“The Sermon on the Mount ends with four warnings, each offering paired contrasts: two ways (vv. 13- 14), two [kinds of prophets] (vv. 15- 20), two claims (vv. 21- 23), and two builders (vv. 24- 27). They focus on [end time] judgment and so make it plain that the theme is still the kingdom of heaven. But if some will not enter it (vv. 13- 14, 21- 23), the sole basis for such a tragedy is [the people’s] present response to Jesus ‘words.” (Excerpt from Expositor’s Bible Commentary). Today’s sermon is based on recognizing true and false prophets.
Matthew 7:15-20, “15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
- SERMON ON THE MOUNT: The longest single portion of Jesus’ teaching found in Matthew 5-7 that serves as the foundation of Christian morality and spiritual practice. #KingdomBasics
- DISCIPLES: Born again committed students and followers of Jesus Christ.
- KINGDOM OF GOD/HEAVEN: The active rule and reign of Jesus in one’s life and upon the earth with kingdom blessings. The kingdom is all about the King!
- FALSE PROPHETS (v. 15): False prophets are people who speak lies claiming to hear from God. Jesus said they look like “sheep” on the outside, but on the inside their “ferocious wolves,” they bring destruction to those who follow them.
- RECOGNIZE THEM BY THEIR FRUIT (vs. 16-18): Though false prophets may sell their lies with excitement, supposed miracles, and even “wisdom;” Jesus said their fruit will expose them. The bad fruit will appear in false doctrine (Deuteronomy 13:1-4) and bad character (Jude 1:4).
- BAD TREES GET THROWN INTO THE FIRE (v. 19): It is a serious thing to speak falsely on behalf of God therefore Jesus said false prophets suffer judgment in the lake of fire, Revelation 20:10,15.
- FOLLOW THE GOOD PROPHETS WITH GOOD FRUIT (v. 20): When we follow the teachings of Jesus through His true Prophets and Apostles, the Word of God will then bear good fruit in our lives, Colossians 1:3-8.
- ROMAN CATHOLICISM: (1) They have added false teachings, (2) Many popes have acted ungodly by practicing homosexuality, adultery, and murder; & (3) They’ve actually murdered other Christians.
- ISLAM: (1) Mohammed was demonized, (2) Islam grew through horrific wars and slavery, & (3) The Qur’an denies Jesus’ deity and claims he was just a prophet.
- MORMONISM: (1) Joseph Smith was a liar with many false prophecies, (2) The Mormon faith grew through polygamy, & (3) The Book of Mormon teaches man can become a god and that Jesus is Satan’s brother.
- JEHOVAH WITNESSES: (1) Charles Taze Russel was a liar with many false prophecies and scams, (2) The New World Translation is an inaccurate version, & (3) JW’s deny Jesus’ deity.
- OPRAH WINFREY: (1) She denies Jesus is the only way to God, (2) Lives an immoral life, & (3) Promotes new age beliefs and teachers on her show.
- APOLLO QUIBOLOY: (1) Falsely claims to be the appointed Son of God, (2) Receives worship reserved only for God, & (3) Rejects the finality of Jesus’ work on the cross.
- GAY AFFIRMING CHURCHES: Both laity and leadership who affirm the sinful lifestyle of homosexuality are false prophets with bad fruit, 1 Corinthians 6:9.
- PRO-ABORTION CHURCHES: When churches, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, deny the rights of unborn children in the womb and approve the act of murder/abortion, they are in danger of being thrown into the fire, Proverbs 6:16-19.
- JOEL OSTEEN*: Osteen acts cowardly in public concerning the doctrines of God’s judgment.
- JOSEPH PRINCE*: Prince denies that Christians need to repent of sin or can lose their salvation.
*Note: Though I don’t believe they are “false teachers/prophets” (yet) because they haven’t denied the fundamental doctrines or ethics of Christianity, however, I strongly believe they have “false teachings” and thus, Christians should be careful to what they learn and receive from them.
- Reject false prophets.
- Follow the Bible as its taught by godly prophets.
- Be a preacher of God’s Word.
2 Timothy 4:1-5,
“1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”