So many people express their love for and confidence in Jesus Christ. He is admired and some of His well-known statements have been quoted repeatedly through the years since His time. The question raised in this series is: Do you believe what Jesus believed?
What did Jesus believe about false teachers and false religion?
Here’s what He said: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matt. 7:15-20)
One expanding trend in our culture is blind diversity or celebrated plurality. This isn’t new. I remember in my childhood hearing people say, “Attend the church of your choice.” I was taught by my parents and teachers that this was not wise. Christ has His church. We should read what is written in the Bible and identify with a local group of people who follow what is written to the best of their ability. Denominational diversity became the artificial unity of that post war time.
Today, this importance placed on unity in diversity has been exaggerated a hundred times. Through the evolution of this agenda, the reality of false teachers and false religion has become almost laughable. The modern attitude is, “who cares.”
Jesus cared. He not only acknowledged the reality of false teachers, He said these two things about them: (1) they are false, and (2) they are deceptively disguised. Then He told the people: “Beware” of them. They are like bad fruit from a diseased tree.
Do you believe what Jesus believed about false teachers and false religion? Do you use the Bible to test what religious teachers say or write? Discernment is a necessary discipline for everyone who seeks to please God. “…test everything: hold fast what is good,” (1 Thess. 5:21).