The Bible warns of false prophets, ones who pretend to be preachers of righteousness but are actually agents of the devil. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan, himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:13-15). John warned, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1). However, in spite of these warnings, many today act as though there are few, or no, false teachers in the world. They will give their general approval to almost any man (or woman) who says he is preaching the gospel.
In contrast to the general feeling among religious people, the Bible teaches that false prophets abound. John said “many” have gone out into the world. Is it any different today? Right after Jesus stated that few would make it to heaven while many will go to hell, He warned us about false teachers (Matt. 7:13-10). Do you suppose there is any connection? Many false teachers will deceive many people. Few teachers of righteousness will persuade a few people.
Instead of endorsing everyone who is a “preacher” and accepting his teaching, we are to examine, test, and try why he says by the Scripture (1 Thes. 5:21; Acts 17:11). When it is true, accept it and live by it. When it is false, reject it and him (Gal. 1:8-9). When a man will not affirm that Jesus is the Christ, reject him (Matt. 16:16). When a man will not teach that salvation is offered to all men of all races, reject him (Mk. 16:15). When a man will not advocate the words of the Lord, that baptism is for salvation, reject him (Mk. 16:16; cp. Acts 2:38).
Please, dear friend, understand that there are false teachers in the world. Use some discernment. If what we teach is false, reject it. Only follow the Word of God! Yet, if what we teach is true according to God’s revelation, receive it and abide in it. We want to go to heaven and want you to too. Contact us for a Bible study.
Steven F. Deaton