Watch Out; Be On Your Guard. Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
P.T. Barnum, the circus magnate, built a career on the assumption that people like to be fooled. And he had a point. A magician who is clever always has a crowd, but does this hold true in the world of religion? I’ve been thinking of the number of times when Jesus said, “Watch out!” or “Be on guard,” and his comments covered a rather wide variety of situations and issues. For example, He told the crowd that had gathered to hear him on the slopes of Galilee to “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing,” he said, “but inwardly they are ravening wolves” Matthew 7:15.
He also said, “Beware of the scribes” Mark 12:38. On at least three occasions He urged His followers to “Watch out that no on deceives you.” This included what people teach and to be aware that many would be confused about the actual timing of His return to our earth.
P.T. Barnum may have been right about people wanting to be fooled, but Jesus didn’t want anyone deceiving His followers, and the words that he used were strong and pointed. God knew that we needed something by which we can evaluate and measure movements, people, and circumstances-which is why He gave us an infallible guide for faith and practice. It’s the 65 books of the Bible. In the garden, shortly before He went to the cross, Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” John 17:3. It is that simple.
Paul told Timothy that one of the signs of the lateness of the hour is that people will be deceived, and surely that day is upon us. If being alert and awake means you are thought of as being bigoted or judgmental, then so be it. Only be very certain that you come down on the side of truth and not merely your opinion which you take for the truth.