True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:15-23, NIV)
Remember Y2K? All the computers were going to crash! It will throw the world into chaos!! Remember 2012? The Mayan calendar ends…we are all going to die!!! Many people have attempted to predict the end of the world. Some have used science, while others claim to be divinely inspired. But the fact remains – they have all been wrong!
Since Jesus first predicted that He would return, people have been trying to determine an exact date. In Matthew 23:36, Jesus warns that no one will know the day, nor the hour of His return, not even the angels. Only His Father, the Lord God, knows the timeline. While it certainly would be nice to know the exact time of His return, we must accept that we cannot know. No matter how far we advance scientifically, we will never be able to predict Jesus’ Second Coming.
No doubt Jesus knew the temptation His statement would make. He knew that people would be determined to figure out the time and date. Jesus knew, and so He warned us of what was to come.
Jesus first speaks of true and false prophets. Prophets predict the future. They are given dreams or visions or signs from the Lord that help them understand what is to come in the future and prepare people for it. They are given a certain wisdom by the Lord. But there are also those who claim to have been blessed by the Lord in this manner, when in fact, they have not been. They are false prophets. True prophets always speak the truth, as it comes from God. False prophets do not speak for the Lord. They speak for themselves or for the enemies of the Lord. It is not always easy to discern between true and false prophets. Sometimes what false prophets predict actually comes to pass, for a time. But eventually, their predictions will prove false.
Sadly, some false prophets will earnestly believe that they are doing the Lord’s work. They will be unable to realize they have been deceived by those working against the Lord. Jesus issues a chilling warning that all who call themselves Christians must heed. Not all will enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus will only acknowledge those who do the will of His Father. Only those Jesus acknowledges will enter the kingdom of heaven.
When we accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our life, our life must change. One cannot accept Jesus into their heart without being changed. There are many who claim to be followers of Christ. They regularly attend church. They go to Sunday school. They bring their children to church. They donate to the church. Outwardly, they appear to be kind and decent people. They can quote the Bible. They seem to be living a life that the Lord would not oppose. But that isn’t enough! Appearance can be quite deceiving. God is more interested in what is in our hearts than our outward appearance that the world sees. Because if God is truly in your heart, the world will most definitely notice.
Nearly everyone will have advice and opinions on how you should live according to God’s will. But truthfully, only God can truly guide you. To know God, to know His will for you and your life requires diligent study of His word and submission to His will. He reveals Himself to us through the Bible. If you do not study individually, if you rely upon others to tell you what you should be doing, you are not actively following the Lord.
It is imperative, especially in today’s world, to be aware of whose and what advice you are taking and seeking. And always, always be returning to the Bible to verify the Truth. Evaluate those in your life. Are they true or false? Are you true or false?
For more information regarding how your financial support can help, please click here.