In several places, the Bible complains that God’s people tend to be ignorant of God’s word, unstable in their faith, and lukewarm in their devotion. Let us look at some of those places, and use them as a mirror of our souls. Do we see a reflection of ourselves? Are we, who profess to be followers of Christ, really his disciples, or are we really among Satan’s followers?
"These people draw near with their words, and honour me with their lips, but they remove their heart far from me. Their reverence for me is tradition learned by rote".
Many folk honour God with their lips, and follow a human tradition of religion, yet their hearts are far from God. God seeks people who will worship him in heart and truth (John 4:23-24). What about you?
"Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not let me!" (Jesus)
When God sends someone among a people to teach them his word, the people often do not give the messenger of God a warm welcome, but ignore, reject, persecute, even kill him. Instead they gather to themselves teachers who will tickle their ears (2Timothy 4:3-4). What about you?
"One is coming in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception and wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive a love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a strong delusion so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in evil".
People tend to forget that great apostasy was foretold, and that among God’s people antichrist and deception has arisen (1John 2:18-22, 2John 1:7-8). God wants people to "receive a love of the truth" so that they will not be deluded into believing the lie. What about you?
"...You have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you even the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For every one whose food is milk, is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil".
Many people are hampered by illiteracy in the word of God. They are unfamiliar with the word because they are not developing through daily use. God wants us to delight in his law and meditate in it day and night (Psalms 1:2). If we don't, then we will always be babes on spiritual milk, unable to partake of the solid spiritual food by which we grow strong and mature. What about you?
"Prove yourselves to be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, for when he has looked at himself he goes away and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but rather an effective doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does".
Often the people who come to hear God’s word make little effort to remember it and to do what it says. They are forgetful hearers. God wants us to wake up and to remember and keep his word (Revelation 3:2-3). What about you?
In this lesson we looked at a mere handful of the many Bible passages that show that just imagining or just pretending that we are with God is not enough. Many followers of Satan think they are followers of God, because he so deceives them. We have to be sure that we are not among Satan’s followers. We do that by loving the truth and making the scriptures a mirror and light of our soul every day.