God gave us the Bible to teach us about Him and His ways, and since God is not a God of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), any and all confusion must come from the destructive forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The “world” refers to the ungodly world system and its people who do not understand or care about the Word of God; the “flesh” is the lingering sinful nature Christians possess that corrupts their godly walk; and the devil refers to Satan and his demons who twist God’s Word, often while masquerading as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Each of these forces can act individually or in unison in an attempt to confuse people about the Word of God. But, most confusion results from our own laziness and/or false teaching. Ultimately, and most tragically, confusion about the Bible can lead to a false hope of salvation. And that is Satan’s ultimate goal. When Satan tempted Jesus, he used misinterpretations of the Word of God for his attacks. Satan does the same thing today, taking a truth of Scripture and misapplying it. Satan is skilled at twisting the Word of God just enough so that it produces disastrous consequences, while still sounding like the Word of God.
Sometimes confusion over what the Bible teaches originates from poor Bible translations, or even intentionally distorted translations. More often, though, confusion results from a lack of serious study among believers and the false preachers, teachers, and writers (2 Corinthians 11:12-13) who are found on radio, television, and the Internet. These false prophets take even proper translations and, through both ignorance and design, twist and distort the Word of God to promote their own agenda or appeal to the thinking of the world. Instead of lazy Bible study and relying on others to teach us the Word of God, we should study God’s Word diligently and rely on the Holy Spirit. He will open the heart to God’s truth concerning Himself and His creation, prayer, worship, Christian love, our battle with Satan, personal conduct, church conduct, and achieving a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Most deadly, confusion is rampant regarding the truth of the gospel. While Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the only way, the only truth, and the only life (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), today many who call themselves evangelical Christians believe that heaven can be gained by other ways and other religions. But in spite of apparent confusion, the sheep will still hear the voice of the Shepherd and will follow only Him (John 10:27). Those who do not belong to the Shepherd “will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear” (2 Timothy 4:3). God has given us His Spirit and the command to preach biblical truth with humility and patience, in and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), and to study to show ourselves approved, workers who correctly handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15) until the Lord Jesus returns and puts an end to all confusion.