01 November 2009

Recognizing False Teachers

My pastor preached on Matthew 7:15-20 today. I always look forward to what I am going to learn from him. His sermon reminded me of my presumption of mercy from God. Being able to come boldly before His throne should never include being presumptuous. I was convicted by my cavalier attitude regarding my faith. In fact, there were several areas he touched on that were convicting for me, but that's not really the object of this post. In dealing with the scripture and admonishing us to be discerning about those who claim to belong to Christ, he gave us a quick outline on how to recognize false prophets. I spend a lot of time listening to men like my pastor and my friend James White. I want to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within me and I want to be able to discern truth from error. God gave us our intellect for that very reason. So, I thought I would pass on this quick outline of things to look for when you listen to someone preach about our Lord. In a day or two you will find this sermon on the website to right labeled "Recent Sermons" and like the others listed there it's worth a listen.

False prophets...

1) Avoid teaching on the holiness, wrath and righteousness of God. Preferring to focus on how much God loves us.
2) Avoid preaching on the final Judgment Day.
3) Fail to emphasize the depravity of man.
4) De-emphasize the substitutionary atonement of Christ.

Matt 7:15-20
15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16 "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn {bushes,} nor figs from thistles, are they?
17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 "So then, you will know them by their fruits.

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