In His second year of ministry, Jesus taught His most important parable – the Parable of the Sower – to the multitudes. Afterward, when they were alone, His twelve disciples asked Him the meaning of the parable.
Jesus explained to them the various soils in the parable, especially the third one:
Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Mark 4:18-19)
Now, by this time, Judas Iscariot was the treasurer of the group and was siphoning off funds for his own use. He was a thief!
Since all of the twelve disciples inquired about the parable, what was going through Judas’ mind when he heard Jesus explain about the deceitfulness of riches?
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
Let’s be honest, okay?
None of us think we would ever be guilty of falling away from the faith. Why – we attend church, have Bible apps on our phones, listen to all of the latest worship songs – so this can’t possibly refer to any of us, right?
But remember this: Judas traveled with Jesus for three years, fellowshipped with Him, saw His miracles and heard His words, yet Judas was never delivered from the deceitfulness of riches.
Paul’s prophecy about the great falling away will be fulfilled by some of us. It’s going to happen! Even though I have walked with the Lord for 34 years, I don’t lightly skip over the prophecy. I have a reverent fear of the Lord about it.
So, what can we do to prepare ourselves ahead of time?
(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)