As I sat down to begin my Bible study for the day, I noticed a small ladybug crawling across the top of my desk. Or, was it a ladybug? I would have assumed it was, but a few years ago I was introduced to the name “Asian Beetles.” They look exactly like ladybugs. The only real distinguishing quality they have, is the shape of their heads. These Asian beetles seem to have multiplied overnight, and are invading the homes of people everywhere.
Still they never were at the top of my list of unwanted pests until I took a closer look at the seemingly harmless insects. After a little investigation and reading various sources of reputable information, I have come to find that these pests are not completely unassuming. Though ladybugs, and asian beetles have many similarities, they are totally different.
Ladybugs are good to have around. They eat other soft bodied pests like aphids, mites, and white flies—all of these cause damage to plants. Ladybugs do not eat plants, bite people, or do other damage. In fact farmers and gardeners welcome them.
Asian beetles are a different story. They eat ladybugs, plants, and even bite people! When threatened they release a yellow substance that smells bad, and stains walls, windowsills, or anything else they come in contact with. They also cause allergic reactions in some people, resulting in swollen eyes, itching, or asthmatic symptoms. So, as you can see, they are not the best house guests.
I’ve never been a fan of having any kind of insect in my home, but I never really paid a lot of attention to the occasional ladybug. Now that I realize the pesky intruders are not really ladybugs but a cleverly disguised imitation, I’ve become more aggressive in ridding my home of them.
Thinking about these pests this morning, I had to ask myself what other kind of harmful intruders I have permitted to come into my home, or my life, disguised as innocent and unassuming? How quickly we can become de-sensitized by the things around us! Then its easy for an imitation to come in and take up residence with us.
As I was scrolling through the news feed on Facebook yesterday, I noticed a story about a couple of “devout Christian Swingers,” who were spreading the Gospel by swinging (spouse swapping)! Seriously? How absurd! I couldn’t believe my eyes! I’m not sure what they are actually spreading, but it’s certainly not the Gospel that is recorded in my Bible! Jesus warned us about false teachers, false doctrines, and false prophets. Some are blatantly obvious—like I would think these two swingers are. But others are much more subtle. Jesus warns us about these things.
“Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”
Paul warns the Corinthians about false prophets/apostles.
2 Corinthians 11:10
“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
2 Peter 2:1-3 says:
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.”
This is why now, more than ever before, we must know the Word of God. The enemy of our souls works his way in by introducing near truths that sound good. He has always twisted Scripture to make it more palatable. It may sound very similar, so if we do not have a solid foundation we can begin to accept wrong doctrines.
Peter says the false teachers will secretly introduce destructive heresies. They don’t make it obvious, they use deceptive tactics. And we know that Satan is the Father of Lies. (John 8:44) We must test everything to see if it is truly from God.
1 John 4:1
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
We must always be on guard. We can’t become complacent, and blindly accept what sounds good. We must be observant, and make sure everything we see, or hear lines up with the Word of God—the Holy Bible.
I truly believe we are living in the last of the last days and the enemy is trying harder than ever to lead Christians astray. Let us not be easy targets. If he comes after me, I want him to regret it! Know the Word of God, and quote it. Saturate yourself in the Truth so you cannot be led astray. Even the seemingly innocent can bring destruction!
2 Peter 3:17-18
“Therefore, beloved, since you already know these things, be on your guard not to be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.