This generation like none other is marked by an insatiable appetite for all things spiritual. Everyone from Oprah to Rob Bell is blazing a trail of ‘new spirituality’ which by design seems to be user friendly to all people. This ‘new spirituality’ is really nothing new at all. For centuries, people have reached inward and upward in hopes of finding something to satisfy the deepest longings of our human heart……..a satisfaction only Jesus Christ can bring. When people look anywhere else but to Jesus for spiritual satisfaction, Satan does what he does best and comes as an angel of light to deceive people into following the (god) of this world, not the one true God. This is last days spiritual deception.
Spiritual deception has been around for centuries and there is certainly nothing new under the sun. From the moment the serpent told Eve: “You will not surely die.” in Genesis 3:4 to false teachers of today telling us, “There are many paths to Heaven”…..deception has always been with us. I’m saddened by the scope and frequency of spiritual deception now. We were created to be with God, fellowship with Him, and glorify His name alone. Since the fall in Eden, Satan has been aware man’s greatest longings can only be truly filled by the one true God. Ever since then and right up to this very moment, he has used deception to lure people into worshiping himself. He is a murderer, liar, and master of disguise. Hardly anyone who has even a passing knowledge of Satan and of God would ever willfully worship him instead of God. So Satan wouldn’t come right out and expose who he really is. Instead, he always has a counterfeit that doesn’t appear evil, ugly, or as one would expect an idol to look.
Spirituality without Jesus is dead on arrival!
Unfortunately, there are no shortage of alternatives or worse, there are even alternatives that masquerade as true Christianity. All you need to do is look around from the college campus, to the internet, and even a growing number of materials in the local ‘Christian book store’ to see the level of craftiness the enemy will resort to in order to divert people away from the unique truth of the gospel of Christ. Paul warns us about spiritual deception:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6
It’s not surprising to find many people in the world who don’t know Jesus looking elsewhere to find spiritual peace, purpose, and belonging. Like those before us, our culture is saturated with alternatives to true spirituality. But I find what differentiates us from past generations alarming. There have always been a handful of deceivers infiltrating the church, but now they are numerous. This is dangerous because on the exterior they seem to have a form of godliness.
A growing number of churches are espousing a socially minded, works based, and watered down gospel. This form of spirituality is indicative of a lukewarm last days church. Sermons about sin, repentance, atonement, and obedience are being replaced with psychological pep-talks brimming with hyper grace. The core message has been replaced with a pseudo-spirituality that appeals to the masses. We aren’t called to be the community psychological support group…..we are called to preach Christ and Him crucified. Are we to reach out to the least of these and go to the bi-ways and compel people to come in? The answer is an emphatic….yes. But we are to do this under the direction of the Holy Spirit with the gospel as our central message, not a cleverly crafted sales pitch to seem more appealing to the world. The hope of the gospel will compel some to enter into true spirituality and follow Christ….not a program, movement, or personality.
If you are reading this and you are searching for spiritual fulfillment and meaning…..you won’t find it in Buddhism, Bahaism, Islam, or Mormonism. You horoscope won’t provide answers, nor will a fortune teller. Self realization, contemplative prayer, spirit guides, and mediums are all empty alternatives. Perhaps money, possessions, status, or vacations serve as spiritual diversion. In the end……all of these things leave a irreparable emptiness in your life. I’m speaking to the businessman who has climbed the ladder to the top and found nothing. I’m speaking to the college co-ed who was raised in church, but has never had a personal encounter with your creator Jesus. I’m also speaking to the person who is surrounded by religious activity and spirituality, but devoid of personal relationship.
Spirituality apart from Jesus is just that……..spirituality. Jesus is the author of true spirituality. He met a woman at a well who was spiritually thirsty. Here is what he said to her:
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things. ”Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:23
His gospel is for the: businessman who’s reached the pinnacle and left wanting. It’s for the college co-ed looking for meaning. It’s for the teenager feeling hopeless and contemplating suicide. It’s for the mom who’s on empty and want’s more from this life. It’s for the young couple who is searching for contentment in the Book of Mormon. It is for everyone who has tried but failed miserably at true spiritual freedom. Jesus can give you peace……that far surpasses human understanding. He will give you contentment. He will give you purpose in life. What he requires from you is a heart willing to confess sin before a holy God and repentance. He requires that you confess Him (Jesus) as Lord, and believe God raised Him from the dead. If you call out to Him, Believe, and confess Him as your Lord…….He will give you true spirituality. His Spirit will actually come and dwell in you. If you are willing to confess Jesus as your Lord and take up your cross and follow Him, your life will never be the same. Your spiritual journey will never end, because Jesus will be your Lord.
So look past the deception, the gurus, the empty promises, and books giving false hope. They are the path to spiritual deception and death. Jesus is the way to eternal life and spiritual fulfillment. He is at the door of your heart at this very moment………here is His invitation to you:
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. – Jesus
All for Him,