The Lure of a Counterfeit…

Why are people so fascinated with cults? What is their lure? What is their hook? If the apostle Paul was distressed by the Greeks’ fascination with the newest religious fads (Acts 17:16, 21), he would be dismayed over the potpourri of false gospels flourishing today. Many seekers of truth are ensnared by Christian counterfeits . . . drawn and deluded by doctrines of deceit.

“While Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. . . . Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.” -Acts 17:16, 21

Q: “What is the most effective thing I can do to help pull someone out of a cult?”

Plant a seed of doubt in the mind of the cult member, which, in time, can grow into bigger and bigger doubts. This can help the person become more objective and see errors in the cult’s teaching. God’s Spirit can cultivate the smallest seed to convict the cult member that something is terribly wrong.

“For everything there is a season . . . a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1–2

Q: “Are all cults basically the same?”

Yes and no. Cults exhibit similar psychological patterns . . .

  • Closed-mindedness . . . not interested in a rational evaluation of the facts
  • Blind obedience to authority . . . the dogma of leader or founder is supreme
  • Controlled living . . . details of daily life are dictated by the leader
  • Contempt for outsiders . . . intolerance for any belief system other than their own

“False prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” -2 Peter 2:1

Key Verse to Memorize

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15

Key Passage to Read and Reread

John 1:1–18

Click here for the PDF version of the complete Cult Resource Guide provided by Hope for the Heart.

An Ancient and Deadly Hunger…

Just how old is the occult? And what is its appeal? An appetite for supernatural knowledge and power is the same hunger that brought spiritual death to the inhabitants of Eden. As Satan “channeled” his words through a snake, his subtle seduction of Eve exposed the innate attraction we all have for the unknown. Since that fateful day when Adam and Eve ate forbidden fruit, occultism has flourished. Just as the ancient world was fascinated with numerology, astrology, and witchcraft, our contemporary world is enticed by a smorgasbord of horoscopes, fortune-tellers, spirit guides, séances, and witch clubs. Tragically, deluded followers seeking the secrets of supernatural power and knowledge are still being seduced today.

“I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” -2 Corinthians 11:3

Q: “How do I handle loyalty to a family member or friend who continually pressures me to become involved in the occult?”

Tell your loved ones that you deeply care about them, but that the Bible forbids such involvement and that you must remain true to the God of the Bible. Don’t shield them from the truth and the consequences. Ask, “Would you like to read what the Bible says?” If the answer is yes, show them the pertinent passages and encourage them to read the Scriptures out loud.

“If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known . . . you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him.” -Deuteronomy 13:6, 8

Q: “Can Christians be demon possessed?”

No. The Bible never presents even one believer as being possessed by a demon. Christians can be oppressed, but not possessed. Instead, they have been bought by the blood of the Lamb; therefore, their bodies are not their own—they belong to Christ.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” -1 Corinthians 6:19–20

Key Verse to Memorize

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” -Isaiah 5:20

Key Passage to Read and Reread

1 John 4:1–6, 9–10

Click here for the PDF version of the complete Occult Resource Guide provided by Hope for the Heart.