Yes, now the Devil is working from the inside out! The Devil HAS joined the Church, but his participation is so subtle that very few of us recognize him for who he really is. Hs disguise is so perfect that he usually looks like and “Angel of Light”. Often he’s hard to tell from one of us.

Recently, I heard a sermon on the subject “False Doctrines”. It was so subtle a false doctrine that I doubt if two people in the entire congregation would have recognized it for what it really was. It was delivered in a beautiful way. It was a well-organized presentation. It was a well-sprinkled with very relevant situational examples. It was the kind of sermon that most people come away from saying, “Wow! That was RIGHT ON!”

Of course, in its very subtle ways, it spoke a contrary word to the TRUE message of the Lord Jesus. You see, many of the things the lOrd said while He was here on earth with His disciples are very hard for some of us in the Church today to receive and ACT UPON. As long as they don’t demand a major change in our lifestyle, or interfere with our INDEPENDENCE, these nice-sounding words, sentences, and paragraphs really fit into our concept of true religion. But the Scriptures say, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27, emphasis mine).

I sense that the “world” is drawing a lot of people away from their commitment to the Body of Christ – and to the Lord. The struggle with finances, with establishing a solid home-base for their family, fighting against the allurements of the flesh, the basic humanistic philosophy of the world, all these and other things are beginning to eat away at the fulfillment of the commitment of the people within the Church – the Body of Christ.

For many of us, one or two things have happened since we “joined the church”. First, we have often lowered our standards to conform to the world’s form of life. Second, we have allowed ourselves to stop the maturing process of our lives in the Lord. Let’s see what the New Testament says concerning the first of these problems. Paul says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8, emphasis mine).

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 32, September 1983.