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Sharing Scripture — June 3, 2023

Satan’s Final Deceptions

 

For use: May 28 – June 3, 2023
Texts: Revelation 12:9; 16:13, 14; 18:4, 5; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Ezekiel 8:16; 20:1-20

 

The Little Mermaid live action remake splashed into theaters last week. While some viewers applaud the new takes on the classic characters, others criticize the decision to paint characters in different lights than how they first appeared in the animated film.

In all this debate, people seem to forget that the original fairy tale is nothing like Disney’s retelling – that is, Disney used core elements of Hans Christian Andersen’s “Den Lille Havfrue” but morphed the macabre folklore into a feel-good love story for children. The better known version of the story (Disney’s) which stole hearts around the world is nothing but a counterfeit of the original.

Unfortunately, counterfeit beliefs and practices have become the norm within Christian circles, too.

Take, for example, Sunday observance, which originated as a day to celebrate the sun (god) under Constantine’s rule and then became canon under the papacy.

Many Christians also maintain a belief in the immortality of the soul, and sometimes even in unconditional election and limited atonement, also known as predestination.

It may not seem like a big deal, as long as a believer is worshipping Christ, but any deception, no matter how small, can derail a believer’s understanding of God’s character. A change in Sabbath observance undermines the story of Creation and need for a Savior Who is stronger than us. Belief in an undying soul makes it easier to accept spiritualism, to fall into visions of Satan and his demons in ghostly disguises, to believe in reincarnation, or even to consider that we exist as energies. And predestination completely undermines our gifted free will to accept a Savior Who died for all.

The best way to guard against Satan’s deceptions is to hold tight to the Truth found in Scripture, the Truth held fast by Christ.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: What is the greatest deception pervading the Christian world?

Sharing: Why do people get so upset when confronted with something that doesn’t match their narrative?

  1. They don’t want to be wrong
  2. These people believe their narrative is true and those who believe otherwise are in grave error
  3. They prefer believing in what benefits them
  4. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet discovered the grace and patience of God
  5. Changes cause too much anxiety
  6. Other:

Applying: With a partner or small group, brainstorm a list of ways to approach someone who has adopted counterfeit beliefs. How would you persuade them they are in error, especially if the error does not necessarily impact their salvation?

Valuing: Have any of this year’s Sharing Scripture lessons challenged you to think differently? Consider points that have caused you pause and prayerfully reflect on what the Lord is revealing to you.

 

~ Stefani Leeper

 

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