Have you ever been played? Duped? Conned?
Ever been around a salesman who finds out you are a Christian, and suddenly he's a Spirit filled, tongue talkin', son of a Pentecostal preacher?
Can you tell when it is going down? Have you developed insincerity antennae?
My friend Larry says (rarely) there is a man in whom there is no guile. He is of course quoting Jesus assessment of Nathanael, Philip's brother.
What he, Larry, (and He, Jesus) is getting at, is that there is nothing false in the person in question, no hidden agenda, no secret purpose. Our guileless friend may choose his words carefully, but you can count on every one.
Not so with false prophets.
I met a preacher once who, when he addressed a meeting I was attending, brought a very strong message. It was full of truth. It was a good message. To this day, there are parts of it that help to form my understanding of God.
Years later I heard this same preacher preach a message that nearly undermined all of what he had said the first time I heard him preach.
Had his theology changed, or had his audience changed?
I want you to know today that you can have good theology, and still be a false prophet, a false teacher.
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. ~ Matthew 7:15-16
and Jude tell us at the end of verse 16
These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. ~ Jude 16
Flattery can simply be insincere compliments. Sometimes it shows its ugly face by playing to people’s sympathies. [Tweet This] Do you change your words or behavior when you are moving in different crowds?
One of my core messages for the Church is generosity. I love to see God’s people give with open hands, and hearts, just like their heavenly Father does.
Nevertheless, you must know that there are wolves out there (and in there) who want nothing more than to take your money, or advantage in a myriad other forms, and they look just like sheep. The talk like sheep, they walk like sheep, and they smell like sheep, but you may find wool in stuck in their teeth – so beware!
Our true enemy, old sulfur breath, loves to kill steel and destroy, and he uses flattery to draw us away from the narrow path of life. Don’t fall for it!
Come back tomorrow