Q. I was reading the Bible and I stumbled onto Matthew 24:4-5.
“Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
Am I right to interpret the fact that Jesus said “many will come in my name” as fellow Christians? That people who are supposedly followers of Christ will be part of the ones who will deceive many especially in the end times?
I find this prophecy very parallel to the whole New Age belief where even Christian teachers are teaching doctrines like Jesus is one of the many ways to heaven, but not the only way. That view, although more tolerant, is not biblical and compromises the very core of Christian doctrine.
I’d appreciate any insight you can give me. Thanks!
A. In the Matthew passage you referenced Jesus was warning us that there would be false Messiahs as the end of the age approaches, claiming to be Him. For a prophecy about teachers and false doctrine consider 2 Timothy 4:3-4. “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. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
Notice that Paul identifies the motivating factor for false doctrine as being people who reject the truth and go looking for people who will tell them what they want to hear. You don’t even have to go