New Testament Journey Day 27. Matthew 7:15-20. Jesus teaches about the fruit in people’s lives….
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep bur really are vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from trees? A good tree produces good fruit, a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by it’s fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
False prophets were common in Old Testament times. They prophesied only what the king and the people wanted to hear, claiming it was God’s message. Jesus indicates that false prophets were just as prevalent in his time. False teaches are just as common today. Jesus says to beware of those whose words sounds religious but who are motivated by money, fame or power. You can tell who they are because in their teaching they minimize Christ and glorify themselves.
Too many people blindly follow a preacher instead of Jesus. You should take your bible to church, you should read your bible at home, you should seek to be a student of the Master, not a student of a student. Line up what is being taught in your church against the scriptures to be sure it is God’s message and not man’s message. What I see overall in many churches today is a lack of preaching about the cross and the blood and the true way to freedom. Churches calling you to step up and be set apart and challenging you to live a holy life, acceptable and pleasing to God. Instead, many churches are preaching a waterfall of grace message. They make you feel good about participating in “programs” to help others. Telling you that your sin is “OK” and even promoting it in some instances all disguised as “Seeker Friendly” when in fact what they are seeking is large numbers and deep pocket books. Yes, Jesus loves you. Yes, it’s a come as you are gospel – come broken, busted, disgusted and no matter what you’ve done, or how bad you’ve sinned, God can and WILL forgive you! But He then calls us to “repent” – do a U Turn and stop sinning. His love is not a license to sin.
Actions speak louder than words. That’s what immediately came to mind as I read this. So many want Jesus, want to be a Christian, but they can’t commit to the cross. They speak good Christianese and talk about how Jesus loves them – loves everyone – but their actions reflect the lack of change in their heart. So they struggle, riding the fence, wanting to do good but continuing to live in sin. These people are often depressed, angry, rebellious as they struggle with the sin that still has a grip on them. To be set truly free – it takes more than to just simply believe in Jesus. It also requires repentance. A changed heart and a changed life.