“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” (2 Peter 2:1-3).
Jesus tells us that one of the “signs” His coming is-
– an increase in false prophets.
That is surely true in our day.
We hear about the Health and Wealth Gospel or Prosperity Theology-
– and the thousands of preachers saying you give to God in order to get.
Or, if you really pray hard enough-
God will heal your disease.
Give money to this or that ministry and you’ll get rich.
It’s this false idea that God won’t let you suffer and wants you to be rich.
It really should be called The Gospel of Greed.
It is false teaching that has permeated the church.
It’s taking a certain passage of scripture and building your whole life around it-
– while ignoring all other kinds of passages that give us the full picture of God’s truth.
So, how can you keep from being deceived by a false prophet or leader?
The key is in knowing Jesus and His Word.
Then ask the question:
Is what this person saying consistent with Jesus and His Word?
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26).
If you are a Christian-
– you have an added bonus:
The Holy Spirit that dwells in you teaches you how to understand the Word-
– and gives you a check in your spirit when something doesn’t ring true.
It’s time to be careful!