"But It's Not Real!" (2 John 1:7)

I love jellyfish.


Whenever I visit an aquarium, I always make a beeline to the jellyfish exhibit. I can spend hours watching the different jellyfish, fluoresce, riding the currents of the water. It has a great calming effect upon me. Not surprisingly, I have wanted to raise jellyfish in my home or office. But I know that this is an extremely difficult task. Until now.


In my office, there sits an aquarium that contains seven jellyfish, circulating the water via two pumps. There is a changing array of lights which dance off the tentacles and body. During every break, I glance at the tank and delight in their dance. My staff and guests to my office are equally mesmerized. It is soothing and entertaining. But it’s not real!


I found this aquarium through an online site. It is really a child’s toy but many of the online comments came from adults who were absolutely taken with the realism of the toy. From a distance, it is virtually impossible to discern that this is not real. The manufacturers did an outstanding job of imitating the real thing at a fraction of the cost.


In my Christian walk, I have encountered many situations that were close imitations, and I wanted to believe it as genuine. I read books written by well-known Christian evangelists, but the theology is not solid or grounded in God’s Word. I have attended churches that had wonderful worship teams and all the support programs for families. Yet the pastor’s preaching was not based upon God’s Word. I allowed myself to be caught up in the organization of the church but not focus upon what was most important, the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.


For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

2 John 1:7 (ESV)


My jellyfish tank is a close mimic, but I know it’s not real. I need to be even more discerning when I read or listen to anything that appears to be expounding Christian values and teachings. Satan is far more devious and subtle than I can imagine, and I need to hold every teaching to the light of God’s Word. Only through the illumination of the Holy Spirit will I be able to discern whether it is real.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.