Life is filled with warning signs like, Bridge Out Ahead . . . Poison . . . Do Not Operate Machinery After Taking This Medication . . . Rip Currents . . . Soft Shoulders . . . Road Narrows . . . Do Not Pass . . . Detour . . . Travel Advisory . . . etc. We are wise to heed them. Have you ever considered the four places God placed a “Be Not Deceived” warning sign in the New Testament?
Jesus warned, “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name…” (Luke 21:8). It is ironic that this warning about false teachers was given to four disciples whom we think could never be deceived—Peter, Andrew, James and John. Now, if those men who had traveled with Him for three-and-a-half years could be deceived, shouldn’t we “Consider Yourself Warned”?
The second time the expression is found in the New Testament is in 1 Corinthians 6:9. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” In an age of increasing immorality, America should heed this warning sign from God. “Consider Yourself Warned.”
In this same letter, Paul gives the “Be Not Deceived” warning the third time. “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Cor. 15:33). We often give this warning about how evil companions corrupt good morals to young people, but older ones need to heed it just as much. If you think that your ungodly friends could never pull you down, you have already been deceived! “Consider Yourself Warned.”
The fourth time the expression is found is in Galatians 6:7-8. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Every person is either sowing to the Spirit or he is sowing to the flesh. Your life is either focused on this world and all of its deceptive appeal, or it’s focused on your spiritual side. If you think you can live in both of these worlds at the same time, you have already ignored the heavenly danger sign.
Wise individuals read and heed warning signs. Wiser individuals read and heed heavenly ones. Are you wise?