Could you mistake a chimpanzee for a human being? While we have many similarities, we also have differences that would make it difficult for a knowledgeable person to make that mistake. Could you be deceived into believing that one person was actually another? Being knowledgeable about one or both parties would make it a little easier for you to make the distinction.
Not long ago I received an email from someone claiming to be one of my friends. The email stated that my friend was out of the country and had been mugged. If he was going to return home he would need a large sum of money. Knowing my friend well enough to know that he was not out of town, I was able to see through this attempt at a type of identity theft.
Just as I have the knowledge to distinguish between a chimpanzee and a human being, I had the knowledge to distinguish between my friend and an imposter.
Identity theft is real and its victims are often caught off guard. The Bible speaks of another kind of identity theft, telling us that it will also catch people off guard.
In Matthew 24:5 Matthew 24:5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
American King James Version×and Matthew 24:26 Matthew 24:26Why if they shall say to you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
American King James Version×, we learn about those who come in the name of Jesus Christ and deceive many others in the process. If someone claims that Jesus Christ can be found in the wilderness, in the dessert, or in a home, we are not to believe it. Throughout this chapter we are warned not to fall for this type of trickery, and given the information we need if we are to be knowledgeable about Jesus Christ and His return.
What can you do to protect yourself?
1. Become knowledgeable about the characteristics of Jesus Christ. This will allow you to discern between those who falsely claim to represent Him and those who are true to His word.
2. Become knowledgeable about what will take place shortly before His return to this earth.
3. Become knowledgeable about what His actual return will look like and who will see it take place.
Identity theft is a real crime with real victims. Your Bible warns of an even greater identity theft. It offers you an opportunity to learn more about how you can protect yourself from falling victim. If you are interested in learning more about these scriptures and others that focus on this topic, take advantage of the free Bible study aids offered by the United Church of God. Click the links below to read or order a booklet.