Not So Random Thoughts 22

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 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 “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. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

In thinking through the meaning of the fact that there are many on the broad way and who have entered in at the wide gate, it is clear that one of the reasons that so many are deluded in this matter is because of false prophets (or perhaps, false preachers). Those who preach a message where people are entering at the broad gate and the broad road have entered at the wide gate and are on the broad road themselves. They will preach false things with conviction and much feeling. They may preach these things because they are convinced that these things are true. They may be orthodox in doctrine in many ways and yet view those who are on the narrow path as off base as they make fun of them. False preachers can be very nice and outwardly produce many good works in appearance.

It would be much easier if God would put a large FP on the back of each false preacher, but He does not. False preachers harden hearts and that is a severe judgment sent upon others by God. It may seem mean or harsh, but God does send people false preachers and people love to hear them as they hear what they want to hear. A false preacher can have a big Bible and wear a white suit, but that person is rotten to the core and is an enemy of the living God. Nice clothing and a big smile are not given to us as marks of a preacher of the true Gospel. While a person must be orthodox in doctrine to preach the true Gospel, one can have much orthodoxy and not preach the true Gospel. One can preach the historical facts about the Gospel and yet not preach the true Gospel.

Jesus warned people to beware of false prophets (preachers). Interestingly enough, a false preacher can be a good speaker with a lot of orthodoxy and warn people against false preaching and doctrine. This is quite deceptive. A false preacher can be an avid follower of an orthodox confession and yet preach a false Gospel. False preachers can be considered orthodox and sound preachers in certain denominations as well. False preachers can write books and receive accolades from famous men. Jesus said to beware of these people and did not say that they would be openly false. If we are to beware of them, we must have great discernment.

The scholars and most religious people of that day were the Scribes and the Pharisees. They were the orthodox and they were the scholars, but Jesus warned them and warned others against them.

Matthew 16:6 And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 11 “How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Luke 20:46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets,

Could it be that in a day when we are slipping away from the heart of the teachings of the Reformation that we need to beware even more and more? Could it be that many of the scholars in our day are closer to the Scribes than to the spiritual teachings and intent of Christ? Jesus taught us this: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way” (Luke 6:26). This is also true of men who are popular speakers. Could it be that they are liked so much because they are not teaching the cross in an offensive way? Could it be that in our modern day we are too politically correct and are too winsome to preach the offense of the cross? The facts of the Gospel and of the cross can be taught while hiding the true offense of them. This is not to say that we are to seek to be offensive, but that we are not to water the Gospel down in order that we would not be offensive to others. Beware of those who speak that way.

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