It is extremely important that we remember the first thing Jesus said in relation to the coming "end times" in Matthew 24:4:
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you."
Obviously the most important thing when it comes to attempting to know where we are at in the scheme of things is to TAKE HEED that no one deceive you. Jesus could have said many things to introduce this subject, but what He did say is of vital importance to each of us. The only way to keep from being deceived is to TAKE HEED.
The term TAKE HEED is the Greek word prosecho which is made up of two common words pros and echo. From the *Greek lexicon, the word is defined as:
to bring to, bring near
a. to bring a ship to land, and simply to touch at, put in
to turn the mind to, attend to be attentive
a. to a person or a thing: of caring for, providing for
to attend to one's self, i.e. to give heed to one's self
a. give attention to, take heed
to apply one's self to, attach one's self to, hold or cleave to a person or a thing
a. to be given or addicted to
b. to devote thought and effort to
Very simply put, we are to turn our mind to, attend ourselves to and apply ourselves to a person or a thing. It is very interesting that the same word is used of an addiction. If we are addicted to the Lord Jesus Christ and focus our mind and attention on Him; we are not going to be deceived.
We all know what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. First Eve took her eyes off of God and His Word and paid attention to the words of the serpent and then Adam did the exact same thing in listening to the words of Eve. In both cases, the only reason they were able to be deceived is because they turned their mind's attention away from God's Word to the appealing and sensual words of the enemy.
How does a person who never has taken illegal drugs within a short amount of time turn into an addict? Obviously someone has to introduce a person to these drugs. This person lures the na've suspect into believing that the drugs won't hurt them. They are led to believe they will never become addicted. They listen, they consider and they believe; and then in time they become addicted.
There is so much junk floating around when it comes to any discussion of the end times. Equally well educated Christian scholars vehemently disagree on just about every aspect of when or if the Lord is coming back. Thus, it is very hard for a believer to know what to believe and whether what they believe is right. The confusion surrounding this subject is, in itself, one of the great tricks of the enemy as he lures people away from the simplicity of the truth into his realm of confusion and complexity.
Something as awesome as the second coming of Christ CANNOT be so complex, contradictory and hopeless scrambled that no one can figure out what is right. A subject so important MUST be simple to understand if we will TAKE HEED to Christ and not allow ourselves to be deceived. At every turn, within the Christian faith, there are those who seek to destroy the very concept of Christ's second coming and in so doing tear down the blessed hope God has given to us.
Just as there are multitudes of "Christians" who do not believe God raised Jesus from the dead, so there are multitudes who refuse to believe Christ is ever coming back to establish His Kingdom on earth. Because of this, it is vitally important for us to TAKE HEED, turn our attention to and become addicted to our Lord Jesus and Him only. Perhaps there is no other subject where is it so essential that we look to and trust Jesus Himself than when it comes to the "end times".
As a teacher, I cannot tell you the number of times I have had students find themselves in trouble simply because they were not paying attention. They were so busy focusing on what their neighbor was doing, playing with something, daydreaming about something, allowing themselves to be distracted by something that they didn't hear a word I said. Then, they don't know what they're supposed to be doing and/or they don't know how to do it.
Then there are those who keep their eyes on me. Their neighbor might be trying to whisper to them but they don't whisper back. They look at me intently. They ask questions if they don't understand. Why? Because they want to know what to do and how to do it.
May we fix our attention on Him and take heed!
Interesting, and needed, B2Y. Many claim to be of Jesus Christ, and yet use the teachings of later people to replace the scripture that He gave us. Personally I would greatly urge folks to check out the source of their beliefs and teachings. Do they hold them to have even more authority in their teaching, than the scripture? These folks are plentiful, and definitely out there, claiming enough of Jesus Christ, to deceive many. Much of what Jesus Christ personally taught, while with us on earth, they teach and believe differently. As never before, we do need to take heed. It will be getting worse. Appreciate you sharing, on this very important subject. God Bless.
Dear B2Y--I am surprised that you haven't received some negative comments for saying that Jesus should be an addiction. I fully subscribe to that notion. I also believe that there are definite withdrawal symptoms when we break fellowship with Him. The choice is simple. Return to our holy addiction or struggle through life trying to fill the Jesus-shaped hole with other people, places and things. Been there. Done that. Sorry to say. Excellent blog, my friend. Your loving brother in Christ--Ron
Not all I can say but one thing I must say is Thank you.
Most I'll say here is many argue over the ending when they don't know the beginning and never mind about the middle.
Addiction - what better one to have than the constant infusion of walking in the Spirit step by step.
Yes! as His sheep we must listen to His Voice and not other's.. to the end.
The truth is simple straight from above.. and easy to believe in simple god-given faith.
The truth need not be corrupted and explained by another human just as sinful as we are.
Thanks B2Y for the sound alert.
Thank you B2Y - one of my favorite scripture verses, Paul says: "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the Serpent's cunning, your minds may be somehow led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." 2 Cor. 11:3 Blessings to you!
Good blog and important points on focusing on Jesus. However, I think the focus of "take heed" is not so much focused on "end times" events. Jesus connects the sentence calling his disciples to "take heed" with the word gar (translated most often "for" ) which indicates causation. The reason a person is to take heed is because many will come saying, "I am the Christ." So while various end times views can be confusing, this is not the warning here that should deserve our attention. The attention should be given so that no one is led astray by false Messiah's. Jesus is in essence saying, "When I return you will know it." Therefore, we should not allow the wars and rumors of wars to cause us to go running to every self-proclaimed Savior. It seems so many are so eager to do that during difficult times, but we should be watchful and not follow after such people.