Not So Random Thoughts 31

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.’

Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Romans 9:15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy

Jesus told us to beware of false prophets, but it appears that our land is full of them in our day. There are numerous buildings in each city that have “church” on the sign or door and yet false prophets are the ones preaching. There are buildings which house huge numbers of people, yet false prophets are the ones preaching. Where is God in our day? It is not that God is absent, but He is working to judge people by giving them what their itching ears want to hear and what their wicked hearts long for.

Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.

A false prophet or preacher is not limited to one way of deception, but there are many ways to deceive. The false prophets spoke in God’s name, but they prophesied falsehood. They prophesied falsehood because God had not spoken to them and had not sent them. They prophesied what was false and what was futile because what they prophesied was the deception of their own minds rather than the mind of God. Anyone who preaches his own mind rather than the mind of God is preaching falsehood. Anyone who preaches what he wants to preach rather than what God has set out is preaching falsehood.

It would seem to be that there are fairly easy questions to answer in terms of preaching. Is it better to preach what God really and truly says or is it better to preach in accordance with my own sinful heart? Is it better to preach the easy things and things that tickle people’s ears or is it better to stick to preaching the true and real character of God as set out in and by Christ Jesus? Is it better to preach in a way that will bring the accolades of the people or is it better to preach for the glory of God in a way that is pleasing to Him? Is it better to preach in a way where the crowds will flock in or is it better to preach in a way where God may bless His people with His presence? Is it better to preach a Christ that is centered upon man or preach a Christ who loved His Father? Is it better to preach things that are in the power of man to do or is it better to preach that apart from Christ there is nothing good or spiritual that we can do? Is it better to preach a broad road or a narrow one?

It is easy to preach the letter of orthodoxy and yet leave spiritual things untouched. It is easy to preach the letter of the Gospel and yet leave the Gospel itself untouched. It is easy to preach some great truths of Christ and yet not get at the real heart of Christ. It is easy to preach against sin and yet leave the real nature of the sinful heart undisturbed. False prophets are good at the externals and yet they are always on the surface. False prophets do not always appear evil and perhaps are learned and well-spoken. False prophets can be quite orthodox and be defenders of orthodoxy. False prophets can preach hard things too. Jesus told us to beware of false prophets. Why is that? A false prophet will not look like a false prophet to the unaware. The false prophet will be dressed up like a sheep and may be self-deceived regarding his own nature. But the false prophets are like ravenous wolves in that they cause a lot of destruction and pain. A deception about what road one is on is a terrible and eternal deception.

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