Close counts in playing marbles, horseshoes and for certain other games. As used in our daily conversation, close means to be near in space or time.
But just being close doesn’t count if we want to know and believe the truth!
False teachers come close to the truth. They may even say some things that are partially true, but this is done to promote what is untrue. Paul had to contend with this counterfeit element within the Church of God:
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
No created being was closer to God than Satan. He is identified as one of the original covering cherubs who were at the throne of God (Compare Ezekiel 28:14). But being close to God was not enough. Satan chose a course of life that drove him away from God. Jesus said this about Satan:
“‘…He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it’” (John 8:44).
Our Christianity faces constant assault from Satan, and he does it by his deceiving lies. His success has been all too pervasive, but not complete. John makes this contrast about us—if we are the true followers of Jesus Christ:
“We KNOW that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we KNOW that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may KNOW Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 5:19-20).
Being called to the knowledge of the truth of God sets us free from the lies of Satan and from those who represent him (Compare John 8:32). For us to know the truth and to know to reject the lies, Jesus Christ, “…gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4).
Considering this, we must constantly examine what we believe and with what fervency we hold on to the truth we have received! Being just close, in this endeavor, is NOT enough!