The apostle Paul wrote three times in two letters warning brethren to “be not deceived.” “Deceived” means “to be led into error.” This article will quickly appraise three different ways in which we should not be deceived or led away.
Be Not Deceived About Condemning Effects of Evil
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul wrote, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Paul also gave us other lists of sins (Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-6; Colossians 3:5-6). Many times people believe that they can rationalize their sin, but sin ALWAYS condemns!
Be Not Deceived About the Effect and Influence of Error
Paul said, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The context of this statement in 1 Corinthians 15 is false teaching and false teaching “corrupts” us. Paul said that false teachers were really Satan in disguise (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Paul said that false teachers teach the “doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). False teachers reveal “damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1-2). Brethren must learn that we CANNOT play around with error. To do so will condemn us!
Be Not Deceived About the Results of Your Actions on Eternity
Galatians 6:7-9 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Proverbs 24:11-12 tells us that God will render to man “according to his works.” Paul made the same point in Romans 2:1-11 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. Not only can sin make your life miserable now, but it CERTAINLY will cause you to miss heaven and be punished!
There is no reason to be led astray. Be diligent, be courageous and have a great love of the Lord and you will not turn away from the faith. Some believe that error can be coddled, but that is a deception and a disaster!