Monday, November 9, 2015

SPURIOUS HELP ALONG THE WAY

Sermon on the Mount (pt 20)

This section on false prophets is not independent of the previous section on the narrow way.

There will always be those who offer their help to anyone who is seeking any type or form of improvement in their lives. It matters not whether we are talking of spiritual things or material things here. The application is the same.

So, while I will be mainly focused on our Christian experience, you should also be thinking of how this applies in the marketplace.

Many of those who offer guidance will be false, counterfeit, less-than-genuine.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. [Mat 7:15-20]
It is obvious in the metaphor that we cannot tell the inner motivations of those who offer us help. “Inwardly they are ravening wolves.” They want YOU.
  • They want your money.
  • They want your possessions.
  • They want your life.
  • They promise you a freedom that they cannot deliver. (2 Pet. 2:18-19)

Of course, you won’t know that until your savings are all gone, or your spiritual life comes to a standstill.

Therefore, Jesus said that we may examine their life. We can look at what they produce.
What is the outcome in their own life and in the lives of others?

Without going into a lot of detail, Jesus made it pretty plain that good things will come from a good life, and bad things will come from a bad life.

One of the greatest deceptions ever foisted on the Body of Christ came through the Charismatic Movement.

That movement saw the rise of the television stars of evangelism, which gave the air of celebrity status to those involved, and the people of God ate it up.

What we put on celebrities transferred over into our churches and our methods of judging fruit.
If a preacher had an expensive haircut, wore fine clothes, could smile from ear to ear flashing white teeth, and say, “Praise Jesus” with a clear Southern drawl, then he/she was deemed okay and billed as “God’s Man of Power for the Hour.”
Hoodwinked by the devil.
Again.

Neglecting the scriptures as our personal source and place of devotion, we began to depend on those who were “anointed” to bring us the truth.

We abdicated our responsibility so nobly exemplified by the Bereans in Acts 17:11.

We are told more than once in the Word to not judge by outward appearance, but to judge righteously. (Jn. 7:24; Ps. 82:2; Ja. 2:9; 1 Sam. 16:7)

We have missed a most important point that is not specifically stated, but only intimated, within the Word of God—
truth is not imparted mind to mind; truth is imparted life to life. (Jn. 6:63)

This statement from Jesus as He closes His discourse is extremely important if we want to be able to “press for the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:14)

Those who are thus pressing will undoubtedly come across many who would want to “help” you on your journey, and that is a good thing. We NEED the help. But, we need to make sure it is quality help.

The next section of Jesus' sermon will give us some more insight into how to avoid being deceived, but we are not there yet.

We need to know how to be “fruit inspectors.”

For much of my Christian walk, that term has been used pejoratively. This has simply been another deceptive device of the devil, and it worked rather well.

It pushed many Christians into a place of fear concerning discernment, because they were hammered with “don’t judge!”

How can one operate in the fullness of this warning from Jesus without judging?
I have no idea, but maybe you can tell me.

The scripture is full of warnings about false prophets that will lead us astray, especially in the last days.
(Over on the right side of this blog you will find the various tags and categories under which I have filed various articles. There are five that deal with False Prophets. Click on any of those for more study.)

Rather than bury our head in the sand, or decide that we cannot be in church because it is too dangerous, let us instead become fruit inspectors who know and do the Word of God. (Ja. 1:22; Matt. 7:24-27)

Look at their life.
Listen to their preaching and teaching.
What is happening in the lives of those who have dedicated themselves to this one?
Is it all good?
If not,
BEWARE!
___________________________________
Your comments, criticisms, or questions are welcome here.
Please consider leaving your response below—either through words, or simply checking the appropriate box below that equals your reaction.
Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome here.
Feel free to critique, criticize, question, or otherwise make your voice heard in relation to this post.
I only ask that you keep it civil and appropriate to the post.
Thanks.