MY FRIEND ATE DOG FOOD ONE EVENING. He was at an elegant student reception in a physician’s home. The dog food was served on delicate crackers with a wedge of imported cheese, bacon chips, an olive, and a sliver of pimento on top. It was hors d’oeuvres a la Alpo.
The hostess, just graduated from a gourmet cooking course, decided to put her skill to the ultimate test. Did she ever! After doctoring up those miserable morsels and putting them on silver trays, with a sly grin she watched them disappear. My friend couldn’t get enough and kept coming back for more. I don’t recall how they broke the news to him, but he certainly must have gagged a little.
Since hearing that story, I’ve thought about how it illustrates what transpires daily in another realm: counterfeit Christians marketing their wares on shiny platters decorated with tasty persuasion; delectable dishes camouflaged by logical-sounding phrases.
Such counterfeits are especially dangerous to the body of Christ. See this in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians:
These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.
Little mercy awaits anyone who leads the people of God under such false, insidious pretenses. Did you notice their deceitful disguise? They appear to be “angels of light . . . servants of righteousness.” No wonder people follow them!
We must be careful how we live, examine our hearts, and allow the Spirit of God freedom to roam the inner chambers of our motives. Nothing brings more power and effectiveness in our ministries than serving God with a pure conscience. We can learn from these warnings about counterfeit apostles:
First, don’t be one! If you are, turn to the Lord in full repentance.
Second, pray daily for those among you in leadership and servant-hearted ministry. Pray their hearts would remain pure and free from deceit and that the gospel would advance without hindrance.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.