The Greatest End Time Command
There is one End Times instruction that Jesus gave that is almost always overlooked. No one ever talks about this when discussing End-Times events. I would almost guarantee that if you have ever looked into eschatology, you have heard countless theories about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Return of Christ. You likely have heard ideas of how current events tie into Biblical prophecy. You likely have heard theories about the Mark of the Beast and the nations making up the Antichrist’s government. There is one thing that Jesus clearly says about the End Times that trumps all of these discussions. Jesus gave His disciples a command, one of the most important commands for every single believer to obey in our current world.
Matthew 24:3-7 says, “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 them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Many read Matthew 24:1-31; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-28, the Synoptic accounts of the same passage, and focus on the signs. The most important part of all of these passages is not the signs of the times, but the command to not be deceived. In the ancient world, the writing style was often very different from the way that we write. The first thing mentioned is always considered to be very important and not meant to be overlooked. The first thing Jesus tells them is to not be deceived.
Truth is of utmost importance to God. Jesus did say that he was He was the way, the truth and the life. Before Pilate, Jesus said the very reason He came into the world was to bear witness to the truth. Truth is personified in Jesus Christ. Lies and deception are personified in Satan. The Bible says that Satan is the Father of Lies.
In modern day America, there are countless deceptions vying for our hearts and minds. These are found in culture, media, politics, and even within the American Church. God is not concerned with us knowing when Christ will return or how modern events play into prophetic fulfillment. He is concerned with us being steadfast in the truth and free from deception.
Notice the second thing that Jesus says in the above passages. He warns that there will be many false christs. The word christ simply means “the anointed one.” Jesus warns that there would people many that claim to be anointed by God that were actually deceivers and would lead many astray. To properly understand this changes the believer’s understanding of why it is so important to rightly divide the Word of God and doctrine. For the believer this is vital. Many people claim to have anointing from God, but they are really deceivers. Jesus said this would escalate in the End Times. More than ever we need to be on guard against spiritual counterfeit.
An honest and Biblical assessment of modern American Christianity clearly shows that there is more counterfeit than authentic and genuine. Most of the American Church has been moved away from Biblical preaching to watered down seeker friendly life sermons. Many leaders in the Charismatic movement seek after showy signs and wonders without providing an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit will do His work of transformation. Many leaders in America preach a powerless Gospel that hamstrings the work of the Holy Spirit in the minds of their congregations.