Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
As I encounter people contending for the hearts, minds, souls, votes, and money of a bewildered public, false prophets and their fruit are almost everywhere.
As the late Jack Weaver, founder of ExPreacherMan used to say, “the woods is full of ‘em!”
I am also reminded of the quote that was above the door exiting a Southern Baptist church that I used to sporadically attend: “You Are Now Entering the Mission Field.” That message was true, but incomplete. It needed to be on both sides of the door.
The point is, that much of professing Christendom is comprised of either false prophets, or their fruit. It is just impossible to know which is which.
Following are some of the insidious false messages that abound in the world of professing evangelicalism.
- Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” –“Evangelist” Billy Graham
- I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.” – Pastor J.D. Greear
- Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon
- I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom. – Pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur
- We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent. – Evangelist Franklin Graham
- So a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before. – Facebook Comment from the son of a Southern Baptist Minister
- However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life. – David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte
- The paralyzed man is not healed by walking. Just like a Christian is not saved by works. However, when that paralyzed man walks, he proves that he was healed. When Christians demonstrate a changed life, they prove they were saved by Christ. – Commenter, ExPreacherMan
- James 2:24 [“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”] is the reply to the question of James 2:14. Unproductive faith cannot save, because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works” – Ryrie Study Bible
- As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. – “Free Grace” theologian Joseph Dillow
- How a person conducts his life or campaign is an indication of who he is. In Matthew 7, Jesus Himself says that a tree – and people of faith – are known by their fruit, not just the words they say. – Presidential Candidate Ben Carson
- Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. – Theologian Dr. Roy Zuck
- Second is the subjective or experiential test of assurance in which you ask yourself, “Is my faith real?” The apostle John’s purpose in writing the epistle of 1 John was to give true believers assurance of their salvation (1 John 5:13). In that small epistle John gives several marks to distinguish a true believer. – Commenter, Redeeming Moments website
- James’s purpose is to contrast mere intellectual agreement with active, saving faith that involves receiving the life of Christ. When Christ stood at the door and knocked, did you respond by opening the door, as Rahab did? If so, I think you’ve met the requirement of this historically controversial faith-works passage. – Author Andrew Farley, from “The Naked Gospel”
- The question to ask is whether a Born-Again Christian can cease being a Born-Again Christian. The answer to this question is, yes, a Believer can stop believing, a Christian can stop being a Christian, and the Born-Again can turn his back on Salvation and become lost-again. – “Evangelist” Jimmy Swaggert
Each of the above quotes is fruit of false prophets.
Those of us who are clear on the gospel should seek to minister to those who aren’t. In so doing, we should be gentle and wise.
If someone is bound and determined to persist in error, or in their associations with apostate organizations, you should know when to move on.
If you are unsure about the message of a particular person, church, book, website, etc., I would encourage you to see if it passes ALL THREE of the following conditions:
1. Is it consistent with eternal life by grace through faith alone in Christ alone?
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?
And, if you want to know how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL