Not a Case for Easy Pickings :: By Edwin Tan

The Lord Jesus issued this forewarning concerning rampant deception in the last days, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand” (Matthew 24:24-25).

We are undoubtedly living in the last days where the dark forces of deception are in overdrive and truly gung-ho when it comes to exploiting every weakness that can be found. Their task is made even much easier by the mesmerizing lure of social media. All this against a backdrop of a so-called new normal that is perpetuated by a pandemic that stubbornly refuses to die down. If only pulpits plus pews could make up for this deficiency; but alas, a sizeable number of them are as good as inoperable because of the lockdowns and other restrictions. Then there are those churches that fail dismally in the preaching of the Counsel of God.

Does it look like the adversary is winning?

Not quite. It is more of a case of a plentiful harvest, albeit a shortage of manpower. A fast and furious fight – there are times when ground is given up just a short while after some of it is won. The enemy is not fooled, making as much mileage with every scalp at the body of believers. Not merely the babes in the faith but also long-timers who suddenly decide to quit – some with tragic consequences!

We cannot simply say that these folks have very little faith or that they are mere weaklings. They certainly would never be in such a sad state if there was someone to pull away the wool that is covering their eyes.

Oftentimes, the stronger ones could let an opportunity slip away because of a poor underestimate. Someone from your college days may be having a life struggle that puts his or her faith in Christ on a tightrope – but this person could be brushed off with the excuse that you were never close acquaintances. Perhaps we are devoting a disproportionate amount of time on some worldly pleasures; too much time on the Grand Slam if not some addictive distraction on cable. Even an hour and a half of a listening ear combined with godly exhortations that end with a meaningful prayer could make a significantly big difference!

There could be times when the deceiver plays into our emotions besides our Fallen-Nature rationale. The reluctance to throw down a line could stem from some hidden bias. The person in need comes from an ultra-lukewarm church, or it might be something trivial like a dislike for body art! This is when we need the Holy Spirit to take centerstage while letting the whims and fancies of the flesh into the back burner. Most importantly, prayer is the key to being an effective tool of God’s Kingdom. It might not be a case of doing a single-handed job because He will supply you what the situation warrants according to His riches and glory. Be it people or finances for the mission – He would settle it when you answer His call.

We earnestly cannot permit the wicked one to have a free hand at the weaker members of the Body of Believers. In order to be effective in this area, we need to be refreshing our souls with the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that emanates from the inerrant Living Word. Take your daily devotion seriously, and most importantly, open your heart to the anointing that is from the Comforter. This will equip you for the good fight! It will enable you to find the right Scriptural passages and even the website that has fruitful instructions.

The Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, has this to say in verses 14 to 16 of Chapter 4, “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. ”

Our take from the above passages of Holy Writ is all about being effective and functional elements of the Body we belong to. This surely involves enlightening our fellow brothers and sisters with nothing but the truth, yet doing so lovingly. With this in mind, we will pull them out of spiritual diapers and, in turn, produce light-bearers for Christ. All this would translate into a joyous outcome when the trumpet sounds!

Any moment now,


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