John 8:12 "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Psalm 25:10 "All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies."
Proverbs 16:25 "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."
John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
"Deception" is one of the search words we identify as central to internet evangelism. Deception is the act of deceiving or misleading. It is a misapplication of the established signs used to communicate thoughts.
Deceivers misrepresent truth to spread lies. An inquirer who mentions being deceived may have felt trapped by someone they thought was truthful. Encouraging them to depend on God's Word and direction will help protect them against further frustration and disillusionment. Scripture declares: "and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)(ESV) It's good to point out that no one wants to be deceived, but that people are prone to believing lies.
Our goal is to help the inquirer learn to depend on Christ and ask Him for discernment. To understand how deception works, we can use the illustration of a trapper.
A trapper is a hunter who sets a trap for his prey. He knows he must attract prey to the trap, so he uses bait. The deceiver baits his trap with a small bit of truth so he can ensnare the one he wants to deceive with his lies. You might say that a deceiver spreads false thinking by twisting truth. Satan (the devil) once tried to deceive Jesus, the Son of God. He quoted small bits of the Bible (God's Word) in an attempt to convince Jesus to join ranks with him.
Jesus refused to be fooled and used powerfully God's Word to reveal Satan's trap. The Bible tells us this story because it exposes Satan's tactics for all of us to see. The Bible often warns readers how to avoid deception. It encourages us to resist Satan and his lies. (James 4:7; Rev.12:9)(ESV) The best way to resist his deception is to read and understand God's Word.
Job, a faithful man spoken about in the Old Testament declared, "God has power and priceless wisdom. He owns both the deceiver and the person who is deceived." (Job 12:16)(ESV) This means that through His Word, God can help us see deception when it comes our way.
Be sure to remind your inquirer that they can understand more about God's Word by becoming part of a local church in their area. Remind them that there they will hear reliable teaching from the Bible. That truth can help them recognize when someone attempts to deceive them.
Be sure to encourage them to ask Church members to pray with them to understand God's wisdom. This is important, because God's Word says that many people make it their business to deceive. (2 John 1:7)(ESV) By understanding God's wisdom, they gain the help they need to avoid the deceiver's traps.
One final thought, make sure to encourage them to pray to Christ. Suggest a prayer like the one below.
Jesus, God's Son, told us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6. ESV).
You can only find your way to God through him. You can do that just by asking.
Here is a prayer you can pray: "Dear God,I need your protection against deception.I ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I need your help to find my way through life. I am sorry for all of the wrongs I have done. Please help me to know you.In Jesus' name. Amen."
Close by encouraging them to let you know by e-mail that they prayed the prayer. This will help you lead the inquirer further in their walk with God.