“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)
My husband has recently rekindled a hobby from his younger days. He’s an Internet Technology man by trade, and spends several hours a day keeping the computers in six different schools up and running. In his after school hours, he maintains the lawns, flowers, and bushes that surround our home, and sees to any needs that crop up with our neighbors as well. He’s an amazing guy, and is never idle. That is why I am so pleased that he has found this relaxing interest to pursue. It started with his perusal of a few coin folders that his mom had started for him when he was a child. The initial goal was to find the coins needed to complete them. Once the coin folders were filled, he decided to continue with his venture in “coinology.” (I know, that’s not the term – it’s just the term I “coined” for it.) Boxes of rolled pennies are purchased from the bank on a regular basis and searched through, for ”treasures.” Then they are swapped out for different boxes. There are now evenings when we find ourselves monitoring ebay auctions for specific pennies. I have to admit it. I enjoy his involvement in this pastime. Is he in it hoping to achieve some financial gain or windfall? NOT! It’s just fun, and interesting. There’s a lot of history to be discovered in these old coins. This weekend he took one step deeper into the coinology world, with the purchase of a powerful metal detector! Yes!!! I am so looking forward to taking little trips with him to hunt for buried treasure. . .
As with anything this world has to offer, there are things we must keep an eye out for. Just when you think you might have found a ”keeper,” that rare coin that you’d been looking for, the “too good to be true” find . . . You find that it is. Too good to be true, that is. The truth is, there are many fake coins out there that, to you or I, would look great. How is a person to tell the difference? There are a few ways, but the best way is to really know what the “real” thing looks like. There are diagnostic manuals available to help with this. Then when the fake comes along, you will know something’s not right.
It’s like that in our walks with the Lord, too, isn’t it? There is such a “smorgasbord” of teachings out there today, all staking claim to “the truth.” They offer a variety of teachings and doctrines , from the need to deny self and follow Christ, to the declaration that, “It doesn’t matter what road you take. They all lead to heaven.”. How do I know what’s truth? By knowing what the real thing looks like. We have a diagnostic manual in the Word of God. There are many religions, but only one gospel. Get into the Word and study God! Get to know Him and the gospel. Learn what the “real thing” looks like.
I’ve read that some collectors create a “black cabinet” (also called a black museum) of counterfeit coins for educational purposes, as a help in counterfeit detection and as an example of the “black art” of counterfeiting. There’s a lot of theological teaching today that needs to be shut up in the black cabinet of counterfeits. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
If we want to know the truth, we need to follow the example of the Bereans. ”As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Berean Jews 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. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. “ (Acts 17:10-12)
“From the liberality which says everybody is right, from the charity which forbids us to say anybody is wrong, from the peace which is bought at the expense of truth – may the good Lord deliver us!” (J.C. Ryle)
That’s the view from here . . . .