SCAMMED! Life in the 21st century is really interesting. Sometimes you don’t know if you are living in reality or if it is just an illusion. TV is a good example. You can turn the “boob tube” or “idiot box” on and sometimes you don’t know if it is broadcasting in real time, pre-recorded, or delayed broadcasts. You can also view something and not know whether it is staged or real. Facebook is also a good example. Sometimes you don’t know whether Posts are true or like other media it is just “fake news.” Gas pumps are also a good example. People have found that their credit card numbers can be scanned by fake and illegal additions to the pumps by crooks. Parts on the pump look real but they are false. All of us have probably experienced being scammed at one time or another in life. Christians for the most part are giving people and appeals by people in need touch hearts of generosity and sometimes we get “burned” through dishonest people and their use of technology. And sometimes we get “burned,” fooled or scammed in the religious realm as well. As the bible says in one verse, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Jesus warned the Disciples and us while He was on earth that in the religious realm there will always be “scammers;” “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them,” (Matthew 7:15-16 NIV). Our generation is full of false prophets using modern technology to deceive giving and loving Christians in just about every area of modern communication. These modern religious communicators in local churches, in public arenas, on TV, Radio, videos, pod casts, mailers, and through a lot of other methods deceive faithful and loving Christians who want to love and serve Christ and His Kingdom. While these modern day “wolves” deceive and devour the “faithful,” God’s real servants and ministries, i.e. faithful Pastors and biblical churches, often struggle to survive as they proclaim the real message of the Kingdom. They are indeed like “lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:3) and they need to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves,” (Matthew 10:16) to survive in a world (often even the Christian world) that seems to worship celebrities and follows what appears to be exciting though temporary rather then what is godly and eternal.
Even in the first century the Apostle Paul warned of these things, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on guard!” (Acts 20:29-31 NIV). So let us beware of “scammers” in all areas of our lives even in the spiritual realm. What appears to be real may only be a well prepared illusion and totally untrue. As far as possible let us check all things through the eyes of biblical truth, God’s Word, and that includes the actions of those who would profess to be modern day “prophets” or spiritual leaders in God’s kingdom work.