To whom are you listening – and why?

John 16:4-7 “But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. . . But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth.”

Jesus always spoke the truth to His followers, even if the truth caused sorrow or fear.  He didn’t sugar-coat anything.  He was honest.  He was faithful to warn his followers of what following Him would mean, even if it led to persecution and death. 

By contrast, Satan and those in league with him, like false teachers, will never warn us of anything.  He is a deceiver, and his ministers are “angels of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). They are masters at telling people what they want to hear, to scratch itching ears, even if the things they comfort them with are nothing but myths (2Timothy 4:3-4).  They are “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15), always talking about God’s love, but never telling us anything that is hard to hear, i.e., anything negative about ourselves, our friends, our beliefs, or our future, and certainly never mentioning God’s justice or wrath or hatred of sin. 

Satan traps rather than warns, and his tactics never change.  From the beginning, in his encounter with Eve, he has said to people “Did God actually say . . .?” (Genesis 3:1), thereby, casting doubt on the words of Scripture, and “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4) if you choose to disregard God’s warnings to you.  That’s always the tactic of the enemy of our soul; to cast doubt on the Scriptures and to encourage and give comfort to people in their sin. Meanwhile his underlying motives are always “to kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10).  In direct contrast to this, Jesus, Who always tells the truth, even when it hurts to hear it, does so that we “may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

So, to whom are you listening?  Are your ears open to the truth, including the warnings of the Christ Who loves us, or are they being tickled by the enemy of your soul, who hates you but always speaks the soothing words of a traitor?

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