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Have you been deceived by The World?

We are commanded to test and discern what is pleasing to the lord and to guard our hearts and minds.  How do we do this? Its actually very simple.  The Word of God is our standard and the Holy Spirit is our councilor and teacher through scripture.  The Word of God is alive and active because the Holy Spirit works through it.  All we do is compare explicit teachings in scripture and correct applications of the character of God to the things in the world and just like a light in the darkness, things are revealed. 

When was the last time you did this with how you think about everything in your life?  How do you know you haven't been deceived by things of this world?  You maybe be supporting and encouraging the very things that is unpleasing to the Lord.  Is that what you want to do, be an advocate for what God hates?

With these simple questions, you can test whether or not you have been deceived by The World.
1.  God's Word is absolute authority; not your feelings or emotions. 

Is this statement true for you?  Whether it is or is not true for you, it is a true statement period.  No matter how you feel, God is right.  No matter what you think, God's word is right.  The only question is; do you Love and Know God well enough to accept this truth?

If God's Word is not absolute authority in your mind and heart; than bam, right there, worldly deception has been revealed to you and exposed.  Because it is.  It is God's own word and carries with it the authority of the creator of the universe.  The amount of proof of the reliability of scripture is compelling and all you have to do is research it for your self.  Sadly a lot of Christians will believe what they are told about scripture instead of researching scripture for themselves.  This is where deception creeps in and corrupts. 

The field that combats this type of deception and corruption is called Apologetics.  History, Archeology, and Philosophy provide a vast amount of proof for The Bible as coming from God himself.  All you have to do is sift through the lies and manipulation to discover the truth of scripture.

If you accept The Bible as holy scripture and God's Word than the next task is to see what God has to say about things in the world and determine if you agree or disagree.

2.  Explicit Tests

When God says something is wrong, do you agree?  its that simple.  If you disagree with something that is explicit in scripture than bam, right there, deception has been exposed.  By disagreeing with God and attempting to justify ways around it reveals that your mind and heart has bought into a lie and you have been deceived.

A)  God tells those who love him NOT to get drunk.  How does that make you feel?  Do you agree?  Do you support and encourage others to get drunk? 

B)  God tells those who love him to stay away from any kind of sexual activity of the body or mind out side of a godly marriage because it is offensive to him.  How does that make you feel?  Are you mad or upset because God says its offensive?  Why are you mad or upset?  Is God wrong?

To be more explicit; do you disagree with anything listed below?
"We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers,[a] liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching"  1 Timothy 1:9-10

"But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!"  2 Timothy 3:1-5

"Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality,[a] 10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom."  1 Corinthians 6:9-10 
Do you have a problem with anything said above?  Conviction is a good thing, but denial is calling God a liar.  The issue is not if you have done or do the things listed above; the issue is whether or not you agree that these are wrong.  Agreement, is calling God right and his decrees true.  Denial is calling God wrong.  And wiggling around to justify the explicit is denial as well.
3.  Self Sacrifice and Grace
How much of your time, money, and stuff do you sacrifice for the purpose of glorifying God?  There is no greater love than self sacrifice (John 15:13).  And there is no other way to know God than to deny yourself (Luke 9:23).  But this world tells us to do things for our selves and to love our selves before 'loving' anyone else.  Tom's shoes offer "One for one".  You get something in return for giving.  God says to give everything and require nothing in return.  Grace.  Unworthy favor at the cost of everything.  God gave his Son- his everything, and then has to be the one to sustain and grow our faith in his son because we can not offer anything worthy enough in return.  Is this how you feel we should treat each other?

Do you sacrificially love people who hate you and who are out right enemies toward you?  Do you feel like you should be? 
4.  Ultimately Forgiving
Is there a limit to your forgiveness of other people?  Can someone do something so bad that you can never forgive them for it?  If you agree there is a limit, you have been deceived.  Matt 18:15; Eph 4:32.  Christ is ultimately forgiving to those who Love and Know him; therefore, they are expected to do the same to one another.

All these questions help expose the dark areas in our heart and mind that the world as got a hold of.  When we compare our thoughts and feelings to scripture; the Holy Spirit will work in our hearts and reveal to us were we have been deceived.  From there we can either continue to love the darkness and deny God or we can own up to our darkness and beg God to change our hearts and transform our minds to Love and Know him more.

Also read "The World" According To God and How "Love is Love" is Unloving. to really grasp in other ways how people can be deceived by things of this world.

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