You remember the horrible story from just over two years ago.  A little boy was killed by an alligator at Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida.

I suppose the last thing on anyone’s mind, as this family was enjoying themselves in the water, was that a fearsome predator, lurking unseen, would rise up in a violent attack from the depths and forever change their lives.  No one thought to warn them that in Florida, even on Disney property, water is where such creatures live.

The father fought to save his son, but in the gator’s domain, he was at a severe disadvantage.  They found the little fellow’s intact, but lifeless body the next day.

Why write of this in a church bulletin article?  The analogy is clear.  The further one goes into the devil’s domain, the more likely one will be pulled under.

Jesus warned, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves”, Matthew 7:15.

Some claim to speak for God, but they are neither true prophets nor teachers of his word.  Those who hear them may be deceived and lead into darkness; especially the young and the weak.

Jesus warned, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees”, Matthew 16:6.  The apostles came to understand that he was warning them about the teachings of these two groups, even though very different from one another.  Leaven works slowly, over time.  And so Jesus’ warning seems to be not to allow the slightest bit of either group’s subtle, leavening influence to be allowed among them.

Jesus’ apostle Paul would later warn the Galatian churches, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump”, Galatians 5:9.  In lies as with leaven, it does not take much.

Paul would also write to the church at Corinth of false apostles, deceitful workers, who would disguise themselves just as Satan himself appears as an “angel of light” to lead the Lord’s people away from truth (2nd Corinthians 11:12-15).  The danger is real.

I ask you to imagine, if that family could somehow get the opportunity to start that horrible day over, how close do you believe they would allow themselves to come to the water?  My guess would be that they would head straight for the airport and get completely out of Florida, or any other place where there might be alligators.

Wouldn’t you?

He that hath ears to hear…….