COMPLETE SERMON NOTES
Wolves Don’t Advertise
7 Traits of False Teachers
Matthew 7:15 “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.”
1. “Beware.” Be on alert. Discern.
Prayer, the Word, Others, and Conviction (I can’t put my finger on it, but…)
The Context: Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” ESV
People can lead us.
2. Look like sheep; act like wolves: “There will be false teachers among you” (2 Peter 2:1).
a] They subtly challenge the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, and obedience to it. b] and they often subtly add to Salvation…it’s not in Christ alone.
+ Wolves Don’t Advertise
KEY: We welcome (unless divisive), but they cannot have positions of influence. Church plants need to be careful here: are they drawing others away after themselves?
We’ll handle an immature believer much differently than a seasoned “religious” person who is causing division within the church.
3. Fruit inspectors: 7 Traits of False Teachers (By the Gospel Coalition)http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/03/19/7-traits-of-false-teachers/
Compare the authentic with the counterfeit from 1 & 2 Peter
1. Different Source—Where does their message come from?
Peter says, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:16). And then he says the false teachers exploit you “with stories they have made up” (2:3). So the true teacher sources what he says from the Bible. The false teacher relies on his own creativity. He makes up his own message.
THE BOOK OF MORMON, FOR EXAMPLE, CONTAINS MANY STORIES AND FANTASIES FROM JOSEPH SMITH.
2. Different Message—What is the substance of the message?
For the true teacher, Jesus Christ is central. “We have everything we need for life and godliness in Him” (1:3). For the false teacher, Jesus is at the margins: “They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them” (2:1).
Notice the word secretly. It’s rare for someone in church to openly deny Jesus. Movement away from the centrality of Christ is subtle. The false teacher will speak about how other people can help change your life, but if you listen carefully to what he is saying, you will see that Jesus Christ is not essential to his message. *Again, quoting the Gospel Coalition article on 7 Traits of False Teacher.
HOW DO YOU DETECT A COUNTERFEIT? Study the original…
3. Different Position—In what position will the message leave you?
The true Christian “escapes the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (1:4). Listen to how Peter describes the counterfeit Christian: “They promise…freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity, for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2:19). The true believer is escaping corruption, while the counterfeit believer is mastered by it.
*Again, this is from 7 Traits of False Teachers By the Gospel Coalition
4. Different Character—What kind of people does the message produce?
The true believer pursues goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (1:5). The counterfeit Christian is marked by arrogance and slander (2:10). They are “experts in greed” and “their eyes are full of adultery” (2:14). They also “despise authority” (2:10). This is a general characteristic of a counterfeit believer.
They do NOT like solid, bible teachings.
5. Different Appeal—Why should you listen to the message?
The true teacher appeals to Scripture. “We have the word of the prophets made more certain and you will do well to pay attention to it” (1:19). God has spoken, and the true teacher appeals to his Word.
The false teacher makes a rather different appeal: “By appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error” (2:18). So the true teacher asks, “What has God said in his Word?” The false teacher asks, “What do people want to hear? What will appeal to their flesh?”
IF PEOPLE ARE NOT CHANGING, YOU ARE NOT CHALLENGING THEM!
“Many, who for the first time, come under the sound of Holy Ghost preaching are mortally offended because they have never been exposed to the white light of the Spirit.” William Still
6. Different Fruit—What result does the message have in people’s lives?
The true believer is effective and productive in his or her knowledge of Jesus Christ (1:8). The counterfeit is “like a spring without water” (2:17). This is an extraordinary picture! They promise much but produce little.
CLOSING: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
7. Different End—Where does the message ultimately lead you?
*Again, this is from 7 Traits of False Teachers By the Gospel Coalition.
Here we find the most disturbing contrast of all. The true believer will receive “a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:11). The false believer will experience “swift destruction” (2:1). “Their condemnation has long been hanging over them and their destruction has not been sleeping” (2:3).
Jesus tells us that there will be many who have been involved in ministry in his name, to whom he will say, “Depart from me; I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21). Who are these people?
THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER REPENTED AND BELIEVED
THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING FALSE TEACHERS
THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THEIR OWN DESIRES
THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ENJOYING SIN
THEY ARE PEOPLE, LIKE YOU AN I, WHO WILL SAY “Lord, Lord…” BUT WILL HEAR “Depart From Me…”
Wolves Don’t Advertise . . . God Does!
CALL ON ME AND YOU WILL BE SAVED!!!