“Beware of False Prophets!”
False Prophets and The Gospel
“Beware of false prophets!” That solemn, serious, sobering word of warning fell from the lips of the Son of God. I have been trying to echo the warning in your ears. Nothing in this world is more dangerous, ruinous to the souls of men, and deadly as false religion and false prophets. False religion may make you a proud, self-righteous Pharisee, it may get you to live a more moral life; but it will bring you at last to the depths of hell to suffer the wrath of God forever. It is for this reason that the Son of God warns us, and warns us repeatedly, “Beware of false prophets!” Will you give your attention for just three or four minutes? O Spirit of God, cause all who hear my voice to hear this warning. Inscribe it upon our hearts, for Christ’s sake. -- “Beware of false prophets!”
False prophets are always in error about all things essential to salvation. They talk about God, but have no idea who God is. They preach about Jesus, but do not know the Lord Jesus Christ from a gourd. They talk about the Spirit, but have no idea who the Spirit of God is or what his work is. The god they preach is no God at all. “They pray unto a god that cannot save.” The Christ they preach is a false Christ. And the spirit they preach is another spirit. Here are three more marks by which false prophets may be identified and known.
A Form of Godliness
As they make sin no more than an outward act, so false prophets make godliness no more than an outward act, form, and religious performance rather than an inward principle of the heart (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Luke 16:15). The days of which Paul warned have surely come upon us. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Tim. 3:1-5) The words of our Lord are as applicable to this generation as they were to the generation in which he walked upon the earth. “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 15:15). False prophets make godliness an outward form of morality and religious exercise. The Lord God says, “Rend your heart, not your garments!”
A False Hope
False prophets give men and women a false hope. They give you a proposition to consider, a program to join, or a performance to do, rather than pointing you to a Person to trust for the saving of your soul. Salvation comes not by agreeing to a proposition, not by joining a church, not by doing something, but by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa. 45:20-25).
A False Gospel
False prophets are false prophets because they preach a false gospel. False prophets will never preach that salvation is by the pure, free, sovereign grace of God in Jesus Christ the Lord alone (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9-10). They may use the words “grace” or even “free and sovereign grace,” but before they get done talking, you will understand that they mean to say, “Sinners are saved by God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ, as long as they do this duty, perform these works, keep those laws, feel this feeling, or go through that experience.” Such work mongers are drunk with the wine of Babylon’s fornication. They are false prophets. Will you hear this preacher? Will you hear the Word of God? Salvation is in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone! Amen.