Summary: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.


A. A man having lunch at a Chinese restaurant noticed that the table had been set with forks, not chopsticks. He asked why. The waiter said "Chopsticks are provided only on request." "But," the man countered, "if you gave your patrons chopsticks, you wouldn't have to pay someone to wash all the forks." "True," the waiter shot back, "but we would have to hire three more people to clean up the mess."

B. Many people like to think that you can trust religious leaders...

1. Ministers normally rank high in polls concerning people you can trust

2. People will often accept whatever a preacher, priest, or rabbi says as the truth

a. Turn to Matthew 7:15-20

3. Yet Jesus told His disciples to beware of false prophets

Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. {16} "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? {17} "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. {18} "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. {19} "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. {20} "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

a. They may appear like sheep, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves

(1) Look at the bulletin cover - can you see the deceiver?

(a) Often such a deceiver is just as obvious

(b) But other deceivers are not as obvious

(2) We need to be able to identify them, knowing what to look for

(a) This is on e reason I keep saying that you need to check one what the preacher is saying - especially me

i) Is what the speaker saying biblical

ii) Does what they say match what the Bible says

(b) I have pointed out many times the idea that you must be the deciding factor in what you accept and what you reject

i) This includes books, movies, music, and everything else

a) What I might see as bad, such as a certain movie

b) I may see it as evil

c) You may see it as a morality play

d) Approach such a thing in prayer

4. Are you concerned about false prophets today?

a. You should be!

(1) I want to point out that we are not considering religions other than those who claim to be Christian

b. The great diversity of teaching suggests that many are being misled

c. We need to be reminded of the danger, and know how to spot any "wolves" that might come our way!

5. With the words of our Savior in Mt 7:15-20 fresh on our mind, I wish to use this opportunity to remind us to "Watch Out For Wolves!"

6. Let me first re-emphasize the point that.

a. Turn to Acts 20:28 - 31

II. There Will Be False Prophets

A. As Paul Warned on Several Occasions...

1. The Ephesian elders

Acts 20:28-31 NKJV

"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. {29} "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. {30} "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. {31} "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

a. Paul told these elders take heed

b. For even from among themselves would men arise, misleading people

(1) Well, I should say, men and women would arise and mislead the people

(a) Turn to 2 Corinthians 11:13 - 15

c. Vance Havner in Christianity Today wrote, “I heard of a preacher the other day who was asked, ‘What's the size of your pastorate?’ he said, ‘Twenty-five miles wide and one inch deep.’ That is what bothers a lot of preachers these days.”

(1) Just what did Havner mean? Perhaps that we have to be narrow minded in our Christian understanding

2. Paul warned the church at Corinth

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NKJV

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. {14} And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. {15} Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

a. Referring to false teachers present even then in the very beginning of the Christian movement

b. Appearing as ministers of righteousness, even as Satan appears as an angel of light

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