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Monday, February 04 2019

Deception is everywhere. Debates continue over what is fake news. Few know how to verify if a report is true. Perceptions of reality are most often self-centered. People choose “their truth” that best fits oneself. Most would rather listen to their circle of experts.

            Everyone knows what is like to be deceived. No one likes it and no one wants to admit it when it happens to oneself. Paul warned, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph 5:6 ESV).

            John’s Revelation warns of the deception of the Roman media — the cult that worshiped the emperor. The imperial cult influenced people to worship rulers as gods. Likewise, today’s media encourages worship of the government, public figures, and libertine lifestyles. In Revelation 13, the false prophet performed great signs convincing people to worship the Beast that was wounded and yet lived (13:13–15). Furthermore, Revelation’s false prophet made it so that one could only buy or sell if they had the name or number 666 of the Beast (13:16–18). In the early second century AD, a Roman governor, Pliny the Younger, wrote to Emperor Trajan confirming that he executed anyone especially Christians who did not worship the Emperor and the Roman pantheon of gods. Furthermore, two imperial persecutions in the third century included the need for certificates of worshiping the emperor to trade (IVPBBC).

            Today, companies join in with “social justice” for sexual freedom opposing the Christian faith. How much are Christians willing to keep supporting businesses that mock faith in Jesus Christ? Discrimination is not too far away when businesses declare their allegiance in giving a portion of revenue in opposition to the Christian faith and demand their employees ally with evil contrary to Christian values.

            An angel of the Lord warned in Revelation 14:9–11 against anyone worshiping the Beast and receiving its marks on one’s body. Those who receive the mark will receive the full strength of God’s wrath and be tormented with fire day and night. Afterward, John wrote, “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Rev 14:12). Despite the world’s hatred, Christians can respond with love and continue to thank God. “Bless are the dead that die in the Lord from now on. […] Blessed indeed that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Rev 14:13)

Posted by: Scott J Shifferd AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email