Don’t Fall For It
Read Colossians 2:4-5 (ESV)
I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
What are some plausible arguments you have heard against Christianity today? How can you guard yourself against those ideas?
False teachers are nothing new. The early church dealt with them, and we are still dealing with them. Jesus warned us: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). That is what makes it so tricky. They look like sheep! They seem like fellow believers. They might even be pastors or in church leadership. They speak eloquently. They seem friendly and caring with a magnetic personality. Their ideas seem to make sense on the surface. They have a huge following and it seems like no one else is really questioning their teachings. Sadly, many Christians fall for it.
In today’s verses, Paul warned the Colossian church to be on the lookout for “plausible arguments.” These are not obvious outright heresies. But they are heresies. These arguments seem reasonable and persuasive. But it is the oldest trick in the book. Seriously! We see Satan deploy this same tactic in Genesis 3. He sowed deception alongside bits of truth when he convinced Adam and Eve to take a bite of the fruit. They were the first to fall prey to plausible arguments. But mankind has been falling for it ever since.
We would do well to remember that we are at war and we need to be on constant guard against the subtle deception of the enemy. Paul used military imagery to prove his point about this. The Roman soldiers were known for their rock solid battle formations. They were well ordered and well disciplined. They stood firm with their shields drawn up to protect them from the onslaught of the enemy and they obeyed the commands of their leadership. Likewise, the Colossians stood firm in their faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said he rejoices “to see your good order and the firmness of their faith.”
Then, he gave them this encouragement—even though he was imprisoned in Rome, he was with them in spirit. He already shared that he had been praying fervently for them (Colossians 1:3-4, 9). He was with them in the spirit of prayer.
Friends, we can take a lesson from Paul here. Be on the lookout for “plausible arguments” that sound reasonable but aren’t true. And pray for each other. The church is still under attack. You can be with your brothers and sisters in spirit. Join them in the fight by never ceasing to pray for them to stand firm and don’t fall for it.
Lord, please give me the wisdom to recognize false teaching even if it sounds plausible. I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ as well, that they would be able to discern the truth and stand firm. Amen.