Do you know what this furry little animal is? A mouse perhaps? No. What about a hamster? Nope. A Vole!! It has to be a vole!! Wrong.
This fuzzy little varmint is known as a Lemming. They average about 3-6 inches long and live way up north, near the arctic circle. They like to eat leaves and grasses, roots and bulbs. They sound innocent enough, right? Did you know that, if provoked, they will attack? Even humans!! Keep THAT in mind if you're ever up by the arctic circle and wanting to pet THIS cute little creature! Dey be mean!!
Lemmings, however aren't known for their voracity. They are actually known for something about themselves that isn't true. For years we humans have thought that lemmings occasionally commit mass suicide by jumping off cliffs into the sea. Even today, if you go to Google and search for "lemmings" you will see numerous cartoons depicting this very thing.
In 1985, Apple Computer ran a Lemming commercial during the Superbowl as they launched The MacIntosh Office - a direct competitor of Microsoft Office. It featured humans (most likely representing PC/Microsoft users), as they walked blindfolded off a cliff, just like the fabled lemmings were thought to do. You can watch the commercial here.
The commercial implies that PC users, just like the suicidal lemmings, don't know any better and are doomed to perish unless they buy the latest Apple software. Hmm. Those lemmings kind of remind me of something else I've seen on television.
I have another picture to show you. Do you know who this man is? His name is Joel Osteen. He looks like a nice enough guy. He smiles a lot. And I do mean a lot!! He kind of reminds me of a used car salesman. But actually? He's the leader of a rather large church, Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas whose average weekly attendance is 43,500. Whoa?
Why is Mr. Osteen so popular? Why would his weekly messages be broadcast to an audience of over 7 million viewers? Well, he is popular because he tells people exactly what they want to hear. He's all about us baby! And that makes us feel Grrreat! And he tells us that God is all about us too! He wants you to have "Your Best Life Now." That's actually the title of one of his books. I kind of thought that our "best life" was going to be in heaven. But we can have it now? Umm, no. Mr. Osteen preaches what is known as The Prosperity Gospel.
What IS the Prosperity Gospel? Well, it is the belief that our words have the power to make our dreams come true. Pray harder and you'll get more. Oh, and it will happen quicker if you donate money to their ministry. Yeah . . . Hmm.
The following is from an interview with Christian Post: "There is a part of Christianity that says you’re supposed to suffer and be poor and downtrodden,” Osteen said. “I don’t believe that’s how God wants us to live. I think He wants us to excel and be happy and be a blessing to others.”
You mean we can be Christians AND have all the material possessions we want? Cool! (sarcasm warning). I thought we had to give to the poor and think of others before ourselves and other selfless acts of kindness. Stuff like that. Hmm. (sigh) This guy is leading thousands down the wrong path.
One of the signs of the end times is that a large number of false teachers will appear among us. They will preach a false gospel and lead many astray - "even the elect." That's you and me my brothers and sisters. Don't be fooled by these guys. There is one God and He is the God of the Bible. When we decide to pick and choose only the things we like about God's character we are creating a "false god." And that is breaking one of the 10 commandments. The very FIRST commandment. "You shall have no other god's before me." And when Jesus told us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind," He wasn't talking about the god WE created. Jesus was talking about the uncreated one, His Father in heaven.
Who put the blindfolds on those PC users in that commercial you just watched? Apple would have you believe it was Microsoft. And who are those putting blindfolds on our brothers and sisters in Christ these days? Sadly, it is often those we'd least suspect. People claiming to be shepherds but who are really wolves in sheep's clothing.
Many will come saying "Look! There he is!!" but it is our duty as followers of Christ, to be good Bereans (Acts 17:11) and compare whatever we hear to God's Word. It is the only source of truth in a world that offers many different varieties of so-called truth. Whatever our itching ears want to hear.
So, what do we believe? Do we believe everything we see and hear on television and on the Internet? Or do we believe God's Word? The living, breathing, infallible Word of God.
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." - 2 Timothy 4:3