“Beware of False Prophets!”
Two Marks by which False Prophets May Be Identified
“Beware of false prophets!” We simply must not ignore our Lord’s warning. Men and women enter the wide gate and get on the broad road that leads to everlasting destruction in hell by listening to and following the teachings of men who do not preach the truth, men who peach another gospel. These false prophets usually preach half truths; and that is worse than an out and out denial of truth, because people who would never believe a man who openly denies the Bible will believe the half truths of men who hold a Bible in their hand and claim to believe it. Therefore, I want to show you from the Word of God two things by which false prophets may be readily identified. I want you to give me your undivided attention for just another four minutes and carefully search the Scriptures to see whether or not what I tell you is the truth. I want you to check everything I say with the Word of God. If what I say is not clearly revealed in this Book, then do not hear me today and do not hear me ever again. But if what I have to say comes directly out of the Book of God, you must either hear me now or wish you had heard me when judgment day comes. Here are two marks by which false prophets are identified.
False prophets are men who preach for covetousness. This is the charge the Lord God makes against the deceivers of men’s souls in Jeremiah 6:13: -- “From the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.” Because they preach for gain, they handle the Word of God deceitfully. They can be bought, intimidated, and persuaded to trim their message.
Any man who can be pressured by other men not to openly preach the gospel with boldness, clarity, and distinctiveness is a false prophet. Any preacher who is motivated, governed, or constrained in his preaching by what he imagines is the will of the people to whom he preaches is a false prophet. God’s servants do not take into consideration the reaction of men to their message. They do not deal falsely with the Word of God and the souls of men.
Hear the next statement God makes about false prophets in Jeremiah 6:14; It is repeated in the eighth chapter. -- "They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." False prophets give men and women peace and assurance when God has not given it. They speak peace when God has not spoken peace. The deceive eternity bound men and women with a false assurance of salvation.
Churches today are filled with people going to hell, people whose only hope is a decision which was made for them by a slick soul-winner (soul-destroyer), to which they simply nodded their heads or signed their names. How many of you still rest your hopes upon a decision someone else made, a prayer someone else wrote, and an experience someone else had? How many of you accepted a religious proposition, instead of surrendering to the sovereign Lord? Of this you can be certain: -- The only person who will give assurance to a lost man is another lost man.