The devil’s continual onslaught of deception released into the lives of people in the body of Christ will not end until Jesus returns. However, we seem to remain ignorant of its effects even though we are repeatedly warned in the Word of God not to be deceived. The best way to keep from being deceived is to admit that we can be! If we think we cannot be deceived we already are.
A good example of rampant deception in the body of Christ surrounds the topic of Halloween and if you want to experience a little verbal persecution in the Church just go ahead and stand for the truth of God’s Word against Halloween. 2 Timothy 3:12-16 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
If it were a matter of opinion we could debate this topic but since it is a matter of truth from the Word, we can rationalize all we want and we are still deceived. I am personally saddened by how Christians and churches embrace or “tweak” this supposed “holiday” and then are quick to attack anyone who challenges their “right” to celebrate, often defending Halloween much more vehemently than they do the Gospel. Most Christians celebrate this season unknowingly or unwittingly, thinking it is just a cute and harmless activity to dress their children up in costumes, get candy, and go to parties. I used to be one of these people until confronted with truth from the Word of God.
Some Christians have been told the “truth” about Halloween and then search for something to combat that truth. Recently I read a “post” from a Christian defending Halloween by using a show on the history channel which revealed the Church had much to do with the origins of Halloween. I am still shocked at times when Christians fail to recognize the devil’s tactics. Since when do we search for the origin of anything from worldly sources such as a television show and not in the Word of God? Because truth is found in the Word, and the Word itself is Truth, why go looking for answers elsewhere? Simply put, the answer is because as Christians we live in the world and still think it is permissible to take part in the evil things it offers. This is sad but true! When confronted with truth from God’s Word and then choosing to ignore or rationalize it, our faith is compromised and begins to decay, slowly deteriorating and getting watered down as we fall victim to the lies of the enemy.
Obtaining the knowledge that Halloween is a festival celebrating death and darkness, promoting demon and Satan worship should be a wake-up call to Christians. Too extreme you think? As Christians we may like to think of people either as believers or unbelievers but the truth is there are witches and Satanists as well, and they are in a whole different category than unbelievers. And lest you think they live everywhere else except by you, be not deceived. The reality is there are probably people right in your own neighborhood who worship Satan, with Halloween being their favorite festival. If you live in a highly Christian area, you can be assured there are witches and Satanists living among you.
God tells us to test all things and abhor what is evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” In one version verse 22 reads, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” How do we dare even play around with dressing up like witches, devils, and the like? How do we risk playing in the devil’s playground? It seems inconceivable to me that we participate in any way, shape, or form in Halloween, knowing at the bare minimum it gives the “appearance” of evil if only we will open our eyes and “see”.
Even if you could get by all this and throw out the origins of Halloween which we should not, the very nature of Halloween should speak loud and clear it is not of God. Look around at the traditional Halloween decorations, costumes, and movies. Most are meant to provoke fear, horror, death, and disgust with skeletons, witches, skulls, vampires, and the like being paraded in our faces. Of course Christians and parents of young children cutesy it up with more acceptable costumes believing we are simply encouraging our children’s imaginations. It is good to use our imagination in the things of God, but not just for the sake of using them.
If all this were not motivation enough to stop celebrating Halloween you would think the very words “Trick or Treat” would be a tell-tale sign. Satan is all about trickery and treating us to the tastiest morsels yet we willingly give ourselves over to anything and everything he holds out to us. At Halloween we take our children door to door and teach them to say , “Trick or Treat”, leaving the option up to the giver, hoping for treat rather than trick, and willing to receive any scrumptious treat from people we “hope” we can trust. If that seems too risky for us, we simply attend a Halloween or “Harvest” party where we can be “assured” to receive only good things. We have even gone as far as to clean it up by giving out “healthy” treats as though that changes the dynamics of what we are actually doing.
I suppose I have offended enough people by this point in the blog but let me get to the truth of all this deception before you give up reading. If you still want to celebrate Halloween then so be it, but please consider the “big” picture before you stop reading, and let me use sweets, decay, and dentists to bring forth the spiritual truths about deception, sin, and God.
Christians grab hold of deceptive lies from the devil just as willingly and easily as little kids grab hold of candy when they go trick or treating. We know the sugar and sweets are bad for our teeth among other things, but it is so tempting and at times irresistible, we still partake. Sometimes we think if we ration the candy, it will not be as damaging. Friends, decay still happens in our mouths as a result of eating the wrong things, just as surely as deceptive lies and compromise lead to decay in our spiritual lives and churches in spite of our best rationale.
We are thankful for dentists who do a fantastic job of finding decay, cleaning it out, taking the pain away, and putting protective coverings, fillings and/or sealants on our teeth to prevent further damage. Of course, a dentist would not be a good one unless he/she also gave us the “prevention” talk. These directives include brushing daily, flossing, using fluoride, stop drinking soda, and the like. We listen, albeit half heartedly, to the “lecture” each time we visit the dentist, and we trust he/she will make our mouths as good as new by the time we leave. Dentists and their assistants scrape, pull, drill, dig, pry, polish, brush, floss, and get as many of their fingers in our mouths as possible. Our jaws and gums are sore by the time we leave but in the end, we think it is all worth it especially because decay is removed. We pay the dentist, thank them for their care, and do not look forward to the next time around. But undoubtedly, there will be a next time.
Do we show the same gratitude to God for His care? We have a God who does a fantastic job of finding decay (sin) in our lives, cleaning it out, taking the pain Himself, detecting deep seeded issues, filling the empty places left as a result of decay, and then sealing us with His precious Holy Spirit. God teaches and reminds us of the things we should know as we learn them in the Word, and stands in the gap for us. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and He gives us the best prevention for decay by directing and leading us on the right path. He purifies us with His fire, molds and makes us because He is the Potter, refines us with His soap to cleanse, prunes and cuts, polishes and makes us to shine like stars. And in the end it is all worth it when the sin is forgiven and the decay taken away. Do we pay God for His great work by surrendering our lives to Him, living in prompt obedience to His Word, turning from evil and doing good?
Probably more frustrating with our teeth is doing all the right things and still getting cavities. We can brush regularly, floss, avoid sweets, use fluoride toothpaste and yet, decay can occur. Do we understand this is where deception really seeps into our spiritual lives? We can regularly attend church, read the Word, worship, praise, and pray and still get caught in sin, deception, compromise, and other issues when we choose falsehood over truth. Messing around with the devil is always a bad idea!
In order to attack physical decay in our teeth, we must admit it exists and then GO to the dentist. A dentist does not do house calls or meet where it is convenient to us. Dentists do their work in offices which are set up perfectly for dental work where they have knowledge, tools, and the help necessary to care for us in a safe, clean, and conducive environment.
In the same way, to attack spiritual decay we must first admit it exists and then GO to GOD! Unlike a dentist, God will do house calls but is really not interested in our convenience. He will meet with us anytime and anyplace but it will be on His terms. He also expects us to meet with Him in church. He expressly tells us to meet boldly at His throne of grace and warns us not to forsake the assembling of the saints. (Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 4:16) You see, He is interested in relationship. He will meet with us alone but also expects us to be in fellowship with believers where He has perfectly appointed leadership with the knowledge, tools, and assistance necessary to care for us in an environment that is safe, clean, and conducive for our care. We must GO to the house of the Lord! Psalm 122:1 “…I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
God always says “Come!” Isaiah 55:1, 3 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters! Come, buy and eat. Incline your ear, and come to Me.” Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 19:14 “But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me…” John 5:40 “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” John 7:37 “…If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”
And just like a dentist can “restore” our teeth or give us new ones if they are beyond restoration, God can do far more. He is a God of restoration but it comes through cooperation with Him with NO compromise attached. I am not ashamed to say it – Halloween is compromise and conforms us to this world! Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Deception is real! The devil is not going to stop prowling and devouring whomever he can. Decay is a real threat even though we cannot see its effects until the pain has set in. It seems obvious what Christians need to do! Live in His Truth – pure and simple! If a dentist can do miracles when we mess up our teeth – how much more can God do miracles in our lives when we mess them up? Truth overcomes deception every time. When we submit to God and resist the devil, he flees. When we entertain the devil including the appearance of evil, we welcome deception into our lives. Like it or not – it is Truth!
James 4:7-8 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”