*Bonus entry* Following “The Light”

From time to time, we hear someone describe their personal spiritual journey. Often they mention something about finally “seeing the light” as they determine exactly what their worldview entails. We may hear how they found the path they should go “illuminated” and clear as they studied, meditated, etc. While each person’s life is different, and each one comes to their own conclusions, there in fact must be some sort of absolute that dictates what they believe. Unfortunately, not all roads lead to the Truth. – Opposing viewpoints cannot possibly both be true. For those who say they believe there can be no absolute truth, I find it interesting that they believe that particular worldview to be absolutely true!

Unfortunately, sometimes the “light” that a person is following may be, in fact, a dangerous ploy that deceives them into viewing that which is evil and blasphemous as truth. Satan himself is often confused as the light of this world, an “angel of light”: “For such people are false apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) If evil always looked dark and scary, not near so many people would become ensnared by evil! Getting the work of God and the work of Satan confused and intertwined is incredibly dangerous, because a little Truth mixed in with a lot of falsehood creates a very twisted and corrupt worldview.

Many people who think they won’t succumb to a lie are fooled easily by the crafty deceptions of Satan that look a whole lot like something positive, something good. Be wary of those who claim to have “seen the light” of some “new truth.” “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, as you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain?” (Galatians 3:1-4) Even if some sort of “new truth” comes from what looks to be a positive source, we must fact-check it against the Bible itself. “And the people of Berea were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11)

Be wary not to be a spreader of false doctrines. The judgment against such is not pretty! “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:8) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18)

The righteous who truly follow the teachings of God’s Word are promised eternal rewards, but the wicked, who are blown about by false doctrines, are promised punishment. “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked…but whose delight is in the law of the LORD…that persons like a tree planted by streams of water…whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” (Psalm 1:1-5)

We must watch and ray that we don’t fall into the temptations of spiritual arrogance or listen to things that promise prosperity, but are actually a part of the works of darkness. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Take caution, when confronting another believer, not to fall into the same sin yourself. “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1) Stay on your guard, as you continue on your personal spiritual journey, to remain close to the Lord and not to be swayed by false teachings that masquerade as apparent truth. Be careful which light you are following.

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