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The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is in verse 24, where Jesus says, "For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." This statement cries out for explanation.
Once a person comes to Christ in full, sincere surrender, no one—not even Satan himself—could ever snatch that person out of the Lord's hand.
What does Jesus mean, "to deceive, if possible, even the elect?" Would it be possible for Satan to deceive genuine Christians into following and worshiping the Antichrist? No. Satan cannot deceive true Christian believers. He can tempt us to sin. He can tempt us to discouragement. He can tempt us to fear. And sometimes we yield to these temptations. But Satan could never deceive us into switching sides and worshipping the Antichrist if we are genuine followers of Christ.
Jesus said in John 10:27–28, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand." Here, Jesus assures us of the eternal security of the believer.
Once a person comes to Christ in full, sincere surrender, no one—not even Satan himself—could ever snatch that person out of the Lord's hand. From cover to cover, the Scriptures make this principle very clear. Genuine believers will not be deceived or destroyed on the day of judgment because our Lord sovereignly protects them.
Undoubtedly, many believers who undergo the pressures and terrors of that day will experience anxiety and their confidence may be shaken. They may experience discouragement and fear—but their faith will weather the storm. They will not be deceived. Their salvation will not be lost. Their trust in God will not be destroyed.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for sustaining me in the face of every battle. You are the author and perfecter of my faith. I trust You and will follow You all my days. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2).
This devotional is adapted from Dr. Michael Youssef's timely book Is the End Near?: What Jesus Told Us About the Last Days.This eye-opening work will answer your questions about end-times issues by examining statements that Jesus Himself made about what was and is to come. You will be encouraged as you anticipate Christ's return. Secure your copy today at IsTheEndNearBook.com!
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's companion sermon series Is the End Near?: WATCH NOW