Recently, coming out of a few different conversations I’ve had, I’ve been considering many of the warnings of Jesus to his followers about end times in particularly about persecution, antichrist’s, and the like. With all the signs going on in our world like natural disasters, terrorism, the loud voice of minorities and the “politically correct”, Jesus warned his followers that this would come. But we can expect that from the world, can’t we? What I find most hard to read is the warnings that Jesus gives perhaps are not just warning us about those outside the church but that there are those in the church that seek to do harm.
We read in Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
Jesus warned in Matthew 7 of those who would look and sound like true believers, but inwardly would be a terrible danger to the real believers in the church. You could say that the real danger to the church is from people who claim to be Christians, but who do not really hold to the key doctrines of the Christian faith, nor believe the Bible to be the inerrant and infallible Word of God.Paul also warned about these false teachers would lead much of the church into a “falling away” – apostasy – in the end times (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Believers will be seduced and deceived into following “new” teachings, “new” practices, and “new” understandings that are contrary to the Word of God. These imposters aren’t always easy to pick. Their teachings come innocently in books, TV, music, sermons, blogs and they claim to be believers. It is only when their content is placed under the spotlight of Scripture things won’t and don’t add up, but unfortunately, we are too often too accepting. God’s word is our yardstick. It is useful for detecting and exposing these false teaching, so we need to read it and know it. As we continue each day closer to the coming of the Lord Jesus we are encouraged to watch for signs which include this false teaching in the church, not just to the disasters, atrocities and immorality that is happening outside in the world. It doesn’t mean we’re on a witch hunt, but it means that we aren’t to be foolish and fall for any new ideology or practices that do not line up with God’s word and then call it for what it is – false.