Here’s another one: “Olives fresh off the tree!” I actually saw someone fall for that one, and he never will again.
You see what sounds good may not always be good. Fresh cut firewood is green—it won’t burn. Firewood needs to sit and dry out for awhile, at least a year down here in this humid climate. In fact, when Keith cuts wood in the winter, it is for the next year, not the present year.
When it comes to religion a lot of people fall for what sounds good. For example, just like firewood is a good thing to have when you own a woodstove, unity is a good thing to have among Christians. God demands it among His people. We are not supposed to be arguing all the time. We should not be dividing into cliques and basing that upon carnal things like status and wealth. But God also set some qualifications on the matter.
The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable…James 3:17. Unity is a wonderful thing, but you never sacrifice purity for the sake of unity. The New Testament is full of admonitions to be pure in heart, pure in doctrine, pure in fellowship. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump,” Paul warns the Corinthians when he tells them to withdraw from the adulterous brother (1 Cor 5:6). If you want to worship a holy Father, then you have to be holy, Peter tells his readers (1 Pet 1:15,16).
As children of God we hope to be like Him some day, John says, but that will only happen if we purify ourselves and stay that way (1 John 5:2,3). Earlier in his letter he talks about fellowship with God. Fellowship implies unity, but while unity with one another is important, unity with God is even more important and it cannot happen if we do not keep ourselves pure, or place unity with the impure ahead of unity with God.
As to that second sign I mentioned above, olives fresh off the tree may sound good, but the informed know that they are too bitter to eat. They must be processed first or they will turn your mouth inside out in a permanent pucker. I am sure you could go on and on with the things you are familiar with that others might not be. Here is the point: don’t be taken in by how things sound. Read the Word. Study it and see the entirety of truth on a subject, not just one angle. God expects you to see His angle, not the one you think sounds best.
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness, 2 Thes 2:9-12.