In the Bible, there is no greater crime than being a false prophet. It’s bad to tell a lie and it’s worse to teach a lie; but it is evil to teach a lie about God.
Adrian Rogers says, “Don’t let false teachers take you by surprise; when you look for the devil, never fail to look in the pulpit.”
We must learn how to spot a counterfeit teacher.
2 Peter 2:1 says, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”
Scripture tells us that false teachers are among us and warns us of the dangers of their doctrine.
We can identify counterfeits by their message. There are five tests we should run in our minds as we listen to a preacher:
- Source Test: What is the basis of his teaching?
- Savior Test: Does he believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah?
- Subject Test: Is the primary source of his teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Salvation Test: Does he teach salvation by grace or does he try to mix works or baptism or anything else into salvation?
- Sanctification Test: Does he teach, and endeavor to live, a holy life?
We can also identify false teachers by their methods.
2 Peter 2:2-3 says, “And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.”
Good counterfeiters will lay false teaching alongside good teaching in order to confuse their listeners. Their words are feigned, like plastic; they are malleable and easy to contort.
You can also spot a counterfeiter by his motive, which is to manipulate his people for his own profit or gain.
The desperate need in these last days is authentic biblical teaching; God will not spare the false prophet.
Apply it to your life
Remember this advice from Adrian Rogers: “The world is full of counterfeits; make sure you have the real thing. There are some counterfeit Christians, but don’t you let that keep you away from Jesus. Jesus is real, salvation is real and you can be real if you’ll repent of your sin and trust Him.”
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