When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations … Revelation 20:7-8
How is it possible, after Jesus has reigned for a thousand years, that Satan is able to deceive the nations?
Paul warns about those who, “gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” and talks about those who, “turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
The truth isn’t always palatable and sometimes we prefer to come up with our own ideas rather than believe the truth of God’s word. Believing myths is easier and often more comfortable because they are based on worldly ideas we can see and hear. Likewise, we may prefer to listen to teachers who we already agree with, rather than be challenged with a different perspective. This is especially true if the teaching is in an area of our life that brings painful memories to the surface. We may prefer not to deal with the memories of our past sins or the memories of those who have sinned against us. We can easily become comfortable in our Christian walk and gather around those who only say what we want to hear.
One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth (John 16:15-16). Selwyn Hughes pointed out recently in Every Day With Jesus, that we can fall into the trap of overemphasizing those truths we’re comfortable with and underemphasizing those truths which challenge us. As a result, we become lopsided Christians.
Nevertheless, if we remain open to all of God’s word, we will be teachable. Then we can trust that God won’t allow us to be deceived.