What is the Greatest Delusion that One Can Be Under?
For those who trust in themselves the greatest delusion is that they will someday be in the presence of God without having lived for Him during their lifetime. Many hope that when they pass from this life they will be taken to heaven. Some of the many believe that because they have lived a decent life, they will be accepted. Others trust in the many supposed good works that they may have done. Still, there are others who believe that because they have been faithful to and supported their church they will be accepted into heaven. But Jesus said: “3b Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…. 5 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:3…5-6). The apostle Paul by inspiration of the Holy Spirit was led to write: “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10). Both passages affirm that heaven is gained not by self- effort but by God’s mercy and grace.
For a believer, the greatest delusion is to believe that he or she can be a nominal Christian yet be pleasing to God. But, did not Jesus say, “If anyone desires to come after Me (follow Me), let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it?” (Matthew 16:24b-26) Yes, He did. The implication of Jesus words is that a faithful follower must be whole heartedly committed to a life of service. Consider for instance what Luke (the writer of the 3rd gospel) recorded Him saying to many who claimed they wanted to follow him: “57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, ‘Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.’ 58 And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’ 59 Then He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ 60 Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.’ 61 And another also said, ‘Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’ 62 But Jesus said to him, No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:57-62).
Also, consider Jesus’ admonition to those of the church who are nominal “3:14b “These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:14b-19).
God has called us and regenerated us to newness of spiritual life that we may experience heaven, but He has also called us to service. He has given us His Spirit as an indweller so that we can live as He wants us to live. Thank you, Lord.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man