Faithlife Sermons

Matthew 7:15-20 Beware of Wolves

Notes
Transcript

Intro

Jesus is the good shepherd and we are the sheep of his fold.
He cares for us. Feeds us. Washes us clean and runs after us when we wander off.
But a good shepherd doesn’t just care for the sheep. He also guards the sheep.
Sheep are vulnerable animals. There are all kinds of natural predators that want to eat them and tear them apart, and a sheep’s only defense is their shepherd keeping watch and fighting off the wolves.
As our good shepherd, Jesus guards us. He protects us from spiritual wolves, false teachers, who want to devour the sheep of his flock.
If you look at the state of the church today what will you see?
Rampant apostasy, a lowering of truth to accommodate the world, a weak and almost non existent witness.
And all because supposed pastors and spiritual leaders speak smooth words whose sole purpose is to tickle ears.
It is no wonder Jesus warned us...

Beware of Wolves!

If you have been paying attention at all, the wolves are loose.
And it seems like everyday, more and more wolves come out of the woodwork, emboldened by the weakness of the church led by weak men who are so afraid of being called mean by other Christians or taking heat from the world for standing up for the truth that they refuse to fight and guard the sheep.
I don’t know about you but I think the gospel is something is worth fighting for.
And if we are going to contend for the faith in a lost and dying world fighting enemies within the church and enemies without, then we need to know what Jesus said about the wolves.
In Matthew 7:15-20 Our Lord warns us about wolves.
He tells us what makes these wolves so dangerous and how you and I can identify them so that we persevere in Christ, honor God, and shine as a light in the world.
And the first thing any sheep needs to know about wolves is that...

I. Wolves are Dangerous

Jesus gives us a command that is profoundly simple.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets...
A prophet is someone who speaks on behalf of God. They were people sent by God to speak God’s Word to God’s people.
They are someone who claims to represent God and teach God’s Word, but they are false teachers.
Hear how God describes His prophets.
Deuteronomy 18:18-19 And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.
God says a prophet carries the authority of God Himself because they carry God’s Word. To reject a prophet’s words was as good as rejecting God’s Word.
And if anyone did not listen to God’s prophets, God said that He himself would require it of them. That he would hold them accountable for ignoring the Word of the Lord.
Ignoring a prophet was serious business, because if you ignored a prophet you ignored God.
This is why ignoring Christ and the message of his gospel is so dangerous.
Deuteronomy 18 is talking about God raising up a new prophet like Moses. And in Acts 3 peter tells us that that prophet is Christ.
He is the one God raised up to proclaim God’s Word to God’s people. The very Word that if people ignore it, God himself will require it of them.
Well what was that Word? What was Prophet of prophets’ message? What did God send him to say?
John 12:46-50 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
That is Jesus saying whoever will not listen to his words, God will require it of them.
Jesus continues...
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. [Jesus is THE Prophet. THE One we need to listen to. And this is the Commandment, the Word, the Father has given his prophet] 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.
Jesus’ prophecy, the Word God gave him to speak, is eternal life.
That God does not want people to perish in their sins but to have their sins forgiven by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
To repent of their sin and cast them all on Christ who paid for our sin through his sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection.
God’s Prophet, came to tell sinners who are blinded by the darkness, that he is the Light and in him we can have everlasting life.
This gives us some clue why Jesus warns us so sternly, Beware of false prophets.
Jeremiah 14:14 And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.
False prophets claim to speak for God, but they are liars.
God did not send them. God did not speak to them.
They claim they need to be heard. That they need to be listened to. That they need to be obeyed. But their words do not come from God, and their words do not lead to life. Only destruction.
And in Deuteronomy 13 God says he sends false prophets and false teachers to test his people. To see whether they love the Lord with all of their heart and all of their soul. Or whether they will follow after other gods and live for themselves.
And this was exactly why Jesus was warning us.
People often miss this, but what verses come right before Jesus’ command, Beware of false prophets?
Matthew 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate.
The parallel passage in Luke 13 says Strive to enter the narrow door. Agonize to enter. Make every effort to enter.
Why?
For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
This is the climax of the Sermon on the Mount. Every point in Jesus’ sermon has been leading up to this.
Enter by the narrow gate.
Jesus is calling everyone to make a decision. There are two paths. Two ways to live. The narrow gate and the narrow way that leads to life, the wide gate and the wide way that leads to destruction.
One way is grace through Christ. The other is human accomplishment rooted in self-righteousness.
You either choose God’s way for salvation or man’s way.
You either believe that you are good enough. That your sin isn’t that bad, and that God will understand.
Ultimately all you are doing is relying on your own merit, which God says is like filthy rags, to get yourself into the Kingdom of God.
The other way is that you know you’re not good enough. You know you can’t save yourself and in faith you cling to Christ. You rely on his merit. His work. His righteousness to save you from your sin.
There is no alternative. Christ said, He is the door of the sheep. He is the way the truth and the life. There is no other.
Jesus is saying don’t keep going your way. Come God’s way. Self-righteousness will never get you there. You can never make yourself good enough or acceptable enough to God.
That way only leads to destruction. To damnation and the eternal Hell-fire where the smoke from all who enter that wide way goes up forever and ever.
The wide gate leads to an easy way because there is no repentance. There is no faith. There is no Christ. There is only self-indulgence, self-love, and self worship.
Its the way of the world where everyone lives for whatever they want, trampling the glory of God all along the way.
The gate is wide because you don’t need to give anything up to get through. You can take all your sin, all your pride, all your self righteousness, and you do you. You live your life for your glory.
In contrast the narrow way is so small Jesus says it is like the eye of a needle. You must leave everything behind. You must die to yourself and renounce your life. Give up everything.
You must put away your sin, your selfish ambition and worldly dreams. Even if necessary, friends and family, and cling only to Christ!
For no one can follow Christ without denying themselves which is why the way is hard that leads to life.
But it does lead to life. It leads to eternal joy and everlasting salvation where we will worship God like we were made to in the New Heaven and the New Earth where every stain of sin and the curse will be washed away.
Enter by the narrow gate. Heed the Word of God’s true Prophet! Come to Christ. Put away your sin. Stop living for yourself and start living for him.
That is the call of Jesus, the true Prophet, whose message is eternal life.
And that’s when Jesus says, but Beware of false prophets.
Here’s the picture Jesus is creating.
You are standing at a crossroads in your life.
On the right hand side there is a narrow gate and through that gate you can see that the path is rocky, crooked, and hill after hill after hill. You see a few people on it, but its a hard go.
On the left hand side there is a wide gate. Its ornate, beautiful, and its so compelling that your feet almost feel drawn to it like they have a mind of their own.
And beyond that gate is an easy way. The ground is even, the sun is shining, and people on that path have nothing but laughter and a life of ease.
And then you hear something. Someone yelling over the crowd “Come this way. Come to the wide gate! Both paths take you to the same place, the only difference is this one is so much easier. Sure you can go the hard way, but why do that when you can laugh, drink, and be merry on the easy way?”
False prophets stand outside the gate and bid people to follow the way of the world. To reject God’s way, to reject Christ, and follow our way.
And these false prophets claim to speak for God. They claim to tell the truth. But all their words are lies.
They assure people that their way will still lead to life, even though it will only lead to their destruction.
And this is what makes false prophets, false teachers, so dangerous. This is why Jesus says we need to beware, be alert, be on guard!
Because false prophets have not been sent by God. They do not preach God’s word. Instead, their message only leads to the destruction. To the damnation of every soul that follows them all while those souls believe they are on God’s path to life.
Do you feel the urgency of this command? Are you on guard against false teachers in the world?Jesus said many false prophets will arise and lead many astray even, if possible, the elect.
And John said many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).
If that was true in the 1st century when Christianity was just a small seed, how many more false teachers do you think are out there with 2000 years of Kingdom growth behind them?
False prophets are dangerous because they are leading people straight to hell.
This is why it is not godly or kind to treat false prophets with kid gloves.
The stakes could not be higher which is why Paul says in Titus 1:11, They must be silenced. Not heard. Not understood. Not listened to. Not tolerated. Silenced.
Later in Titus 3 Paul says Titus 3:10-11 As for a person who stirs up division [which is someone who brings in heresy and divides people from the truth with their false teaching], after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Paul is saying: Turn your back on them. Kick them out. Have nothing more to do with them! Mark them as a false teacher.
Now this is where some people start to get a little uncomfortable.
We are living in a day where it is not polite, nice, or gentle to call out false teaching and false teachers.
And if you do, you are immediately accused of being judgmental, divisive, assuming the worst, and unchristlike.
Now hear me. I’m not suggesting we go out there heresy hunting. We don’t want to be uncharitable or cynical towards other Christians.
Love demands we deal with others assuming the best. Giving them the benefit of the doubt.
But that is a far cry from being naive and irresponsible. There’s a pretty big gap between those two extremes.
Just because someone claim to be a brother or sister in the faith, does not make it true. If they are spouting false teaching, they are a wolf.
Now, I’m not asking you to go out there and every time you see someone post something from a false teacher or the trojan horse that is The Gospel Coalition that you light them up.
But what I am asking is that you beware. Guard yourself, our church and the lost God has sovereignly placed in your life from false teaching that denies orthodox Christianity and leads people away from Christ.
And Right now, its so easy to get distracted. We can look at our culture growing harder and harder in their sin and start thinking that the real threat to the church is somewhere out there. Its the world and persecution.
But that is not the greatest threat to our mission. False teachers are. False prophets who claim to speak on behalf of God all the while minimizing sin and God’s judgment leading people to hell.
Men and women who bid every traveler come this way! Walk on the wide and easy road. God approves. You are forgiven. There is no need to deny yourself and follow Christ.
These false teachers misrepresent Christ and blind the world from what biblical, orthodox Christianity actually looks like.
People who follow them go whistling on the wide and easy way all the way to hell, believing they are saved!
False teachers are dangerous because their lies have eternal consequences.
We need to beware. We need to be on the look out for their teaching because they lead people away from Christ to destruction.
It is not unloving to name false teachers and warn others. It is essential so we can guard the faith and people can know true salvation in Christ.
But like Jesus said, many of these false prophets are in the world today and Jesus calls us to vigilance.
We must be alert, take care, pay close attention because Jesus says not only are wolves dangerous, they are also deceptive.

II. Wolves are Deceptive

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Jesus compares false prophets to ravenous wolves.
And what he’s saying is that they are vicious. Insatiable. Impossible to satisfy, always hungry.
They come to devour and tear apart whoever they can catch in their jaws.
But the hard part is, they don’t look like wolves. Looking at a false teacher is not like Little Red Riding Hood looking a grandma saying, “My! What big teeth you have!”
Jesus says they are ravenous wolves inwardly. On the outside, they don’t look dangerous. In fact, they look the opposite of dangerous because on the outside, wolves look like shepherds.
Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing.
Usually when people ready that verse they picture some kind wolf wearing a sheep costume.
But Jesus’ warning is much worse than that. Sheep’s clothing refers to wool. And in Jesus’ day who were known for wearing clothing made out of wool? Shepherds.
A Shepherd wore a wool cloak. Its Shepherd’s who wear sheep’s clothing.
Jesus is saying, Beware of false shepherds. Beware of men who look like godly teachers, who look like men of God, but inwardly are ravenous wolves who are more interested in devouring the sheep to feed their own appetites than they are in caring for the flock of God.
It is these false pastors that Paul assumed Jesus was talking about in Acts 20. Paul is talking to the pastors in Ephesus and he warns them from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things. Fierce wolves who will not spare the flock but devour them down to the bone.
This is a sober warning because it means you need to be careful who you are listening to. What teachers, what pastors, what books and podcasts are you allowing to speak into your life?
Ravenous wolves disguise themselves in sheep’s clothing.
They disguise themselves as shepherds, pastors, and leaders in the church. Good godly people. And even though they look like pastors, they look like spiritual leaders, the Bible calls them:
accursed children
slaves of corruption
Irrational beasts
hidden reefs that sink and destroy people’s faith
waterless clouds that give no rain to drink.
fruitless trees that give no food. to eat.
and servants of Satan.
They are deceivers, ravenous wolves, who lead people away from a pure and sincere devotion to Christ by teaching false doctrine. By teaching things that go against the Word of God all while claiming to proclaim God’s Word (2 Cor 11: 3).
And this should not surprise us. It should not surprise us that wolves clothe themselves in sheep’s clothing because look what Paul says 2 Corinthians 11:14-15...
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
This is where Paul says that false teachers are servants of Satan. And just like Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, his servants, false teachers, dress themselves to look like servants of God.
Now here’s what all that tells us. Just because someone calls themselves a pastor. Just because someone might have a huge platform, written tons of books or is well known and liked in the church world, even maybe have helped you grow in the past, that is not a guarantee that they are true shepherds who preach the truth.
The Bible is clear, false prophets creep into into the church secretly.
Peter says they will secretly bring in destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1).
Jude says they have crept in unnoticed (Jude 4).
If Jesus says they are ravenous wolves who disguise themselves with sheep’s clothing, that means who they really are is not going to be immediately obvious.
False teachers will rarely jump onto the scene, or come into a church trumpeting heresy.
That might be how you start a cult, but that’s not how you start a church.
Most Christians are going to sniff that out pretty quick.
If someone preached or wrote a book that said Jesus wasn’t really born of a virgin or that he wasn’t fully God and fully man, Christians aren’t going to be fooled or duped by that.
They will call him a heretic and kick him right out.
But False Prophets are craftier than that. They come in with smooth words. They look nice. They seem normal. They talk about God’s love, and Jesus and salvation.
And who they really are might take years to make itself evident.
Remember the disciples. They were with Judas for three years, and at the Last Supper when Jesus said one of you will betray me, none of them pointed the finger at Judas and said, I know who it is!
No. Every single one of them asked is it I Lord? Am I the one that’s going to betray you. No one thought it was Judas until Jesus told them so.
Now hearing that you might be a little discourage. You might be thinking "Well how am I supposed to beware of false teachers if they come in hidden?
If they all look like pastors, shepherds, and spiritual leaders, what am I supposed to do?
Thankfully our Lord did not leave us to wonder. He did not throw his sheep to the wolves to fend for ourselves. Instead he told us how to spot them.
How to identify them and mark them so that we can avoid them and warn others to do the same.
And that’s point number 3...

III. Wolves are Conspicuous

Conspicuous means something is apparent, noticeable, able to be seen.
And Jesus says we will know false teachers by their fruit.
Matthew 7:16-20 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
What Jesus is saying is, “You want to find a false teacher? Look at their fruit.”
If they are a healthy tree, they will bear good fruit. If they are a diseased tree they will bear bad fruit.
And this is a sure test because Jesus says fruit only goes one way. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
In other words, if they are a true prophet they will have good fruit. If they are a false prophet they will have bad fruit.
And notice Jesus twice says, you will recognize them by their fruits. This is not a maybe statement. This is not left up to chance. Jesus is giving us an assurance.
Jesus is saying, if you are on guard, if you are looking out for false teachers, then you will spot them. Their fruit will make them evident.
So this begs the question: What is the fruit? What are we supposed to be looking at, examining, testing, to see whether someone is a true shepherd or a ravenous wolf?
I think there are at least two things Jesus has in mind. First, we need to examine a teacher’s life, and Second, we need to examine a teacher’s doctrine.

1. Life

The primary fruit the Lord has in mind is their life. And by that I mean their character and their works. Who they are and how they live.
We know that because when Jesus says Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire, Jesus is quoting John the Baptist from Matthew 3:10, and John the Baptist was specifically talking about living a life of repentance.
Matthew 3:7-10 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. ... 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
John the Baptist is speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees.
People Jesus himself called whitewashed tombs. Blind guides who lead blind people into a pit. Men who lock others out from the Kingdom of God by their false doctrine.
And John says Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Live a godly life. Live a life that turns away from sin to live for the glory of God.
That is what Jesus is talking about.
False teachers do not bear fruit in keeping with repentance because they do not have repentance. They are still dead in their sins and they do not live a godly life.
Sure they may look nice on the outside, but inwardly or in some secret part of their life they harbor sin.
Whether it is some secret greed, pride, sexual sin, whatever it is, their life will show the fruit of ungodliness.
So if someone says they are a teacher, someone who speaks on behalf of God, but their life is marked by sin and unrepentance, then they are a false teacher and the power of the transforming Word of God is not in them.
This is why God’s qualifications for pastors in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are overwhelmingly focused on the man’s character. On who a man is.
There is only one skill required of pastors and that is that they are able to teach. That they are able to rightly handle the word of truth and give instruction in sound doctrine so as to rebuke those who contradict it (Titus 1:9).
It doesn’t mean that your pastors are perfect, but it does mean they are godly and repentant of sin anywhere it is found in their life.
And here’s what you should take away from that. The teachers who should carry the most weight in your life, the ones you trust the most, the ones you should be inclining yourself to follow and listen to, are your pastors here.
Men who love you and who live among you. You see the fruit of our life.
Internet and celebrity pastors are fine to listen to, but they should not be your primary authority.
You see them through a screen. You don’t see their life or the fruit of their repentance. How could you?
But whether you are following your pastor up close and personal, or picking who you are going to listen to or read, you need to be asking yourself do I see the fruit of repentance in their life?
Is it evident?
Do I see the fruit of the Spirit? Do I see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)?
Or do I see the fruit of the flesh? Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these (Galatians 5:19-21)?
Let me put it another way. Are they a Kingdom man? Remember this is all in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus is preaching true, God-glorifying holiness. Where He is preaching what the Kingdom Life actually looks like.
Do they live for and proclaim the glory of God? Or do they live for themselves seeking the glory of men.
Do they meet the qualifications for pastors God has given us in His Word?
That is who you should look for in a shepherd. And if the fruit of their life does not embody those things, Jesus says they are a ravenous wolf, so beware.
But thats not the only fruit that can mark false teachers.
Especially false teachers that you only see from a distance.
There is another fruit that will help us recognize false teachers and that is their doctrine.

2.Doctrine

A Person’s life always flows out their doctrine. We live out what we believe.
So why do false teachers have bad fruit? Because they have bad doctrine.
And the standard of true Doctrine is the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
In other words, God has told us in the Scriptures everything we need to worship Him and lead a godly life.
There is a standard of doctrine. A standard faith that his been passed down from Christ, to the Apostles, to the Early Church, to the Reformers, all the way down to today and that faith, our faith, is handed down to us through the Scriptures.
This is why the Bible says false teachers twist the Scriptures.
Paul said fierce wolves would come in speaking twisted things.
Well what are these twisted things? How do we identify them?
Let’s look at what Jeremiah said false prophets taught in his day.
Jeremiah 6:13-14 from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14  They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.
The false prophets of the Old Testament ushered people onto the wide and easy way by minimizing sin and God’s judgment.
They basically said, God’s wrath is not coming. His judgment is not stored up for wicked sinners. There is peace. God has forgiven. God has accepted. There is no need to repent.
And in Jeremiah 5:31 God said my people love to have it so.
They love the teaching of false prophets, because the false prophets twist the word of God to tell them what they want to hear.
And I’ll tell you, nothing has changed. False prophets still come preaching smooth words because people still want to hear smooth words.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Paul was writing about our time. People do not want sound teaching. They want smooth words that sooth their itching ears.
And so what do false teachers do? Tell them exactly what they want to hear.
And when they do, the Bible says false teachers proclaim the teachings and doctrines of demons.
They are demonic trying to blind as many people as possible from the narrow and hard way that leads to everlasting life.
Let me give you a cheat test for identifying a wolf. One that I think is going to take care of 99% of the false teachers out there today.
Whose preaching minimizes some sin the world loves and says the same things the world already want’s to hear?
Whose message is totally inoffensive to a lost a dying world, but just with some Jesus sprinkled in?
You want to identify a wolf? Look for who is undermining the full authority of God’s Word on some sin or cultural issue and uses Christ but still just says everything the world wants to hear.
Who are the ones crying out Peace, Peace! Because they want to itch the ears of the world and have everyone give them glory?
They are ravenous wolves with insatiable appetites. And how do you get a pantry stocked full of sheep? You tickle there ears. You minimize sin, say nothing offensive and you will never go hungry again.

Examples

Let me give you three examples of false teaching that is rampant in our culture.
The first one is still for the most part outside of our camp, but the last two are finding a way to creep in.
First there is homosexuality and gender affirming churches. They are ashamed that the Bible calls these things sins and abominations so they smooth out the words.
They say, no no no, that’s how God made you. You need to be who you are! God is love, and he does not judge.
Peace, Peace, no need for repentance.
Then you have egalitarian and feminist churches.
And there’s a host of issues in these.
There are actually pastors and spiritual leaders that downplay or even justify the slaughter of unborn children under the feminist doctrine of a woman’s right to choose, and they twist the Scriptures to give God’s blessing on these demonic sacrifices.
And you also have churches that are so ashamed of what the Bible says about gender roles in the church, home, and society, that they have bought the feminism of the world and brought it into the church.
This is even in our camp. I will tell you that most quote unquote “complementarians” are actually just soft feminists.
They’ve co-opted the term and made it basically meaningless.
Its so prevalent that part of me wonders whether or not we should just start calling ourselves what we actually are, Historical Biblical Patriarchs.
They don’t believe a woman really is called to be submissive to her husband or that her primary role in the family is to have her desires homeward like Titus 2 says loving her husband and raising godly children arguing that doctrine is oppressive, evil, and outdated.
Instead they say a woman is the same as a man and should have the same role as a man, all while apologizing profusely for that embarrassing stuff about submission.
Some churches have even gone so far to affirm women pastors and allow women who don’t have the title of pastor still function as pastors by preaching and exercising authority over a men even though the Bible clearly condemns such things.
On a side note and this is a freebie. If you have a woman pastor or a woman who feels no conviction about preaching or exercising authority over a man. You don’t need to look any further, automatic wolf. Sorry Beth Moore, I guess your out. Oh, you’re not supposed to name them? Whoops.
And finally you have the false prophets of the false gospel of social justice.
Some of our new members have come from churches where they saw how these wolves creep in first hand.
Anyone that says you need to repent of your whiteness. That you are inherently racists because of the color of your skin is a wolf.
These false teachers say that the answer to racism is not repenting of the sin of partiality, its just being the right kind of racist.
Its committing the sin of partiality towards the right color.
When God’s Word actually holds us to a higher standard. We love each other as one body reconciled to one another through the reconciliation we have through the blood of Christ.
We are brothers and sisters. One family. One blood. Christ’s blood.
Social justice is not Justice. True justice is rooted in God’s nature and character and revealed in his Law and perfectly revealed in Christ.
So as your pastor, let me guard you.
If you have someone telling you to repent of your whiteness, If they talk about white guilt, white privilege, reparations, Black Lives Matters, or whatever new buzzword they got going on, from sermons that dare to promise “Ethnic Harmony” but diminish the power of the gospel that has already accomplished it and torn down the wall of hostility between us ... automatic wolf even if they quote Amos 5 and Micah 6:8 the whole time.
And this is the false teaching that most of you need to be the most vigilant against because many of you go into a workplace everyday that is shoving it down your throat with diversity trainings and guest speakers that if they were really honest would just be called re-education camps.
You need to fill yourself up with sound doctrine so that you can live out Colossians 2:8.
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
All of these false teachings right now are devouring the church alive.
The wolves are in the gate and running rampant, leaving a trail of bloody wool and hooves.
But I mention those three examples of false teaching to show you two common traits that always mark false teachers.
First, they tell the world what they want to hear and the world loves it.
If someone is saying the same things as the world but just with a Jesus spin on it, its safe to bet that’s false teaching.
It’s smooth words that tickle the ears and call no one through the narrow gate.
Second, false teaching will always undermine the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.
Remember, False teachers rarely come in shouting heresy. Instead what they do is follow the pattern father and ask, “Did God really say?”
Did God really say homosexuality is a sin?
Did God really make them male and female?
Did God really say an unborn baby has a right to life more than a worshiper of Molech has a right to choose?
Did God really say you are reconciled in Christ, that there is no Jew or Greek, that you are one family and called to forgive one another as God has forgiven you?
The difference between false teaching and a false gospel is that one automatically puts you outside of Christ.
There are some doctrines you just need to be a Christian. Jesus is fully God and fully man. He died as our substitute for our sins. Drifting from these puts you in the camp of heresy.
False teaching, on the other hand just takes a longer road to get there.
It twists Scripture in a way that at first glance might just be a difference of interpretation, but if you pull the thread long enough, you’ll find that they have completely abandoned the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word and when you lose that you lose the gospel.
So what do we do? How do we test this fruit?
By testing everything according to the Word of GOd. We look at God’s Word and the faith that was handed down once for all to all the saints and we examine a teachers life and doctrine according to it as our only standard.
And if any of their fruit contradicts God’s Word at any point, they are a wolf. Mark and avoid.
Like John Calvin said. All doctrines must be brought to the Word of God as the standard...In judging of false prophets the rule of faith (i.e. Scripture) holds the chief place’.
So you want to beware of wolves? You need to know sound doctrine. You need to eat your Bible and make it your highest authority in all of your life, and test every teacher according to its standard.

Conclusion

We are seeing apostasy like we’ve never seen before. False teaching and false teachers are rampant in the church.
They are destroying churches, they are destroying families, and they are leading the souls of the naive on the wide and easy way to destruction.
That is why Jesus said Beware of Wolves.
They are dangerous teaching doctrines of demons leading people straight to hell.
They are deceptive wolves in sheeps clothing. Disguising themselves as servants of light, pastors, shepherds, spiritual leaders.
But we will know them by their fruit.
God has given us His Word and the faith handed down from the apostles so that we might test their fruits and guard ourselves against false doctrine.
So that we might persevere in living for the glory of Christ by living all of our life according to the Sound Doctrine of God’s Word.
And you don’t need to be discouraged. I know it can feel like we are losing when we see how brazen and rampant false teachers are in the church and how the name of Christ is being dragged through the mud.
But God says he has appointed these false teachers for destruction. He has ordained them to lead many astray.
In a way we should be grateful for these false teachers revealing themselves because Paul says, there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized (1 Co 11:19).
Right now, God is purifying his church so that we might shine brighter in a lost and dying world.
And we don’t have to fear false teachers because if God knew how to preserve Noah in the flood and righteous Lot in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the the Lord knows how to rescue us from trials and temptations.

Let’s Pray

Scripture Reading

Acts 17:10-12 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed
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