“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15
I love coming to church to fellowship. I love the encouragement and friendship I receive when I’m around the body of Christ. In Matthew 7:15, our Savior warns us of those who are not in the church for the same reason you might be. This is just a small part of the extrodinary sermon on the mount speech that Jesus gave. Jesus spoke to a great multitude, but sadly only a few would actually hear what Jesus was saying.
I know it is hard to believe that people would come to church for the expressed reason to break up the body of Christ, but some do it knowingly and some, unknowingly. Jesus calls false prophets, wolves, and I find it interesting that He would pick that particular animal. Not only did the Lord choose the word wolves, but He called them “ravenous.” I notice that wolves kill differently than big cats. The wolf eats where he bites. So if a wolf catches you on the foot, it’s going to be a long day. Gruesome!!!
I apologize for the horrific visuals, but Jesus used the wolf to say one thing…DANGER! The false prophet is inherently worse than a wolf; an animal can only harm the body, but the false prophet, false teacher, the false brother or sister, looks to abuse your soul.
They are clever in their approach and eventually ravage a person of their money, possessions, and more importantly, in turning your heart from the Savior. A false prophet does not have to be in the pulpit only, but can walk among you at church. You’ve heard the old adage, “Not everyone who comes to church is saved.” That is an accurate statement. So how do you protect yourself?
The first step is to start with yourself. In most cases, you are your own worse enemy. If you recognize patterns of sin in your life, it needs to stop. If you are comfortable in your sin, but call yourself a Christian, you are deluded. I mean this as much for myself as for you. Romans 6:16 says, "Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?"
At one point, you may have said that you will follow Christ, but your words never matched your reality or your walk with Christ (self evaluation). Confess your sin to the Lord and ask Him into your life. This is why we take communion once a month, to make an assessment of ourselves before the Lord. If you feel conviction…great! Let the Holy Spirit have His way with you. Confess your sin and come to the Lord in all humbleness. If you seek the Lord, you will find Him. (Deuteronomy 4:29).
The second step is to find people who consistently read and study the Bible regularly and practice what they learn (Psalms 119). Search diligently for such people at the church. The Lord tells us in Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."
The last thing is to look for the fruit in both yourself and the next person. A person can’t fake the fruit of the Spirit because only the Holy Spirit can produce the following kind of fruit:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:22-24
I wanted to throw one more important tool for finding the wolf in yourself and others is to listen to a person’s speech:
"The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45
There are many more areas to look at, but I want to show you what I’m working on in my own personal walk. I hope this helps you to become more intimate with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For those who are not sure about their salvation and want to be sure, I left a prayer of salvation below. Remember, the profession is not salvation, but how you respond to God in your daily life of prayer, Bible study, and obedience that will produce the type of fruit you see above.
Prayer of Salvation:
Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. I want forgiveness for all my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. Father, I give you my life to do with as You wish. I want Jesus Christ to come into my life and into my heart. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, I want you to get in contact with the front office to set-up a One-to-One follow-up to move forward in your walk with the Lord.
Posted on Fri, July 24, 2015
by Sam Petitfils