Deception is the key, the illusion of the truth, the immediate taught as the important, the perception of a thing is more important than the thing itself, but the totality of it must never be shown, for the truth would then be known, and deception cannot hide in truth. “Hath not God said” (Gen. 3:1) were the first recorded words we know of in the Scriptures that led our first parents astray, but the first thoughts of deception were begun in the mind of Lucifer, a self-deception that tried to find a place outside of God and His will.
Nearly every human being on this planet performs the ritual of self-deception each day, we convince ourselves of a lie instead of facing the truth, not only about ourselves but of those around us also. Usually these thoughts are entertained because of the views of individuals, or pressures of the world around us, we want so much to fit into the society in which we live, acceptance is sought after above even our own knowledge of the truths about ourselves. We will modify our appearance, our lifestyle, even our thought processes so that we will not be left out of the world as it moves along its path. Surveys inform us of the general characteristics of the flow of humanity, the information society tells us how we should act and what we should purchase if we want to not be ostracized, and the social media outlets let us know what is and what is not socially acceptable, but stay tuned, it may change tomorrow. Passions once frowned upon are now nearly completely acceptable, self is the dominant factor in the areas of personal engagement, and pleasure is to be sought above all else. Sacrifice and patience are foreign words, now is the acceptable time for what we desire, rewards should be immediate, and the motives behind them never questioned, intolerance of any form of self-gratification is not to be tolerated. And this is just in the world of the lost my friends.
Nearly any animal can be taught to respond in a certain way by applying either a negative or positive action upon them, and man is no different. Pleasurable things are to be sought after, negative ones are to be shunned at all cost, in other words, if it makes you feel good, do it, if not, avoid it. The receptors in the human brain are almost always easily manipulated, if one cannot be coerced by pleasure, a positive process, then pain nearly always works, and not just physical pain, but emotional, and many times the latter can be much more productive, ask just about any child on the playground in any schoolyard. All must either be deceived into believing that they are better than they truly are or made to think that their value is less than what they believe it to be, there can be no middle ground. Pride or despondency. Despair can be lifted, but not too high and never continuously, hopelessness in one’s situation ensures that dependency will follow, and followers are what those with pride need, in fact without them, pride can find little to feed upon. The perception of pride though is an illusion within itself, it can last no longer than a man’s life, and as that man’s life begins to draw to a close, bitterness and anger begin to grow, more accomplishment and greater deeds must be done, his mark must be left upon a world that will eventually forget him.
Do not think these attributes are lost upon those who enter a building with a cross on it and a bell at the top of it each weekend, they are just as prevalent inside as outside today. The illusion of worship resounds within its walls, the traditions are ingrained inside of those who attend, the play is acted out each weekend and all the players know their parts intimately. Repeat these words, sing the songs, listen to the message, feel good about yourself, repeat next weekend. It is a charade, and that suits almost all inside just fine, for it is the perception of a thing that matters, not the thing itself. Serving Christ is a thing called church, and the only ones that need to be impressed are those in attendance, those who know the perceived attributes that are expected as well as the one in the pew next to them. These places that I dare not call a church are filled with deceivers, not only to those around them, but to themselves, the perception of Christianity is all that matters, not the truth of it.
Those who are suffering are seen as ones who more than likely have some hidden sin that they have not confessed, the ones that miss a service or two are seen as disobedient, and those who leave these dead churches are known as ones who were more than likely not saved in the first place. The routine must be adhered to, the congregation must be pacified, those in authority are always to be lifted as holier than all others, with the one behind the podium recognized as the ultimate authority. Those who diligently study the Word and offer reproofs and correction in love are to be dismissed as contentious, they are visitors whose only reason for attending is to disrupt what all in the fellowship know the gathering to be, one of holy reverence, when in truth it is self-determined fornication of the truths of the Word of God. Those inside these places of so-called worship are just as lost as those outside their doors, deception is the key, and in this area so many are so easily deceived. There is a false pretense of humility, the same as an actor on a movie screen, and when they walk out the doors after the final song, the world remains their master, and its call is heeded at every opportunity. Lives must be lived, deeds accomplished, Christ can wait until next weekend, self must be served first and foremost, let the game continue.
Not all of course my brothers and sisters in Christ, there are still some in these dead churches that are willing and obedient servants of Christ, and they know that the church is dead, but they hope. They hope and they pray and they continue to truly seek His will in their lives, there is not a certain day of the week set aside for service to the Lord, it is each and every day, every moment they are listening, studying, meditating on Christ, seeking His face, for He is life. Far too many believe that because they repeated some words, got themselves baptized, and show up almost every weekend that they will be welcomed into the Father’s Kingdom, far too many. Words are spoken from behind the podium that are meant to make them feel as if they are indeed children of God, platitudes, calming and assuring phrases meant to give security, but rarely if ever ones that would cause them to challenge their faith, to convict them to search within themselves and know for a fact that their faith is based in the Truths of the Scriptures. “Faith without works is dead,” (James 2:26) but the only work that seems to be required today is church attendance, very little else is necessary. Deception is the key, and the lock is oiled with perception.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7) Have you seen the seeds of Christ in your heart, do you know and serve Him as a master, is He Lord of your life or Lord of your Sunday morning. He knows, I hope you do.