“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Eph. 5:6)
Empty words are like empty promises. They are like dark clouds without rain. They are worse than the faintest hope for they are hopeless and offer no chance of fulfillment. Empty words are like cisterns that are dry or mirages in the desert. If you listen to empty words, you will be deceived.
The Thessalonians were cautioned about a similar problem. In his second letter to them, Paul reminded them that Satan would use signs and false wonders with power so that he could deceive them. These people are in danger of being led astray by false teaching. Paul tells them that believing false teaching prevent salvation. (2 Thess. 2:1-12)
False teachings are empty words. We have and have had a great deal of false teaching in the Christian world. People twist the scriptures to accomplish their own agenda. We consult Peter in this regard. “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves…and in their greed they will exploit you with false words…” (2 Pet. 2:1f)
Peter also warns against distorting the scriptures which ends in destruction. He warns the people not to be carried away by the error of unprincipled men. False statements about salvation are empty words as well. Some make salvation a matter of a simple confession, and some make it so difficult that grace is lost. Empty words may take the form of dismissing the warnings of the Bible. They take the form of universal salvation indicating that because God is good everyone will ultimately be saved. This teaching leads people thinking they can do anything they want and still be saved in the end. At the same time, people teach that hell is not real. They use the same principle that God is too good to punish people in a scenario like the lake of fire.
Prophets lie, teachers lie, and preachers lie. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” You can not trust anyone but God. People will say the end is near, but those are empty words that have been repeated for centuries. People will say that following God will make you rich but God has never promised riches, and his heart is for the poor. On and on the false promises come, but they don’t come from the word of God. Trust God and trust his word.
Task for today: Become a Berean and check everything you are taught by the word of God. False teachers may quote scripture, but they often leave a lot of scripture out. Don’t just check what they say, check what the Bible says on the subject in its entirety.