The Ultimate Deception
by Tom Wacaster
On a hot August day in 1950, a con man visited a small Oklahoma town, telling the people that he was an advance man for a circus that would soon arrive in three days. He put up handbills and sold tickets to a circus that did not exist. It was a "scam," and after collecting the money the man skipped town. It seems that we still have those little scams that come to us with increasing regularity. I recently read of a widow who squandered over $28,000 attempting to win the prize offered through one of these scams. Con men and con schemes are as old as man himself. In times of financial crisis, as well as times of plenty, the con artist is on the street, in the store, and on the phone seeking whom he may deceive to his own advantage. They prey on the indigent, dupe the innocent, and deceive theignorant. Reports of dishonest tactics make us angry; so much so that we find ourselves saying under our breath, "Something ought to be done." And though we vow that we will not allow ourselves to be "taken in" by the cunning craftiness of the con man, we fail to realize that most men and women are the victims of the ultimate "con" game that any being has ever devised and perpetrated upon the human race. It is a con game offered by the Devil under the guise of religion.
That old Serpent has produced a number of religious "scams" from the inception of Christianity to our present day. He has offered man-made look-alikes, perverted the soul saving message, offered a lie for the truth, and pulled the wool over the eyes of the majority with the philosophy that it makes no difference what one believes so long as he is sincere. He has been so successful that Christianity has been made to look foolish. And it seems the more outlandish the religious system that he offers to men in exchange for the truth, the more apt men are to embrace that system and apply it to their life.
Amazingly, God has provided a fool proof safe guard to keep us from being taken in by this most subtle of all con artists. That safe guard is the Bible. We are admonished to "prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1). Do not be duped by the oldest "con artist" in history. Make sure that the things you do in religion have a thus saith the Lord, turning neither to the left nor the right. Scam artists may take you for your hard earned dollar, but those scammed by the devil stand to lose a whole lot more.