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Deceiving the Hearts of the Simple (Romans 16:18)

Introductory Thoughts

The enemies of God and of His people have always sought to conquer those weak in the faith by destroying their faith. Even now, false teachers seek to deceive the hearts of the simple – those who lack knowledge, understanding, and wisdom (Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 9:4, 13). According to the scripture, these teachers do so “by good words and fair speeches.” It is not some raving, ranting lunatic that is most dangerous; it is the sweet talking, kind, loving, liar. In order to gain a following, a teacher must only appeal to others by sounding intelligent and offering “fair speeches” sprinkled with truth. If he can present things new to his audience, whether factual or not, the simple will become enamoured with his abilities and follow his teachings. This is why the Bible warns believers to have no fellowship with those who teach things contrary to the scripture. Any world religious leader who speaks softly and kindly yet fails to proclaim the true gospel probably lives more like a devil in private. The Bible calls these people wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Read Proverbs 14:15. God wants us to know if what we hear is right by comparing it to His words. If a friend says it is acceptable to pretend you are sick so you will not have to do chores, you are simple if you believe that. You are wise if you remember and obey Colossians 3:9a.
  • (For everyone): Are you simple? Are you following the precepts of man or following the scripture? What does a man have to do in order to earn your respect as a teacher of the word of God?
  • What measures can you take to ensure that you are not deceived by those propagating false doctrines? How can you also insure that your family or church is not one of those who circulates falsehoods?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to give you knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
  • Ask God to show you the importance of following scripture only.