The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demon. 1 Timothy 4:1 (NIV).
We are a divided world; the division goes far beyond just the United States. Muslims against everyone else. Rich against poor (or at least ‘not rich’). Protestants against Catholics. Conservatives against progressives. You get the picture. We line up against each other over imaginary lines of offense. Perhaps every generation thinks it has seen things ‘worse than they have ever been.’ I and others of my middle-aged generation seem to be saying that now.
Many of us line up and, in doing so, put our faith in things that aren’t Jesus (or aren’t of Jesus). It isn’t just new age religions (many of which are actually rooted in ancient pagan religions), and it isn’t just embracing sensuality, materialism, atheism, or even apathy. Many people just ignore the voice of Jesus’ Spirit talking to them. He speaks through our conscience, through our knowledge of right and wrong, through nature, through others, through the Bible. God has a myriad of ways that His Spirit can talk to us and convince us that He is talking. Yet many people turn off that voice, chill it and drown it out. Some people don’t even realize it’s Jesus’ Spirit talking to them or moving them in a direction. Many don’t even think to ask.
How can we tell if something is of Jesus or from Jesus or about Jesus? You know the answer. Compare it against what is said in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. And if you doubt that Jesus is who He said He is, then the first place to stop is your own heart. Open it and pray. Talk with God about exactly what you’re feeling, what you think, what you do or don’t believe. He can take it and you’re worthy.
Start by asking God. If you don’t feel or sense an answer from Him, go to the Bible. Find a concordance or go to Biblegateway.com. Any search engine can give you instant answers to most any question about Scripture you have. Finally, if your head is wondering, remember those links I shared yesterday: the first is about how Jesus fulfilled 300+ prophecies about the Messiah (http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html) and the second talks about the logical odds that Jesus is who He said He is based on those prophecies (http://www.goodnewsdispatch.org/math.html). His words are always true, even when we don’t know.
We may or may not be witnessing the ‘later times,’ but we are witnessing people abandoning faith for whatever scratches their itches. In the face of that, test what you believe against what Jesus said and did. If those things line up, it may just be Him talking with you.
For further reading: John 16:13, Acts 8:29, 1 Corinthians 2:10, 2 Peter 3:3, Mark 13:5, Timothy 4:2
Lord Jesus, I open my heart and ask Your Spirit to talk to me. I’m listening.