A very important passage of the Bible that often confuses readers is “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and his disciples came up to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’ Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?’
“And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many.’” (Matthew 24:1-5, NKJV).
The center of religion, the priesthood and the law was found in that temple, and the idea that it would be destroyed was deeply disturbing to the disciples. When they asked ‘What’ and ‘When’ and ‘How,’ Jesus’ response had nothing to do with the temple or the specifics of what was coming.
In our vernacular, Jesus said, “Look, first and foremost, you guys have to pay attention and prepare because such deception is going to come that many — many — who call on the name of Christ, many who are found in our religious centers, many who fill our churches will not listen nor be prepared, and they will be deceived.”
Most deception starts with things that are said in contradiction to the Word of God.
Many will come and say, “Follow me. I’m a pastor or prophet of God. I have the answers!” What they say will not line up with scripture, but many of us will not heed what Christ said.
When deception is dealt with elsewhere in the New Testament, it’s dealt with in the church and regarding doctrine. It doesn’t take much for us to picture modern times when people have said things that led a multitude astray. The real question is “Why?” The answer is that people were not listening to Christ.
How do we hear from God? Do we need to run to the mountains or attend a conference? My friends, God has already given us his Word. It’s the scriptures. We need to be men and women who don’t just read the Bible, but we ought to study and meditate on it. We don’t live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.