Don’t Be Snookered

Snooker is a type of billiard game, said to have been invented by British troops serving in India in the late 1800’s. The term ‘snooker’ apparently originated from this game due to the fact that a novice player can be easily cheated. To be snookered is to be fooled, and snookering did not begin with a billiard game.

The devil has sought to snooker the Lord’s people ever since the Garden of Eden, which of course, is where snookering got its start on the planet, 1st Timothy 2:12-14.

In fact, one of the first things Jesus taught was to be careful of being deceived by false prophets, Matthew 7:15-20. He said that they were like sheep on the outside but that they were really ravenous wolves. They are identifiable by their fruits.

Jesus’ apostles took His warnings to heart and continued to caution others about the dangerous effect false teachers could have on the church. Paul himself warned the shepherds of the church at Ephesus that even from among their own number, some would arise, perverting the truth and leading followers away, Acts 20:28-31.

Really? Would the Lord’s elders lead the Lord’s sheep astray? Paul said that some of them would, and it continues to happen to this day.

Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, who were being led away from the truth. Those responsible were warned twice with being cursed for their evil influence, Galatians 1:6-9.

The apostle Peter also gave a stern warning about false teachers, cautioning the brethren to be wary of them whose sensuality would lead many astray. He foretold that because of them, the way of truth will be maligned, 2nd Peter 2:1-3.

Sometimes controversies in the church are kept private and we simply deal with them ourselves. But as we in the Oklahoma City area have seen recently, our family problems are sometimes aired abroad for all the world to see. What glory does God receive from this?

The apostle John wrote similar warnings. He told the church not to believe every spirit but to try the spirits to see whether they are of God, 1st John 4:1. How do you try a spirit? You match it against the word of God, which is what Jesus said sets us apart from the world (John 17:17). If the teaching of the ‘new spirit’ isn’t there, beware. He also said that some would go too far, not abiding in the teaching of Christ, 2nd John 9.

Finally, I write to you of Jude, who was compelled to write to the church and appeal to them to contend earnestly for the faith that had been delivered to them, Jude 3-4. Why contend for the faith? There were those who had crept into the church unnoticed who would lead the Lord’s people astray. Even after 2,000 years, these things haven’t changed at all.

Don’t be snookered.

Marty Kessler

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