I recently watched a documentary on Free Masonry and they used a term to describe the mask they put on the initiate before he is led to the Masonic Temple – the word was “hoodwinked.” And what does that word mean exactly? Here is the definition from Merriam-Webster: to deceive by false appearance: Dupe. The archaic meaning is “blindfold” while the obsolete meaning is “hide.” Another definition I saw was deceive or trick. So what am I really saying – has the church been hoodwinked? Have we been tricked into believing that God is here to bless us and give us our best lives now?

It seems to me that the church doesn’t need to wake up – the church needs to snap out of it! There have been times when the church was on fire for the Kingdom of God, then it seems it did fall asleep but NOW it’s almost cult-ish in the way that people just go with whatever the leaders of the church say and don’t even question it. Now before any preacher, pastor or priest bashing begins, We are not going to play the Adam and Eve blame game. It is the believer’s responsibility to read the Bible (God’s inspired word – see 2 Timothy 3:16-17) and study for themselves and then letting the Holy Spirit within interpret what God is saying.

“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” – 1 John 2:27 NLT

The fault doesn’t completely fall on the leaders of the church but also and maybe more so with the church itself. And what do I mean by “church?” The church is NOT a building where Christians meet on Sundays and Wednesdays – the Church is the Body of Believers.

It seems to me Sunday worship is a time to blow sunshine up believers’ rear-ends (to put it bluntly). Almost like, to be a true believer means that everything is going great and we don’t have any problems. We just want to praise God and sing our little hearts out and then stick around to hear a little bit of preaching that makes me feel good – because that pastor better not step on my toes and make me feel bad.

So most of the preaching seems to be about using scripture for self application. Not to say, we shouldn’t apply God’s word to our lives but maybe we should take the time to really study His words in context without thinking about what can I get out of this to make my life better. God never promised that we would have our best lives now – actually, we are told the opposite: “’I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation, and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.’” – John 16:33 AMP (emphasis is mine). And here is another verse I wanted to share: “They were strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith, and saying, ‘It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.’” – Acts 14:22 TLV (emphasis is mine)

So if the leaders of the church (the body of believers) are only going to talk about the “good” stuff and “grace-ing” us to death and if we aren’t studying for ourselves and have higher expectations of our leaders – will we be prepared for when the Anti-Christ comes?

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV

“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.”- Proverbs 18:15 NIV

I’m going to finish with this one question – If we can’t discern God’s word for ourselves then how do any of us think that we will not be fooled by the Anti-Christ?