Matthew 7:15–20 – “Beware of False Teachers” Part 1

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, May 2nd. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/ We also provide the services through YouTube on our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Matthew 7:15–20

INTRO:

  • Jesus has just stated the importance of the right gate that leads to the right way. (vv. 13-14)
  • Here He is alluding to the ‘Voices” that point to which gate is the best.
  • We must know that we have false teachers among us.  There always has been and always will be.  (in the time of the NT and today in 2021)
  • Just because someone SAYS we are all on the same team (Christian/Believers/Religious… it is not always the case.  Mormons and  7th Day Adventist are great examples. Jehovah Witness does not try to identify as a “Christian” church… ALL THREE STARTED IN AMERICA IN THE 1800’s, They claim that God told them to start so that they could be the true church (prophet or prophetess)
  • It is not our job to fix people or to unbiblically judge people, but it is our job to have the desire and discernment to recognize, avoid, and point out FALSE TEACHERS.

Beware

  • Be on the look for. Pay careful attention to.
  • A shepherd can since when something is not right.  His job is sheep… he is supposed to recognize when something is not quite right.
  • 1 John 4:1 TEST THE SPIRITS. – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (ESV)
  • Acts 20:28–31 [28] Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. [29] I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; [30] and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. [31] Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. (ESV)
  • Identify, Avoid, Call Out (if within the body 1 Tim. 5:20)

Of False Prophets (False Teachers)

  • •In the OT/NT/Bible times it was anyone who spoke as a messenger from God, when in fact the message was not from God.
  • Today… A person who teaches/preaches something as truth (from God), yet is contrary to true biblical teaching (My definition)
    • Received through a vision.  A fresh word.  God told me to tell you. I just think…

Who come to you in Sheep’s Clothing

  • Dressed like a shepherd (trying to look like the one who is taking care of the sheep.)
  • The intent is to appear normal and part of the sheep fold.

But inwardly they are Ravenous Wolves

  • Most common enemy of sheep
  • Always looking to kill the sheep.
  • SATAN HAS ONE GOAL. John 10:10–The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. [11] I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (ESV)

You will recognize them by their Fruits

Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?

  • Not easy. First appearance may fool you.
  • In Palestine some bushes produced berries that looked like grapes and some thistles have blooms that could have been confused with figs.
  • Just because they say they are preachers/teachers… Just because they say they have a word from God.
  • The proof is in THE FRUITS.

We must look at their life. – One’s life lived out. Our faith on display. What we produce BECAUSE of our relationship with the Lord. The overflow of the inflow of the Spirit-filled life.

  • One’s CharacterColossians 1:10 – so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
  • One’s Doctrine – Belief about God, Scripture, Christ, Holy Spirit, Salvation, The Church, and etc.
    • Vague, wishy washy, no real stance on doctrinal issues.
    • My Pastoral Examples: Unity at all costs. Stressing God’s love over God’s holiness. Much emphasis placed on emotion and experience (feeling over fact.) To believe in God, but not believe God. (Dustin Benge)

Different Types of False Teachers

(3 & 4 could very well be believers)

  1. The Heretic – Someone who openly teaches that which is false. Intentionally teaching what is contrary to Gospel Truth. Never been part of the faith or has left the faith (an apostate).
  2. The Deceiver – Gives the appearance of a believer, but knows they are teaching that which is false.
  3. The Misinformed –Their information is wrong, yet they want to be right.  They have taken someone’s word on a subject. (Examples. – I heard a preach say.  I read online). Have not personally studied the Bible themselves.  Not necessarily trying to be wrong, yet they are.  They may be sincere, yet they are sincerely wrong!
  4. The babes in faith (Never really thought about it) – Does not have enough Bible knowledge or understanding on the subject.  A new Christian or immature in their understanding of biblical doctrine. Never been challenged to DIG DEEPER or just never did.

A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • With so many different views of “things” today.  Who is right? Who is wrong?  All we can do is allow God’s Word to be our guide.
  • A false teacher is not just necessarily identified by what they say, but also in what they do not say. (they hold back so that they can have an audience. They hold back so they are not exposed)
  • What starts of as a little wrong… and appears to not be a big deal… remember, we have only two gates.  The further you get down the “WRONG PATH” the closer you get to destruction. Slow and subtle shift of THE TRUTH.
  • Examples – The little and subtle changes in our culture in regard to sex and marriage.
  • Years ago you would have never lived with someone. Now it is acceptable in church circles.

Theological Triage, Albert Mohler – How to respond when we disagree over biblical matters.


SCRIPTURE

1 Timothy 5:19–20 – [19] Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. [20] As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. (ESV)

Colossians 1:9–14 – [9] And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, [10] so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; [11] being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; [12] giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. [13] He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, [14] in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (ESV)

Romans 14:1–10 – [1] As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. [2] One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. [3] Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. [4] Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. [5] One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. [6] The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. [7] For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. [8] For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. [9] For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. [10] Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; (ESV)

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