Christ Preparing our Hearts 15

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

You can count on it that it is very difficult to come to heaven, but the way to destruction is broad and easy. Take it to heart that you have a deceitful heart with you, a wicked devil close to you, and snares and hindrances around and before you.

While it is hard for a spiritual mind to grasp the extent of the deceptions of the evil one, it may well be impossible for the natural mind (unregenerate) to grasp these things. Our own hearts deceiving us is really a terrible judgment upon us, but then to have one who is far smarter and far more powerful than we are who exerts himself in deceiving people and keeping them deceived, this is a judgment beyond what we can comprehend. It should also drive us to an end of our own strength and wisdom so that we would look to Christ and seek Him for grace to enable us to seek Him from a true heart. Not only are we deceived about so many things, but we are also deceived about what it means to seek Christ.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Revelation 20:3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Revelation 20:8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.

The book of Revelation opens for us some of the work of Satan. It shows us what his work on the earth has been, what his works is now, and it shows his work in the future. Satan is out to deceive human souls. He wants to deceive them concerning the need for the Gospel and to blind them as to the glory of the Gospel (II Cor 4:4). He wants to deceive men into thinking that they don’t need salvation and he wants to deceive them into thinking that they are saved. He wants to deceive them about the nature of God as he deceived Eve in that regard. He wants to deceive human beings regarding the nature of the gate to salvation and the road to heaven. He is said to deceive the whole world, which I take to mean all those who are part of the worldly system or worldly way of thinking.

Our own hearts deceive us, other men deceive us (some with intent and some by virtue of who they are), sin deceives us, and the devil uses all of those things in his arsenal to work deception in and upon us. It is bad enough for our own hearts to deceive us, but when the deceiver uses our own hearts against us, we are very deceived. It is bad enough to have sin (which is in us and surrounds us in seemingly all places at all points) at work deceiving us, but when it is in the hands of the deceiver, we should see how easily we are deceived and how impossible it is for us to be undeceived unless Christ should do the work.

It is so vital for us to understand that it is not enough for some poor soul to pray a prayer, make a decision, or walk an aisle in order to be saved. Those things themselves are the deceptions of the evil one. Every soul that is born of natural means (so to speak) is born dead in sins and trespasses and is born with a deceived heart regarding those things. The natural man is prone to deception regarding his need for salvation and for the way of salvation. Men must be taught these things by Christ and they must be broken from their self-autonomy and pride or they will be deceived by themselves and by the deceiver himself. When the Scriptures speaks of sinners being brought from bondage to the devil and from the power of darkness, that is part of what they are talking about. The Gospel is not the good news of what deceived man can do for himself, it is good news of what Christ does in rescuing helpless and deceived men. A deceitful heart wants to make the way to heaven easy, but the undeceived heart understands that with men this is impossible. Christ is the only Savior, yes, but He alone can teach us these things in the inward man and He alone can open the eyes of the heart. We must (absolutely) have Him undeceive us or we will perish.

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