Self-deception is a major problem within the professing church today!
Even in godly, biblically sound congregations like South Creek Church, self-deception is a reality that is both dangerous and deadly.
Self-deception is when a person sincerely “thinks” they are saved, when in fact they are not.
Usually this false sense of security is the result of basing salvation on the wrong things, such as
a past decision
good things I have done
saying a prayer
embracing the teaching of a false teacher with a false gospel
This misplaced trust is really a subtle—and often unintentional—idolatrous substitute for saving trust and reliance upon Christ alone and what He has done for sinners on the cross in their place and in His resurrection.
To be saved, one must turn completely from self and look exclusively to Christ in repentant and reliant faith (Isaiah 45:22). This is why the Bible describes conversion as denying oneself and following Christ (Luke 9:23).
If you have never denied yourself, or if you are not following Christ—
however imperfectly that might be at times—
you are not a real Christian.
The Bible commands all people, especially professing Christians, to examine themselves to see if they truly and presently possess genuine saving faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
No one ever has to prove they are lost, but all of us must prove we are saved.
This is because not all faith is saving faith; some faith is nothing more than dead demonic faith (James 2:17-19). Even demons are mono-theistic, believe in Jesus, and know He is God, but they are not saved.
The Bible speaks about self-deception:
- Self-deception happens when people believe human wisdom or worldly philosophy more than the Bible (Colossians 2:8). This is part of the reason why I am so against psychology or the integration of the Bible with psychology. The Bible indicates it is totally sufficient for saving and sanctifying truth (John 17:17; Psa. 19:1-11; 2 Pet. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:15-17).
- Self-deception happens when people believe false teaching (Romans 16:18).
- Self-deception is evidenced by a denial of sin in general and/or a denial of sins in particular (1 John 1:5-10). It is the state of an individual who does not own up to the reality of his or her own sins.
- Self-deception is evidenced by an inability to control one’s tongue, since out of the heart the mouth speaks (James 1:26). Cursing, blasphemy, and lying are evidence of unbridled depravity (Romans 3:10-18).
- Self-deception is evidenced by incorrectly identifying the cause and consequences of sin (James 1:15-17). Self-deceived people often shift the blame for their sin to others or even God, just like Adam and Eve did.
- Self-deception is a characteristic of the unsaved, along with foolishness, disobedience to God, bondage to desires, enslavement to pleasure, resentment, unforgiveness, and hatred (Titus 3:3).
- Self-deception is accompanied by a prideful heart (Jer. 49:16; Obadiah 3; 1 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 6:3).
- Self-deception causes people to think they will get by with their sin, and things will turn out better if they sin (Gal. 6:7).
- Self-deception denies the influence and impact of sinful or inappropriate relationships (1 Cor. 15:33).
- Self-deception is a sign of misplaced trust (Job 15:31), such as trusting in your own mind, will, and emotions (Jer. 17:9; Prov. 3:5). Trusting in your own mind and emotions is foolish (Prov. 28:26).
- Self-deception is characterized by unloving, unrighteous, and unbiblical behaviors toward others in actions and/or attitudes (1 John 3:4-10).
- Self-deception results in people going to hell (1 Cor. 6:9).
Are you saved or self-deceived?
Are you truly converted?
Has there been a genuine transformation of your heart and nature?
I hope you will look at your own soul before God and examine yourself in the light of God’s Word. If you find yourself lacking, ask God for mercy and to show you your true spiritual condition, and to enable you to truly repent of your sin and believe the Gospel.
~ Pastor Jeff
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