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How do we recognize and save ourselves from deceptive teachings?

How do we recognize and save ourselves from deceptive teachings?
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How do we recognize and save ourselves from deceptive teachings these days—like hyper-grace, prosperity gospel, immorality? I ask these questions to edify my fellow believers.

Well, you need to edify yourself as well. Don't think that you are beyond deception. Any of us can be deceived if we are proud and think we only need to help others. We'll be the first people deceived.

It says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11, there are certain people who "do not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved." And to such people, "God sends on them a deluding influence [something to deceive them] so that they believe what is false." Can you imagine there's such a verse in the Bible, that God allows a person to believe what is false? Because of two reasons, mentioned in verse 10.

One, he's not honest. He does not love the truth. He reads the Bible and he's sees that what is written there is completely against what he's heard in his church all his life, but he sticks to his church to please his pastor or please church members and he ignores what's written in the Bible. Such a person is a candidate for outright deception by the devil. God allows it.

Also, he doesn't love the truth about himself. For example, God shows him something—he listens to something in a message. God speaks to him in his conscience and he doesn't listen to it, he doesn't accept the truth about himself. He's a prime candidate for deception. When you don't listen to your conscience, you'll easily be deceived in some other area.

The second reason is, this person doesn't want to be saved from sin. If you're not eager to be saved from all sin, you will be deceived. So, to avoid deception—all these false teachings—two things: love the truth in God's word and about yourself, and secondly, be eager to be saved from all sin. You'll never be deceived.

Answered by Zac Poonen