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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

February 6, 2015

The love of the truth

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In His Olivet prophecy Jesus warned His disciples three times concerning deception and false teachers. Aside from the exhortation to be watchful and vigilant, it is the most often mentioned topic in the prophecy.

But at one point Jesus seems to contradict Himself: "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).

Can't the elect be deceived? Are they under some kind of special protection against deception? If so, why does Jesus warn His disciples in the first place?

We find the answer in a chapter where Paul describes a great deception that will take place prior to the return of Jesus Christ: 2 Thessalonians 2. What are those people lacking who fall prey to this great deception? "They did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

If we want to be immune to deception, we must "receive the love of the truth". Having to "receive" reflects the principle of God working in our lives: He guides us, He does not force us. We have to decide to allow ourselves to be guided (Romans 8:14).

What characterizes the love of the truth? It is not the result of our own intelligence or research ability. Instead, it is the holy spirit working in us to lead us into the truth (John 14:16-17; 16:13). The holy spirit "dwells" in God's church, so it is the church of God that helps us to know the truth (1 Timothy 3:14-15; Acts 8:30-31). And since the fellowship of those lead by the holy spirit – the church – is "the pillar and ground of the truth", we contend earnestly for that truth, i.e. that faith by being vigilant concerning influence from outside that fellowship (Jude 1:1-3).

But perhaps most important is the kind of love that is referenced here. It is the "agape" love of God which expresses itself in our lives by our willingness to do what God expects of us. "If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you" (John 14:15-17).

Will we be counted among the elect who are not deceived? That depends of whether we have "received the love of the truth".

Have we received the love of the truth? That depends not only on what we know, but also on what we do.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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