DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: Do not be deceived; seek the Lord
Don't let anyone deceive you with empty arguments that encourage you to sin. Instead, repent and believe the gospel.
Smooth sounding, empty arguments have led me to make several major decisions that I have regretted. They cost me money I should not have spent and did not deliver what was promised. The Apostle Paul warns us about people who lead us down false paths.
“For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites and base desires. By smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting” (Romans 16:18).
“Let no one deceive you with empty arguments [that encourage you to sin], for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience [those who habitually sin]” (Ephesians 5:6).
This being an election year there is no small amount of smooth, flattering, and empty arguments that can sound reasonable.
Paul’s words in these verses were not about politics. They were about people who were telling others how to get to heaven. There is no more important subject in the world. Everyone will die and will go to heaven or hell.
Jesus came into this world to seek and save the lost. He left heaven and lived as a man without sin, died on a cross and rose from the dead.
If you can live your life in a way God said was wrong and never repent of your sin and still make it to heaven, then Jesus wasted His efforts. How can He save you if you think you are not lost? If you think you have no problem with sin, then you’ll see no need to ask Jesus for forgiveness. Jesus preached, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Repentance means to recognize you are sinful, separated from God by your sin. It means turning from your sin to trust in Christ. “Let no one deceive you with empty arguments [that encourage you to sin].”
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
The gospel (good news) is that no matter what you have done, when you come to Jesus it can be washed away and forgiven. When He died on that cross, it was for you, for me and for anyone who comes to Him.
When you come to Jesus, you will be made right with God and ready for heaven. With that saving grace comes the power to be changed by God into a new creation, a new person living for Jesus. Don’t be deceived. “Seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isaiah 55:6).
Rev. Paul McKibben is pastor of Grace Community Church in Osage.