Summary: By your fruits, you WILL be known
• Silly warning labels illustration. http://www.rinkworks.com/said/warnings.shtml
• Last week we looked at the choice that we all have the freedom to make concerning which path we will take in life.
• Jesus encouraged us to take the narrow path.
• In chapter y ,we have looked at 2 paths, today we will look at two trees, then we will study 2 claims next week in verses 21-23 and then we will finish the chapter with 2 builders (24-27).
• As we live our lives there will be many who will try to give us advice as to what to do with our lives. There will be those who try to lead us down the wrong path.
• This section of text is one that we must be careful not to just gloss over.
• This is a section of text we need to look at and take very seriously. What Jesus is giving us is not one of those silly warnings that we all laugh at, but He is giving us a serious warning to be heeded by all of us. Jesus will follow up the warning with an assessment to be made and a fate to be avoided.
I. A WARNING TO BE HEEDED (15)
• How many of us have watched some of the infomercials late at night. The next thing you know we have bought some gadget that promises to change our lives.
• One of them that sticks out in my mind is that abdominal machine that you wear around your waste that promises to take away that unsightly stomach. I watched a morning show where Good House Keeping tested this product only to find that it did nothing for you. The company is reviewing the product.
• In a Rally’s commercial that describes how their hamburgers were fresh. “FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY”. I hope the next Rally burger that I get is fresh.
• The warning that Jesus gives to us is found in verse 15. READ THE VERSE.
• The tie in with the verses we covered last week in this. As we are choosing which path we are going to follow, we do not want anyone to lead us down the wrong path.
• Jesus tells us that the false prophets are ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing. The word ravenous implies a wolf that loves to kill.
• In Jesus day a prophet was one who was a teacher. Jesus may have been speaking of the Pharisees but we do not know for sure.
• Jesus is telling us that we have to be careful not to follow the false teachers. A false teacher is one who teaches incorrect doctrine.
• These people are called false brothers (2 Cor. 11:26), false apostles (2 Cor. 11:13), false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1), false speakers, that is, liars (1 Tim. 4:2), false witnesses (Matt. 26:60), and false Christs (Matt. 24:24). The apostle John tells us, therefore, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). (John MacArthur Jr commentary on Matthew)
• Paul’s last words to the Ephesian elders, when he met with them for a farewell on the beach near Miletus, included a somber warning about inevitable false teachers. “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert” (Acts 20:29-31). (John MacArthur Jr commentary on Matthew)
• The warnings against following false teachers are all over the scriptures, so the warning must be something important for us to consider.
• Today and in the past the false teachers have drawn in many people.
• We all kinds of people claiming to be the way to God. WE have groups who put on nice commercials who have drawn in many people, but they deny Jesus.
• 1 JOHN 2:23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
• 1 JOHN 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
• 1 JOHN 2:22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
• It does not matter how what a church does, if they are denying Jesus as the only way to get to God, they are promoting false teaching.
• 2 CORINTHIANS 11:14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
• In the 1970’s, Jim Jones of the People’s Temple was a good example. Mel White in his book entitled “Deceived”, says the following concerning cult leader Jim Jones.