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Evil Diversions

1 John 3:7-8
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (NIVUK)

False teachers lead people astray; but where do the errors come from in the first place? Certainly there are plenty of power seekers, manipulators and egotists who want to make a name for themselves and attract a following. They will offer a new way, with the lure of a better life which matches what our sinful nature longs for (James 1:14-15). Their motive may appear to be fleshly or worldly, but they probably do not know that they are serving an evil master and contradicting the Word of God.

Satan's way of life is to defy God, rebel against His love and break His laws. His motive, to take the place of God and crush all who love Him, is undiminished since the beginning of time. He usually does his evil work through people who believe his lies (John 8:44). So, to accept the false teachers, and believe what they say, is to collaborate with God's enemy.

Because Christ came to destroy Satan's work, it should be unthinkable for Christians to live an unrighteous life, or encourage others to do so. One day God's demolition of evil will be complete, when Satan and his agents will have no more liberty to lead people into rebellion. But until then Christians have the responsibility to work with Christ and not against Him. Righteous living validates the gospel and demonstrates that the believers are following Christ: it is both worship and witness.

The desire and ability to live righteously comes from the Righteous One. Hebrews 10:33-39 puts it like this, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, ‘In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.’ And, ‘But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.’ But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” So, do not give up, shrink back, or in any way stop following Jesus. Do not be diverted by the lies of Satan or his agents. Do not allow false teachers to have any place in the church and do not stop practising righteousnes, for Christ’s sake.

Righteous God. Thank You for always being in control and never being caught out by Satan. Forgive me for the times I have allowed myself to be led astray, and bring me back to trust in Your loving purposes for my life. Please help me to identify false teachers and protect me and those I love from accepting or believing their deceits. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams