Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.…
It is above all things important that in the great and momentous matters of religion we should not be mistaken or deceived, but should have the most correct, exact, and vivid impressions and opinions; because religion deals with such momentous subjects as God, the soul, eternity; and if in these momentous interests we are deceived, and our conduct in consequence be mistaken, the consequences must be to us lamentably and eternally fatal. No other way of acceptance with God, no other refuge from the wrath to come; nor can we offer acceptable worship and service to the Most High, if our impressions of His character be false and incorrect. For, remember, God cannot be deceived.
I. CONSIDER OUR LIABILITY TO DECEPTION.
1. Our ignorance.
2. Our natural selfishness. For the most part, men are fearfully inert, awfully indifferent, strangely unconcerned about religion. They won't take the trouble to ascertain the truth,
3. Our natural warmth. Susceptible of impressions; easily moved — first one way, then another. Like the chameleon, men are ever shifting the hue of their religious character. The misfortune is, that those who try everything, generally hold fast nothing.
II. SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH DELUSION IN RELIGION OPERATES.
1. It produces satisfaction in externals, and the deluded sinner rests there.
2. It fills the mind with false, distorted views of religion. Eve actually believed Satan when he gave the lie direct to God! Men will rather receive a pleasing error than embrace a self-denying truth.
3. It substitutes mere animal excitement for practical godliness.
III. THE CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH DECEPTION.
1. Criminality. It is the sinner's own fault. No excuse for ignorance or apology for error, because he ought to have sought the truth, which whosoever seeks, shall surely find.
2. Eternal ruin. The mistake is final and fatal Repair it while there is time.
(T. Raffles, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.