“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8…………
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3……….
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Mt. 24:24………..
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” 1 Peter 2:1………….
I shouldn’t have been surprised. I had seen just about everything imaginable and unimaginable in about 3.5 months of being in New York City for my ministry work. Crack and heroin addicts, naked men painted parading down the street, men kissing men, men dressed as women, women holding hands with women, marijuana smoking in public everywhere, the blind, disabled, hurting, homeless, hungry, rich, a man on the sidewalk sporting an unfathomably big serpent, police chasing after people, a crime scene after multiple people were shot, people from countries everywhere, atheists, languages galore, people without clothes painted with flags, dogs with raincoats, criminals, kids roaming around too young to be wandering around without parents, worship of false gods, models, movies being made just about everywhere, reading of palms, angry, angry people, and on and on. Never a dull moment to say the least. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when the Lord in the middle of the night gave me a big jolting wake-up call about cults that come calling. More accurately, this.
The Spirit of God moved on my heart that I needed to do a little research about some people I had come across. I had spoken one day to one man, then another day to him and his friend. All safely in a public park with numerous people around. The men had Bibles, could quote scriptures, talked about the Lord and the enormous need we have to follow Christ. I couldn’t have been more delighted to talk to people about Jesus who already appeared to have a strong relationship with the Lord. Or I assumed they did anyway. I confess right from the start I felt a little wary. Something in my heart kept nagging at me. Little did I know the Holy Spirit was trying to get my attention. He was giving me discernment.
But I so wanted to talk to people about the Lord that I was willing to wave the nagging to the wayside and to press on in conversation. Not only did I have that nagging sensation, but they seemed decidedly uncomfortable around me as I talked passionately about the one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and about being born again and receiving the promise of everlasting life.
That night as I lay unable to sleep and began to do a little research was the night I realized how incredibly deceptively and dangerously cults come calling. For my research turned up the men appeared to be part of a cult that comes calling as though it is a warm, friendly, inviting, peaceful, wonderful, godly, pure, simple, kind, and holy group of Christ followers who live to love, serve, and glorify God in Christ.
And, if I who devote my life 24-7 to the Lord and ministry can come that close to falling prey to a cult that comes calling – particularly under the guise of something “Christian” – how vulnerable must be people who are hurting and hopeless, lost and seeking, lonely and needy, and who don’t know the Lord personally and study the Bible continually and may well have no discernment at all.
When the men had asked if I wanted their “sisters” to get in touch with me, something again didn’t feel right inside me. I love to meet people, but something seemed off. Nevertheless, I said they could pass along my contact info. I had started falling for the call. The call of the cult. But no cult, no false religion, no false teacher, no false prophet stands on its own. Behind it all is Satan who is ever seeking to destroy people’s lives.
In my case, the Spirit of God rescued me before I fell into the wrong hands. But what about the general public? What about even Christ followers who are not exceedingly careful and vigilant in following Jesus and studying God’s Word diligently and being in fellowship with other Christ followers for love, prayer, support, growth, and encouragement?
Friend, God in the Bible warns us over and again about false gods, false prophets, false teachers, and false religions. He also makes clear this will worsen over time. He tells us WE MUST BE SOBER. WE MUST BE VIGILANT. WE MUST BE CAREFUL.
This isn’t just a story about what could have happened to me when the cult came calling. Whether or not the men had a relationship with Christ and had been led astray into what appeared to be a cult was between them and the Lord. Whether or not it was even a cult in God’s eyes was up to the Lord clearly. But for all intents and purposes it seems I had run across a cult that had come calling. In plain English, Satan was beckoning as he licked his sickening deadly chops.
This is a message for all of us to be indescribably careful. The only perfect safety and protection is in the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s Word and His Spirit and with as the Lord sees fit the love, help, prayer, support, and discernment of His Body of followers.
May the Lord protect you, friend, and may you be steadfast in pursuing Christ and staying devotedly in His presence and in His Word always striving to be filled with and led by His Spirit for the glory of God almighty who will reign in Christ forever and ever, AMEN!