I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18 ESV)
A few months ago, I saw a video on Facebook and shared the link with my husband, (he canceled his own Facebook page as he never bothered to check it. Besides, the only people who seemed to contact him were countless old flames). But I digress.
The video featured a signature brand ‘ice cream’ sandwich from a popular big box store that was left outside on a hot summer day . . . and never melted. Never. Ever. Its shape did not change and the only indication of change was a minuscule pool of cloudy water that appeared on the plate. It was disturbing.
So disturbing in fact, that my husband now buys a box for each semester and brings a sample to demonstrate the lack of ethics and integrity to university students in his business classes. (As the box is stored in our freezer, we have to remind our girls not to dare eat them!)
It’s actually interesting as he makes a comment at the start of class that he will offer the sandwich to someone and a few become interested at the prospect. The only caveat is they have to wait until the end of class. A tad confused, they wait. By the end of the three hour lecture, when the sandwich is still intact without any ‘ice cream’ having melted, nobody wants to consume it. They now can see it for what it truly is – or is not.
The Lord warned us that within the body of Christ, there also would be those who appear to be filled with the Holy Spirit but in fact instead are full of smooth talk and flattery that would deceive the hearts of the naïve. Oh how tempting! We need to be discerning and not consume teaching that will not prove to be true when tested.
Father, we thank You that You gave us warnings in Your Word to protect us from false teachers and those who choose to be deceitful. Help us to immerse ourselves in Your Truth daily so we can recognize the counterfeits among us. Amen.
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