefore we should be careful how we live. And we should not want our morality to be compromised by bad company. There is such a common deception going on today that thinks morality doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t matter how I live or what I do. If you think that way, you are deceived. God is real. Judgment is real. How we live matters. Sin is wrong. It is against God. Jesus died for our sins. Our sins killed Jesus. When God raised Him from the dead, it was to prove that sin can be forgiven. It is the power to change lives. To live unchanged, or to live however you want, is wrong. Do not be deceived about that.
- Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”
What is the deception mentioned in this verse? It is to think that people will “get away” with all the wrong they do. It is to think that people will not be held accountable for their actions. The obvious truth here is that one gets what he deserves. He reaps what he sows. God will not be mocked. If one wants to live as if God is not real, or God is not present, or God is not able, then they are deceived. There is coming a day when God will judge the world. When He does, God will judge every single person. Each person will get what he deserves. Do not think God can be mocked. Do not be deceived about that. If anyone believes in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, they will escape the judgment (John 5:24).
- James 1:16 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.”
What is the deception mentioned in this verse? It is to think that God is not good for you. It is to think that God is against you. It is to think that God is not working all things for the good of you. The obvious truth here is that every good and perfect gift is from God. It is God who has saved you. Of course, He is working favorably for you. James knows that our lives are full of trials and difficulty and struggle and discouragement. And James also knows that our tendency, or drift, is to blame God or get frustrated with God. Don’t do that. Do not be deceived into thinking that God is against you. He is not. God is absolutely for you in Christ Jesus! Do not be deceived about that.
When the Bible says the same thing multiple times, we are to recognize the theme or emphasis. There is a real danger in each of our own hearts and minds to be deceived into thinking that we are right. Please do not be deceived in this way. Hear Proverbs 3:7 “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”