"All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8).
One may assume that Christians cannot be deceived, but "knowing the time" in which we live, as we near the moment of the opening of the first seal judgment that symbolizes deception, should we not be aware of what is really going on underneath the shroud of what millions are calling "Christian?" If Jesus along with the apostles warned about it nearly two-thousand years before it appeared, we should certainly give attention to it when it is happening right before our very eyes.
While it is true that we should not go about living in fear of deception, it is also true that we are sternly warned about the possibility of forsaking the pure word of truth once believed, thus having believed in vain. There are many occasions when the Bible cautions us about forsaking what we once believed, but for the moment we will note only one case in point, found in Paul's letter to the believers in Corinth. "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain" (I Cor. 15:1-2).
It is important to reconcile what seems to be tension in the scriptures about whether a true believer can be deceived or not - something that we hope to clearly explain eventually through this site in accordance with what the Bible says; but for the moment, please consider that the most clever step toward leading someone into deception would be to begin by convincing them that there is no way they can be deceived. Now that's something to think about.
Regardless of one's view about whether a Christian can be deceived or not, we should take note that the Bible sounds a clarion trumpet call warning about the possibility for deception among those who claim to worship God. Well, it is based upon the Bible's own clear warning of deception among those who profess Him today (and profess to worship Him) that we seek to expound on these things. We believe it matters, and that we should not be careless about what the Bible teaches concerning the onslaught of deception in our time.
May our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father be worshiped, and none other - and not in name only, but in Truth!
On "worshiping," God, let us consider:
1. There are many kinds of worshipers, but if we want to be true worshipers, we should know what Jesus meant when He said, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth" (John 4:24). The Spirit and Truth are one, but in this verse they point to two distinct attributes that are necessary for acceptable. To be sure that our worship is authentic and pure, we should know, and embrace only what God is searching for.
2. Also, God's enemy desires to be worshiped - his whole objective being to draw men away from authentic worship of God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Thus, he counterfeits authentic worship wherever he's able to, so that as many as possible will worship "...[they] know not what" (John 4:22), all while they assume they are worshiping God!
Throughout church history multitudes have followed one deceptive "form of worship" or another. It has been assumed wrongly that "a form" of worship identifies stiff, reserved praise of a stale religious kind only, but that is not so. Worship can be just as much "a form" even though charismatic.
Remember, for whatever reason, the Church at Sardis had "a reputation" that it was "alive," but Jesus said that it was "dead" (Rev. 3:1). It's outer actions did not accurately reflect the condition of the heart. Neither does our outer action necessarily reflect the condition of our heart.
Extravagant, charismatic worship in God's name may or may not be pure. We hope that it is, and do not readily assume that it is not, but it is not necessarily pure simply because it is passionate and free, encouraging the flow of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We should always "test the spirits," even and especially when there seems to be the summoning of spiritual activity. Many revivals that began in the Holy Spirit ended up infiltrated by other spirits. So it is that even men and movements can start by the Holy Spirit, but lead one to deception by invading spirits of another kind. For this, we should take heed. It is happening all around us, and more today than ever before.