I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. - 2Corinthians 11: 1-6 (ESV)
Beloved, I pray that you would bear with me today in a little foolishness. Do bear with me, as Paul asked the Corinthian church to bear with him so many years ago. For there was a problem Paul saw in the believers at Corinth that still exists today in the Body of Christ. More than a problem, it is a malignant tumor growing in the church. It feeds on biblical illiteracy and spiritual apathy. We are growing a generation of churchgoers who do not know the Bible nor seemingly care that they do not. The result is they easily follow whatever comes along that sounds good to them and says the name of Jesus enough to feel pious. As the key verses indicate, Paul was concerned that as Eve was deceived by the serpent, so the devil was deceiving and drawing the thoughts of the church away from pure and sincere devotion to Christ. That same dynamic is at play today. We see Paul offer three levels of deception that the church was under. Three things they accepted too readily. We see these things today as well.
First of all, if someone comes and claims a different Jesus than the one preached, the church seems to put up with it readily enough. Sound radical? Not really when you start to think about it. When you recognize the falseness being preached and accepted across the pews in this country. Take for instance this recent Facebook status from Joseph Prince:
Beloved, God's heart is never for you to suffer crippling illnesses, live a life that is miserable or die prematurely. Ps 91:16 says, "With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation." That is God's heart for you!
Only the master of eisegesis, that is reading personal bias into the text, can take one verse and make such an absurd declarative statement. These types of statements are what tickle the ears of believers. It is what we love to hear. No need to stop and see if what is being said is accurate. No reason to behave as a Berean. But does this represent the real Jesus? Does this represent His teachings? Does this represent God? Or have we accepted readily enough whatever false Jesus is offered to us?
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." - John 16: 33 (ESV)
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, - 2Timothy 3: 12 (ESV)