(Article for publication week of 7-11-2013 AD)
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
In our recent study of true conversion from Matthew 7:13-14, and Luke 13:24, we saw that one of the hindrances to true conversion is that there are multitudes of false prophets who lead men astray. Notice in our text this week that as soon as our Lord pointed us to the gate of conversion, He then warns us of false prophets. Right there at the gate of conversion are false preachers who hinder men from entering into salvation. False prophets tell men they may get to heaven without entering into salvation by the gate of true and thorough and sound conversion.
If you value your never-dying soul, it behooves you to know the difference in a true man of God, and a false prophet. There are many imposters lying in wait to deceive people. There are multitudes of blind leaders of the blind headed for the ditch, and bringing multitudes of deceived followers down to hell with them.
False prophets are often very nice people. They have the appearance of a sheep, but they are as dangerous as a wild wolf. In fact, they are more dangerous than wolves, for a wolf can only destroy your body, but a false preacher can destroy your soul. False prophets may be found in all sorts of places, Of course we know they are found among the cults and liberal “churches’, but be sure they may also be found in places professedly conservative and sound.
A man that preaches a social “gospel” is not a true man of God. A man who preaches politics is not a true man of God. (However a true man of God is not afraid to take a stand on political issues. I am just making a point that a man may advocate for sound policy in government and be as lost as a goose. I weep and tremble and fear for the souls of multitudes of “conservatives” who have little evidence of being saved. There are many of you who think that joining a mainline church and the Republican Party will get you to heaven, but you will be sorely disappointed when you come to die. And I have no hope whatsoever for liberals and socialists.) Most everybody who marches and advocates for the so-called “down-trodden masses” are lost men on their way to hell, and bringing multitudes of false converts with them. In fact there are many whose bodies are in the grave and their souls are in hell are still leading men into hell with them, for they as the righteous dead continue to speak though they be dead. They continue to speak through their blasphemous writings and recordings and through popular acclaim.
Here is the acid test of a man’s ministry. Does he declare that you are lost in your sins without any hope of saving yourself? Does he declare that Christ is the only way to be saved and that faith in Him Alone is the way to be saved? Does he faithfully call upon you to repent? Does he preach justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Alone? Does he preach the necessity of the new birth? Does he preach sanctification as well as justification? Does he faithfully point men to the strait gate of conversion? Any man who does not preach these things is a false prophet and will bring you down to hell with himself. “Beware of false prophets!”