We’ve heard over the past few weeks about individuals being scammed out of large sums of money by criminals phoning them and pretending to be BT. Similar scams involve people calling and pretending to be from Microsoft and wanting to fix your Windows computer. They get the person to type a few codes into their computer in order to ‘fix’ the problem, but by doing so the unsuspecting victim gives the caller remote access to their computer, and soon they find that their bank account has been emptied.
It must be an awful feeling to be tricked out of your life-savings by a fraudster. To have money saved away that you think is secure, and then to have it taken from you. But as bad as that is, it would be even worse to be deceived into losing out on Heaven. To think that you were sure of going to a better place when you died – but in the end to miss out. But tragically, there are many people who face that exact danger.
Some are taken in by the cults – those well-dressed, sincere, smiling people who knock on your door and tell you that the church has got it wrong for the past 2,000 years, but that they know a better way. Some are taken in by Spiritualism, which rightly teaches that there is more to this life than the physical, but which opens its followers up to all sorts of harmful spiritual influences. But far more are taken in by churches which teach that you can get to Heaven by a mere belief in God or Jesus, or by church membership, or giving to charity, or by living a life where you don’t do anybody any harm.
So how do you know whether you’re in danger of being scammed? Banks warn their customers that they will never ask for your full PIN or password, or get you to transfer money to a different account. So how do you know if you’re being scammed when it comes to God? Watch out for churches where the Bible is never taught, where sin and Hell are never mentioned, where Jesus is held up as merely a great teacher or a good example, and where members don’t live Christ-like lives. You would take drastic action to stop yourself being scammed when it comes to money – and Heaven is far more important.
Published in Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press, 27th October 2016