Signs and warnings are important to pay attention to. Just about anywhere you go, you will come in contact with some kind of warning, whether in the form of announcements, symbols, lights etc. We are often governed and controlled by these warnings, like the ones we receive from the police, governments, doctors and employers. Not heading these warnings can results in some pretty big consequences. When we do pay attention to these warnings and follow the rules and laws in place, we tend to live better and safer lives. The same goes for warnings from the Bible. Too often the most ignored warnings are those from God. The first warning given by God was during creation. Man ignored this warning and that came at a great cost. God’s warnings are for our benefit – to help and guide us. Jesus warned His followers against sin and evil. He said: “Watch out! Be on guard” (Luke 12:15). He also warned His followers against false and hypocritical religious people and leaders: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” These warnings are for our safety, issued because of God’s great love for us. Here are seven cautionary warnings from the Bible.
Warnings About the Antichrist
The Antichrist may or may not be alive today. There is much speculation about the identity of the Antichrist. Many popular targets of today are figures like Vladimir Putin, Prince William, Former President Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump. The Bible doesn’t say specifically where the Antichrist will come from. Second Thessalonians 2:3-4 tells us how we will recognize the Antichrist: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
While many try to speculate who the Antichrist is and the date and time we will encounter him, we should focus on what the Bible says. Revelation 13:5-8 says, “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander His name and His dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”
Warnings About Sin
As Christians, we are to avoid sin but this can be quite a task because we are sinful beings. As much as we don’t want to, we still sin in our daily lives because of the sinful nature that was injected into us through the fall. Because God is holy, He cannot tolerate sin, and our sin separates us from him, becoming a barrier to our fellowship with Him and even causing us to lose the joy of our salvation. Isaiah 59:2 says, “Your iniquities have become a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that He does not hear.” The seriousness of sin should make us realize we cannot tolerate it or give sin any ground in our lives.
Warnings About the Last Days
The Last Days is not a topic many people, including Christians, like to talk about. Few churches preach or teach on the last days, particularly from the Old Testament. When they do preach on it, it is usually in reference to Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 or the Book of Revelation. When pastors only touch on End Times’ passages from the New Testament, they are starting the story from the end, not at the beginning which can be confusing and doesn’t help people to understand the full story. In order to know what the Bible says about the Last Days, it’s important that we look at the Old Testament, the beginning of the book.
The first Last Days’ prediction can be found in Genesis. This passage speaks of the last days of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob’s time is short. It will not be long before he departs this world. Before he passes, he calls for his sons to gather together that he might tell them the things that will befall them in the last days (Genesis 49:1). Some of the sons receive good news, while others hear of loss and condemnation.
Warnings of Counterfeit Christs
Christ appeals to Scripture, but false christs don’t appeal to Scripture. They have an entirely different appeal. There is often a monetary motive involved or an entirely selfish motivation. It’s important that you pay close attention to their message. “We have the word of the prophets made more certain and you will do well to pay attention to it” (2 Peter 1:19). God has spoken, and Christ appeals to His Word. The false christ makes a rather different appeal: “By appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error” (2 Peter 2:18). Ask yourself what kind of message is this person delivering? If you feel like any part of their message isn’t aligned with God’s message, they are a counterfeit and you need to be aware of it.
Warnings About Jealousy, Money and Greed
You can work hard, save your money, and even buy many things you desire, but the truth is someone else will always have more to their name. We all know the Joneses. They’re the ones who just got back from a two-week trip to Europe dragging suitcases stuffed with souvenirs. They drive their kids to private school in their new car, and every weekend, they head out of town – fashionably dressed – to eat at their favorite restaurants. They always seem to have money to do everything they want to do whenever they want to do it. No budget. No worries. They’ve got it all. Or so it seems. The truth is, they don’t have everything and keeping up with Joneses isn’t going to bring joy. God tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that “love is never jealous,” and loving our neighbors is something we are called by God to do. The next time you begin feeling envious of what others have, take a close look at what God has blessed you with and say a short prayer of thanks. Ask God to change your heart and allow you to be grateful for the blessings He has bestowed upon you. Also, pray that God will help you along your journey in life.
Warnings About Sloth (Laziness)
Your actions and priorities do affect those around you. With that in mind, know that every time you choose to be lazy instead of meeting friends you made plans with weeks in advance, you are hurting your relationship with them. When you choose to stay in your pajamas, eating playing games or watching movies all day, your relationships suffer, as does your waistline. Being lazy doesn’t necessarily limit itself to refusing to attend social functions. Being lazy includes the refusal to listen when God tells you to take a few hours each week to help feed the hungry or go to the bank to get some cash to donate to a good cause. It’s important that you keep yourself mentally and physically active by participating in outreach events. Pray for people in your spare time. Do God’s work and keep yourself from allowing the sin of sloth to overcome you.
Warnings About Backsliding
Backsliding refers to going backwards spiritually and morally. When a believer backslides, he falls back in some way into a less desirable condition; His lapse may be a relatively minor one and unintentional. He may simply fall back through neglect by not praying, reading the Bible, and keeping his focus on living for God. On the other hand, a believer may backslide by deliberately choosing to indulge in this life’s sinful pleasures. This type of backsliding can carry disastrous consequences. It can bring dishonor to the One who laid down His life for us. But there is good news for us when we backslide. God doesn’t condemn him. God’s loving concern for backsliders is steadfast and sure. A big step you take to escape the tangles of sin is turning to Jesus, the only One who has defeated sin and death out of His deep love for us.
Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than Christ.” We should pay special attention to principles of God, not the way our world tells us to move. The Apostle Peter closed his writing with a warning to believers: “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:17-18). We are called to put on the full armor of God and protect ourselves from the enemy and the ways of this world that counter Jesus and His mission.