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Be on the Alert

Our oldest daughter has a close college friend that lives in Israel. One day while sitting in a restaurant in Virginia together she said to my daughter, "one of the things that I can't get over here in America is that everyone seems so unaware of their surroundings. In Israel, we are always in a state of high alert to everything taking place around us." Her comments made an impact on all of us. We don't tend to think about all of the potential dangers around us with the intensity of those who live under constant threat. I think we've all become far too complacent. As Paul wraps up his memorable meeting with the Ephesian leaders his tone becomes very serious as he warns these men of a dangerous threat. In contrast to his (Paul's) conduct, there are those who will rise up like fierce wolves. They will come into the church, not only from the outside but also from within. They will seek to gain a following by corrupting the truth and pushing their own agenda. Paul adds the important detail that these false teachers do not look threatening, they aren't heretics who rail against Christianity. They're not telling you to sin and worship Satan, they have the appearance of sheep. They may say a lot of things that seem pretty good like, "God won't really send good people to Hell. Don't listen to those doom and gloom people, it will all be okay in the end..." At the heart of their deceptive words is Satan himself, trying to pull people away from the truth and cause doubt. He does not want to see people come to a saving knowledge of Christ, and he certainly does not want to see believers finish the course of their life well. Therefore, Paul says, "Be on the alert!" Be in a state of constant vigilance. Almost anyone can put on a good act, but no one can hide forever. Someone’s true character eventually comes out in their actions which is why it's important to pay close attention. Remember, outwardly they look like sheep so examine what people say, and what they don't say. Make sure that your standard is always the inerrant Word of God. Press On, Pastor Brian Richard

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