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. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Matthew 7:15-18 (LSB)
I have been in many separate discussions with friends over that last several weeks and months pertaining to the seeming escalation of growing apostasy all around us. Some have lamented that it seems that there is no one who can be trusted anymore. I made the comment last night to a friend that it was becoming increasingly more difficult to trust the fruit of those who minister for money or whose livelihood depended upon popularity. This is really nothing new. Our Lord, in His Sermon on the Mount, told us to beware of false prophets who come to us in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves….
He told us how to recognize them. How? It is by their fruits. This has not changed. Therefore, when I sit at the feet of a teacher or preacher of God’s Word I look for this within what is taught and within how he lives and with whom he associates and how he conducts himself in this life. Those who are not really God’s man will be revealed in this because of their inconsistencies in godliness and their consistencies in worldliness because, “we will recognize them by their fruits.”
Disingenuous Christian leaders are extremely prevalent in our time. They are worldly. They are part of a different spiritual system than Christianity. The focus is not on Christ and His glory. Salvation is not seen as God’s work in building His Kingdom made up of His people for His own glory, but an earthly kingdom of people that is all about reclaiming the earth, making it a better place to live. The life of Christ is seen as a good example rather than the Jesus’ incarnation as a Man to become the propitiation to purchase a people for Himself. It is all backwards. This causes a focus in how church is done to be on a business-like approach to build large churches that appeal to the flesh using flashy shows, glitzy music, and videos along with loud music. Or, it is based on Eastern Mysticism not the Bible at all. It is not church for God’s glory, but church for non-Christians. This is the product of these false prophets. Their bad fruit is this false religious system they have created. It is unchristian. How does God develop good Christian leaders?