Summary: Watching out for falsehood requires both recognition and realization.
INTRO.- ILL.- It is my understanding that many years ago (1979) Bradley, Automotive Division of Thor Corporation, sold a fiberglass body that fit perfectly onto a VW bug chassis. The body was very modern in style and design, giving the impression it was an expensive sports car. On the outside it looked expensive, showy, modern but on the inside it was still just a VW bug.
That sounds like some people, does it not? Showy on the outside, but not so hot on the inside. That sounds like Hollywood all over. And doesn’t this also sound very much like hypocrisy?
ILL.- The story is told about a good citizen who was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy street. Suddenly, the light at the intersection just in front of them turned yellow. The good citizen did the right thing by stopping at the crosswalk – even though he could have beaten the red light by gunning it through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hit the roof – and her horn. She was screaming in frustration because she had missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant – alternately pounding the steering wheel and gesturing to the fellow in front of her – she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.
The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He put handcuffs on her. He took her to the police station, where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a police captain approached the cell and opened the door.
The woman was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, “I’m very sorry for my mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cursing a blue streak. Then I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.” Ouch!
Sometimes there is a difference between the inside and the outside of a person. It could be called hypocrisy and it could be called falsehood.
PROP.- In this text about false prophets and false disciples we must both recognize something and realize something in order to avoid false people.
1- Recognition of fruit
2- Realization of Lordship
I. RECOGNITION OF FRUIT
Matthew 7:15-20 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Watch out for false prophets because they can look pretty good on outside, but inwardly they are wolves.