Hold FastBro. David Chancellor
11/3/2002 6:00 PM
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
These wanted to know what the signs of the end of the world are. Humanity is a curious bunch. Knowing these things isnt as important as not being deceived about who Christ is. The Jews are vulnerable to someone coming and claiming to be Christ. Christians are more likely to encounter someone coming in the place of Christ. You dont want your attention turned from Christ to someone who claims to be Christ. Christ warned them not to let anyone come between them and Christ, to keep their focus on him. Mankind is the tool of the devil, something he uses to influence us. Take heed as you interact with others that no one turn you aside from Christ. The acceptance of others is not nearly so important as the acceptance of Christ.
1 John 3:7-10
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
John apparently encountered some things that are still around today. People would tell you that theyre righteous and then say that the do things that arent righteous. Humanity, in their other versions of the Bible, seems to want to be rid of these verses. John didnt want the people to think that they could do wrong and it be all right. This is a deception. You cant hold on to both God and the world. You cant be righteous and still sin. Dont let people tell you that you can do wrong and still be right.
1 Corinthians 3:18-23
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
Watching for others isnt the only deception you need to guard against. Let no man deceive himself. When others deceive you, theyll work on something in you. Recognize that you still need God, no matter how wise you feel. God can give us what we need. Were totally dependent on God. Dont glory in men. If someone brings the truth, it doesnt matter who said it. When you hear a truth, it doesnt need quotation marks. God gave it for you just as much as for the one that said it. Give God praise that you have access to truth. There are no great preachers; God gives them what they have. Dont glory in men. Many times when people glory in men, those men will fall. God gives truth for you. Its yours because God has provided it to you. Watch how others influence you and see what is working in you that might cause you to go in a way that isnt right.
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Dont let anyone trick you out of your reward. Humility is not a show or a put-on. People can act pious and humble and still be proud inside. A truly humble person can receive people on their level. Humility is just being one of the folks and trusting in God. It is a recognition of the need of Gods help. This voluntary humility is used to get things. Pastors dont belong on a pedestal. You can be tricked out of your reward if you are being told just do what the preacher says. A true man of God will focus your attention on God, not on the minister. There are some in the world, though, that would focus your attention on men. If any mand would have you do something that puts you at odds with God, then youre in trouble.
Colossians 2:4, 8
And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
It does no more good to puff the people up than it does to puff up the minister. This isnt an effort to make you feel good, but its an effort to show you the truth. Philosophy and traditions are things that arent after Christ, but that are after something else. Some traditions need to be let go of. Dont let any man let you feel like you can mix traditions with Christ. If the tradition would come between you and Christ, you need to let the tradition go. The devil would take these things and lead people off. God must come before all other things. Dont let any man trick you out of your reward.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Theres a crown laid up for every man. Some have their crown taken away because they never seek. Some men lose their crown because other men talked them out of it. As Paul face martyrdom, he knew that he had fought the fight and kept the faith. He wouldnt let go of his crown. Because you have kept what God gave you, hell keep you. Every person has temptation, but God can keep you from it. Hold fast what you have and dont sell it. Dont let it go. There may be trials, but hold on. What men offer is a pretty cheap price for a crown. Whatever comes, hold fast to your crown. The devil will use the influences in your life to cheat you out of what God has provided for you. Whatever fronts the devil brings the battle from, resist him. Stay connected to Christ above everything else.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Theres a warning to watch for what the devil would work through men, but we dont need to fear. If we walk close to God, he is our helper and is on our side. Do what the Lord says. We dont need to be afraid. If we keep our hand in Gods hand, we can have God with us, no matter what men do. Depend on God. Men can help us, but remember that the devil also uses them as his tool sometimes. If we keep God as our helper, we dont have to worry about or fear temptations. We can be more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. This is where our lives become a testimony and a witness. When you can stand in temptation, you are a witness for Christ. Hes more than the world has to offer. Hold fast to what you have.