Google+ 10/25/12 Don't be Deceived!

1 Corinthians 15: 33-34


Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”  Awake to righteousness, and do not sin;

for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 


While I was reading this scripture today, God spoke to me about something that is so obvious, but so true.  This passage of scripture is being spoken to a church!  This is not being told to worldly folks, but people who profess Jesus Christ as their Savior.  In that light, we should talk.  "Do not be deceived".  Wow, why would Paul need to say this to a bunch of Christians in Corinth?  Don't they all believe in God?  Doesn't Acts say that the local New Testament church should be of one mind?  "Evil company corrupts good habits".  Evil company in the church?  Could it be?  "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin".  I understand the do not sin part, but why would we need to "awake to righteousness"?  "For some do not have the knowledge of God.  I speak this to your shame".  Well, Paul got to the heart of the matter in the last statement.  Paul tells church members to not be deceived by evil that corrupts our good habits.  Paul says some do not have the knowledge of God.  Not that Paul needs my approval, but he is right!  Do you remember the story of the Emperor that had no clothes on?  Of course you do.  We all read it in school.  Not only did the masses agree that he had clothes when he didn't, but they described how beautiful they were.  Everyone wished to avoid conflict which was the truth.  No one was willing to admit that he was naked!  Then, along came a boy who pointed out there were no clothes.  It took a child to tell the truth.  Maybe this is why Jesus insists that the disciples let the "little children" come to him.  In all of my ministry experience, I find that since churches are full of sinners (we all are, you know), often the truth is not spoken or dealt with as it should be.  We wish to avoid conflict.  We are preoccupied with things that simply are not important.  To put it another way which the Bible does, we have lost our first love.  Todays challenge and reflection time is simple;  Are you being deceived?  How would you know?  Use the scripture to approve everything said by everyone. Does your church leadership stand on Biblical truth and put Jesus Christ and his gospel message first in everything they do?  Are you forced to lie about anything in your family of God in order to "keep the peace"?      The Bible tells us to speak the truth in love, but SPEAK THE TRUTH.  Fence sitting and "can't we all just get along" is simply not Biblical.  Always remember that "Evil Company corrupts good habits".  So no matter how good one tries to be, in the face of repeated evil (the emperor with no clothes) our good habits can fail.  So stay away from evil, commune with those who know the emperor is naked and are willing to say so, but most of all, Don't be Deceived!