(Jesus said) "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand." Matthew 24:23-25
Virginia's 34-year-old Tarshema Brice has six children.
Sadly, the income she receives from being a hairstylist and janitor didn't always cover all her bills. When she realized the money going out was greater than the money coming in, Brice did what many non-Christian, but creative people, might do: she made more money.
No, I don't mean Brice took a third job; I mean she made more money.
Knowing that official money is printed on official, water-marked paper, Brice began with an official, water-marked, government approved $5 bill. She coated the bills with Purple Power® degreaser and then zapped them in the microwave. After that she could use a toothbrush to remove the ink on her original bill.
After that, it was easy.
Brice simply used her Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer and copied the photo of a $50 or $100 bill onto the ex-fiver. Although her new bills had the wrong watermark, Brice's efforts passed the detection systems used by the local merchants, which explains why it took the police so long to catch her.
According to the FBI, digital technology has made counterfeiting incredibly easy.
More and more people are going to their laser or digital printers and running off a couple hundred bucks to underwrite a weekend away or subsidize a night-on-the-town, which means that more and more merchants are finding themselves stuck with counterfeit cash, which isn't worth the paper on which it is printed.
It's sad when someone is stuck with counterfeit cash; it's a terrible tragedy when someone gets stuck with a counterfeit christ.
When Jesus was with us, He knew the day would come when others would say, "Look at this fellow. He says good things. He does good things. He even manages miraculous and wonderful things. How can he not be the savior; why should we not follow him?" Over the centuries, Jesus' warning has been fulfilled as countless con-men and charlatans have duped naïve sinners.
Today the situation is even worse as many people have fallen victims to the idea that all religions are the same, all gods are the same, and all sincere believers in whatever will be given an eternal reward in heaven.
Now if you wish to avoid being hornswoggled, I encourage you to remember there is only one Scripture that points unerringly to the one Savior -- the one Mediator between God and man.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I keep my eyes fixed on my Savior's cross and empty tomb. Grant that I always realize that it was there the world's only Savior won my salvation. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries