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First Sign of the End-Times: Deception
Jesus said one of the telling signs of the end times is the expositional growth of deception worldwide, especially within the ranks of those who call themselves Christians. When asked about the signs of His coming and the end of the age, Jesus said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5). He then reiterates the same truth about deception regarding false prophets in verse 11, and then expands on the depth of the coming deception in Matthew 24:23-24. Notice how powerful the final great deception will be.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
Did you catch that? Jesus said the deception at the end would be so powerful that if it were possible to deceive the elect, God’s chosen, then they would also be deceived into believing a false Christ or the antichrist. It is that serious. And it is accompanied by false signs and miracles. It’s like Moses in the court of Pharoah 2.0.
Second Sign of the End-Times: Apostasy
In Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica, he tells them what signs to look for before the coming of the Lord and the appearance of the antichrist, the “man of sin” or “son of perdition” (2 Thes. 2:3). And he said there would be a great “falling away” or apostasy – where true believers abandon the faith for some deceiving spirit or false god.
So let’s put this all into focus: First, great deception and false christs will proliferate worldwide throughout the culture and the church. And then, second, those who claim to be believers will abandon the faith, fall away, and reject the true Christ for one made in the image of man and empowered by Satan, namely, the antichrist. But what will this falling away look like? Will elders in a church one day stand and proclaim they no longer believe in Jesus? Or will pastors start preaching a fourth person in the Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and their cousin Billy Bob? Will there be an open renunciation of the Christian faith by those who claim to love Jesus? Well, yes and no. All of this will happen, but not as you would think.
Deconstruction: Just Another Name for Apostasy
Notice again what Jesus said about the false christs in the end times:
“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5).
When they come in the name of Christ, as a false christ, they are not saying, “Hey, follow me, I am Jesus.” Instead, they are saying, “I come in the name of Christ. I know what He is like. And I know what it means to follow Christ. So follow me, and I will show you the real Jesus and not the false Jesus you have been following.” And this is where the deception gets sinister. Because the false Jesus they are promoting is not the Biblical Jesus, but a Jesus of their making, a Jesus acceptable to our culture, and a Jesus that thinks just like we do, as sad as that sounds.
And the method of converting from the Jesus of the Bible to the false Jesus we have been warned about is called deconstruction. The great, prophesied, end-time apostasy has been rebranded into a positive light where we are deconstructing the Christian faith by removing from it anything we find unacceptable, such as sin, judgment, righteousness, and sanctification. And we replace it with whatever we want, whatever our culture deems acceptable, and whatever makes us feel good.
It is truly creating and worshipping the golden calf and not the Lord on Mt. Sinai. And we see it happening all around us today.
But We Have Been Warned
Yes, we have been warned and should not be surprised by this great falling away. Remember Paul’s warning to Timothy:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in (when) latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron – 1 Timothy 4:1-2.
But there is more.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables (the word we get myths from) – 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
The Holy Spirit has warned us in advance. Are you prepared to face the onslaught of false doctrines, false christs, false signs and miracles, and a false understanding of the Christian faith? If so, the name of that great apostasy is called deconstruction. And the best way to confront the counterfeit is to know perfectly what the authentic looks like.
I hope you are ready. For ready or not, deconstruction is coming our way. In fact, it’s already here.