THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME: It may seem like cults are a relatively recent phenomenon, but they were already at work in the early church seeking to suck church members away. While the particular details of various cults change over time, they almost always have the traits listed in v2 in common:
They have secret & shameful ways: There's some sort of secret formula that isn't taught until the cult member reaches a certain level. Often these rituals are sexual or shameful in nature.
They use deception and distort the Word of God: They lie about what the Bible says, preying on people who have only read bits and pieces of the Bible, and/or they take a passage way out of context and try to force a completely different meaning on it. This is why it's so important for you to consistently read the Bible chapter by chapter, book by book so that you can recognize when you're being lied to.
They point people away from Christ and towards a charismatic leader (v5): This is why most individual cults don't last long, because once the main ringleader is out of the picture, the whole system falls apart. Contrast the way of cults with true Biblical Christianity, which has never had a designated 'leader' apart from Jesus.
HALFTIME SPEECH: Maybe you've been part of a team that was getting hammered in the first half of the big game, but then after an inspiring halftime speech by the coach, charged out into the second half and won the game. This chapter makes a terrific halftime speech for our Christian lives. Can't you just imagine after a rousing reading of verses 7-12, the whole team running back out chanting in unison the words of v18:
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
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Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The One who raised Christ Jesus from the dead who will also raise you to Himself (v14)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Keep focused on what is unseen in this world and do the will of God (v18)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: