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Series Intro

Well by your handout I’m sure you can see that we’re in week 3 (which is the final week) of a series that I have entitled ‘Sheep’s Clothing’. And it’s this brief series has been very dense. And it’s been good, but it’s like eating too much steak. After awhile you think ‘Man, this is good but I need a break!’ – And so I’m sorry that these messages are so dense, there’s just so much that God is doing inside of me right now that I just want to get to you.

Humbly And as I’ve said before, I come to this series in particular, very humbly. And I have worked hard in preparation of this series to speak on these subjects at the right level. Where I am not SO pointed as to be disrespectful, while at the same time not being so vague where I’m not saying anything.

Labored It’s important to me that you understand that I have labored over these sermons. I have never spend as much time away from my family to prepare a series than I have with this one.

We live in a world where the diversity of opinion is extreme.

Where even within a family, there is a tremendous variety of opinion and conviction about all kinds of different things.

Illustration- Three Christs Psych Experiment

I wonder if any of you have heard of the Three Christs of Ypsilanti (ip-suh-lan-tee)

In 1959 there was an experiment conducted by a socialogist by the name of “Milton (Roak-EE-ACK) in (ip-suh-lan-tee) State Hospital in Michigan.

The experiment was on a group of three paranoid schizophrenics where they housed three men who all believed themselves to be Jesus Christ together for two years. What they were trying to do was to pull them out of irrational belief. The three men, named Joseph Cassel, Clyde Benson, and Leon Gabor, ranged in age from their late thirties to early seventies. So these men were always fighting about which of them was Jesus. The experiment was unsuccessful. At the end of the study, all 3 men still believed themself to be Jesus Christ and had written the other 2 off as having a mental disability.

We live in a time where it is becoming clear that not everyone can be right. While it’s certainly possible that everyone can be wrong, it’s not possible for everyone to be right.

We live in a time where competing ideologies make competing truth claims. Where it is intellectually dishonest to pretend like both can be true. Because absolute truth claims are by nature exclusive. For example: If we believe in the God of the Bible, the belief that ‘there is no God’ cannot also be true. It must be false.

The world has responded to this issue by attempting to change the very nature of truth. Where we take objective truth and cram as much as we possibly can into subjective truth. The world says “Well instead of option A or Option B being true, maybe option A is true for you and option B is true for me.”

Which of course works just fine when you’re talking about ‘what’s the best movie of all time’ or “Does Cilantro taste good or not” – In those cases, subjective truth is absolutely fine.

But when it comes to issues of objective reality, physics, science, faith and morality – Subjective truth is not an option.

Things are either true or false. They cannot be both.

  • Planet Earth – It’s either round or flat
  • Gravity – It either exists or it doesn’t
  • God – He either exists or he doesn’t
  • Jesus – Was either God or he wasn’t
  • Murder – Is either wrong or it isn’t.

People who reject absolute, objective truth will bounce off the bible. The bible has absolutely no issue with telling you what is and is not of God, and what is and is not acceptable for mankind.

Discernment And so that of course comes back to the idea of discernment. And that’s really what this series is about: discernment. Because there has never been a time in my lifetime where discernment is more needed than it is right now. And discernment is not just a feeling you get, it’s also wisdom that is gained through discipleship to Jesus and the wisdom he provides in scripture.

Feedback I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised at how positive the feedback has been for this series. From all kinds of different people. And it clearly speaks to the fact that many of you have been in the same place that I’ve been in lately, which is a place of feeling like it’s getting harder and harder to tell who I’m supposed to listen to and who I’m not supposed to listen to.

Study for Yourself And we’re concluding this series this morning, but I wanted to tell you that there is so much more to be studied about this topic. I wanted to encourage you if you’re interested in it, to study it out yourselves. Start reading through the epistles, those are the big chunk of books in the New Testament beginning in Romans and ending in Jude. It’s a great study. Did you know that scripture teaches to not just take what I say but to study it for yourselves?

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, (ok so a certain group is more noble than another group. Why?) for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)

Interesting. Here we read about this group of new Christians that Paul is disciplining, and it says they were of noble character, because they listened to what Paul said, but then they went to the scriptures to double-check him.

Isn’t that great that scripture teaches you to do that? To test a preachers words against scripture to make sure what we say is true?

So in this series, we’ve been reading a number of scriptures that are awfully gloomy and doomy.

We’ve been reading a number of scriptures of destruction and judgement, and heresy.

A lot of people get really turned off by these parts of the Bible.

But I want you to remember that very often the most loving thing to do is to warn, and the most positive thing you can do is be negative. Sometimes the most positive thing you can do is be negative. Positive Negativity.

Red Asphalt Illustration

I’m sure many of you remember “Drivers Ed” – I know some of you took it as part of high school, other people like me went to “McGinnis School of Driving”. Well I don’t remember a whole lot about those classes, but I do remember a series of videos that we watched call ‘Red Asphalt’ movies. Please someone tell me they remember these movies. Well these were short ‘movies’ (if you can call them that) that were made by the California Highway Department, the first one coming out all the way back in 1964, and leading up to ‘Red Asphalt 5’ in 2006.

Well they knew, just like we all know (and it’s statistically proven), that we as 15 and 16-year-olds, we were about to drive had no idea of the destruction a careless driver could do. So they subject us pictures and videos of dead, mutilated, decapitated bodies, hanging out of vehicles. What’s the purpose of that? Well, it crammed discretion into our souls. All the 15 year old punks in that room who are just thinking “Give me that license and I’m just gonna be pedal to the metal 24/7” – It was a warning. It was good for us.

Well certain parts of scripture is like a cosmic Driver’s Ed film.

Let me give you a few examples:

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. (2 Peter 2:1)

Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. (2 Peter 2:2)

In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:3)


But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. (2 Peter 2:12)

They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. (2 Peter 2:13a)

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. (2 Peter 2:17)

For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. (He’s saying they entice new Christians) (2 Peter 2:18)


Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow (a sow is a mother pig) that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:22)


For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude 4)

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. (Jude 5)

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. (Jude 6)

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 7)


Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. (Jude 10)

So who are these men talking about? Well they are talking about people who appear to be speaking the truth, but are actually bringing error into Christ’s Church.

Jesus would call them ‘Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing’ in the Matthew 7. They are teachers who appear to be agents of light but are agents of darkness. People who appear to be there to serve and care for the flock, but are really there to destroy it. And that, to me at least, feels quite harsh.

D.A. Carson (who’s a great New Testament theologian, wrote of these passages:

“If we are embarrassed by the force of the Apostles’ denunciation, our embarrassment may only be testimony to the degree by which we have departed from the apostolic gospel.”

What’s he saying? He’s saying that if it embarrasses us that the Apostles call some in the church who claim to be Christian false apostles, deceitful workers who are headed for destruction, and if we think that’s a little much, it only indicates how far we have drifted from the true gospel message.

It has always been the work of the devil to infiltrate Christian communities with people who say they speak for God when they do not. He is always at work assaulting the truth with error.

And, frankly, no time, no teacher, no preacher and no church is going to be exempt from the enemy’s attack on the truth.

“Will” You’ll notice that many of the verses in the NT are clearly prophetic. “WILL” arise, WILL increase, so these warnings are about their day, but they’re even MORE so about our day. it’s talking about OUR day.

Very popular Scripture warns that false teachers will be very popular. Which of course they are. Why will they be so popular? Why will so many follow them? Many reasons, but one big one that scripture teaches is: Because false teachers allow people to simultaneously embrace Christ and sin.

How can you tell? And so the question then becomes “How exactly can you tell?” – It seems like a lot of people are being the voice of the Lord right now, and it sure feels like a lot of them are disagreeing with each other, so what voices am I supposed to listen to and which voices and I supposed to reject.

Luckily for us, scripture has a great deal to say about how we are able to discern the voice of truth from the voice of error.

And in particular there’s this brilliant section of 2 Corinthians 10 where Paul is comparing himself with the false teachers of his day. And in so speaking he gives to us some very observable criteria for how you can identify the true man of God, as opposed to the false. There were these false teachers calling themselves apostles of Christ and they had come to the Corinthian church. And interestingly, they came into Corinth after Paul had left, when the “coast was clear” so to speak. Satan wanted to use them to destroy the church and damage the gospel. And the Corinthian church had accepted these false teachers as true teachers. And that certainly seems surprising because Paul had personally ministered to the Corinthian church, in person, for almost 2 years. But that really speaks of the subtle nature of Satan’s deception.

And the series in centered around these 10, yes 10 tests that will help us identify true teachers and false teachers.

We’ve gotten through 6 of them. Just to review:

Last 2 Weeks Review

  1. Does their teaching and their life model intimacy with Christ? The true teacher is going to practice what they preach. They’re going to not just talk about the way of Jesus, they’re going to live it.
  2. Do they speak the truth or only what you want to hear? We don’t balance truth and love because they’re not in competition. The true teacher who loves you will tell you the truth even when they know it’s not what you want to hear.
  3. Are they being pastored themselves or are they a “Lone Ranger”? All spiritual fathers must first be sons. The biblical example set by the early church is clear: Pastors are IN authority, while also being UNDER authority themselves.
  4. Do they trust in God’s power or their personality? Character trumps Charisma every time. The true teacher will lean on God’s power and wisdom not their ability to work a crowd.
  5. Do they show respect or disrespect to the ministries of others? The Kingdom of God is not like the world. We don’t operate through competition. We rejoice with and bless other ministries and churches in their gospel work.
  6. Are they content with the scope of their calling? The true teacher doesn’t let their own desire for success compromise their integrity or faithfulness to that which they’re called.

Let’s read these verses one final time:

You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. (2 Corinthians 10:7)

So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. (2 Corinthians 10:8)

I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. (That was point #2) (2 Corinthians 10:9)

For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” (That was point #4) (2 Corinthians 10:10)

Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present. (That was point #1) (2 Corinthians 10:11)

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12)

We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us (That was point #6), a sphere that also includes you. (2 Corinthians 10:13)

We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:14)

Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, (2 Corinthians 10:15)

so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. (That was point #5) (2 Corinthians 10:16)

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 10:17)

For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:18)

Something that a lot of pastors can attest to is that when you do a series, it usually starts out strong and then goes downhill. That’s very common. I didn’t want that to happen in this series so I saved some of my favorite points. These points are awesome!!!

7. Do they build up the church or tear it down?

the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, (2 Corinthians 10:8)

You want to know whether someone is a true messenger of Christ, ask if they built the church. Ask if they built up the church, strengthened the church, made the church spiritually strong, sound, solid, mature, unified. Or do they divide the church?

False teachers tear down the church.

Look, sorry. I know that’s hard. I know I’m talking about some of your friends, but it’s true. Believe me, Christ’s messengers don’t tear down the church.

Who’s church is this? This is Christ’s Church. Of course, there are plenty of things wrong with the church. Plenty. But like I always say: it doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be of God. God’s part is perfect. But any time you assemble humans there will be imperfection.

But you need to understand, if you’re trying to tear down the church, you’re doing the devil’s work. I mean, right? In scripture, the great opponent of the church is the devil.

Why would Satan want to tear down the church?

I think it’s pretty obvious, but here’s two reasons:

Satan wants to tear down the church because the church produces Christians.

Is that too basic? – Let’s do a test. How many of you are Christians? How many of would say that there was a church somewhere in the picture during that time?

So it was for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians’. (Acts 11:26)

So it’s this church that’s giving birth to these Christians.

Where do Christians come from? They come from the same place the bible comes from. The church.

The bible didn’t float down from heaven.

It takes the Church to:

  • Write, compile, canonize, interpret, the bible.
  • Evangelize, baptize, nourish, and form Christians.

Christianity doesn’t long survive outside of the church. That’s just the way it is.

Satan wants to tear down the church because the church helps humanity.

In fact, that’s our calling. To be a blessing to all people. Have we always lived up to that calling? Far from it. HUGE missteps and mistakes. But broadly speaking, have the people of God been a blessing to the world? Of course.

  • Remember Hurricane Harvey? 2017. 80% of relief contributions came from Christians.
  • 70% of hospitals in impoverished areas of the world are run by Christians.

Why? Because 4000 years ago, God called us to be a blessing to the world.

Grieving Families Something that I probably bring up too much, but it’s just so foundational to how I understand ministry – Is dealing with grieving families. My and the other pastors here at the church rarely go more than a couple weeks without sitting down with a family that has either lost or is in the process of losing a loved one. Sometimes it’s a real long drawn-out process, other times it’s suddenly. They’re both uniquely difficult in their own ways. But I think of all the opportunities I get to help hurting people, simply by virtue of me being a part of the church. And how for lots and lots of people, when life really hits them in the gut, the entity that is uniquely helpful and comforting for them is the church. And so even though it may be me, or may be my wife, or may be Pastor Marshall or Cindi, or Shirley, or whoever that is directly meeting with this family, it’s actually ALL of us that are providing that help. Because you, the congregation, is what makes me meeting with that family possible. I can spend my time helping people and still feed my family, because of you.

The devil hates that. The devil hates that you give of your time and your resource to comfort hurting people. He hates that there’s this huge support network on-call 24/7 to spring into action when people need us. He hates that.

And can you see what an effective strategy it would be for him to divide us and tear down the church.

“Are you saying I have to be a part of a church to help people?” No, but I’m saying that the church provides you with opportunities to be there for many more people.

It’s fine to be a church reformer, it’s not fine to be a church destroyer.

Personal: Am I taking my place in Christ’s Church?

8. Do they acknowledge or minimize the work done by others ?

Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. (2 Corinthians 10:15)

A false teacher minimizes the work done by others.

Let me tell you something that is happening in my generation of pastors that’s messed up.

Our parents, let’s call them the baby boomer pastors, planted lots of churches. You’ll notice that a HUGE percentage of, let’s say, MODERN churches that are around today have pastors who are currently somewhere between 60 and 75 years old.

And so because of that, we have a lot of young pastors who are somewhere between 35 and 45 years old.

Child – Lame!!! Now, it’s understandable when you’re a child, do think everything your parents do is dumb. When you’re a kid, there is nothing less cool than anything your parents do. Your parents music? LAME! I remember when I was young my dad would listen to Simon and Garfuunkle. And I was like “Dad your music is so lame.” Your parents clothes? SUPER LAME? Your parents jokes? ULTRA LAME! That’s normal.

But what’s happening is we now have these young Christians who have decided that their parents faith is lame. Their worship music is lame. Their sermons are lame. Their theology is lame.

And so your have these young “pastors”, who aren’t under authority, who’s entire ‘brand’ if you will, is that our parents faith is lame, and so we’re going to do our own thing.

And it’s such a juvinile mistake. And it’s a mistake that Satan loves. Because it forks the church into two. Now you’ve got the old-folks church and the cool hip church. And it causes us to start our faith from scratch every generation. And so there’s nothing to build upon. We end up reinventing the wheel every generation.

And even from an academic point of view it makes no sense.

Illustration – Scientist So let’s say you have a scientist. Well that scientist builds on the ideas that have already been established in his field. See, when scientific ideas are born, they’re usually crude and rough. But then over time, those ideas become more refined, and nuanced. And that’s possible because ideas are established and then built upon.

We have these brilliant scientists who are on the frontlines making these Covid vaccines. And that’s possible because they’re building on the understanding of the scientists before them.

But now let’s say these scienctists said “Our parents science was lame! We’re gonna start over!!!” – They would spend their life developing these basic concepts that we’ve already known about for hundreds of years.

The devil would love for the church to just keep doing that generation after generation. Disrespecting and destroying the work that came before us.

So false teachers. So let’s say you’re watching TV or listening to the radio and there’s this preacher/prophet/evangelist, Reverend Morganstein, and he comes on and says “Man, all these churches don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ve got it all wrong, and I’ll show you THE SECRET.” – Just ask yourself “Does this person acknowledge or minimize the work done by others?”

Make it personal: Do I acknowledge and appreciate the people who sacrificed for me?

9. Do they elevate scripture or apologize for it?

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— (Galatians 1:6)

which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:7)

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! (Galatians 1:8)

I think the majority of preachers if they’re being honest, would admit, that sometimes we wrestle with scripture.

  • There are times when it doesn’t say things I wish it would say.
  • And probably more common: There are times when scripture says things I wish it wouldn’t say.
  • And there are times when scripture SO CLEARLY clashes with what culture tells us is acceptable. Does it not? I thought about showing you all sorts of things scripture says that are no longer politically correct. I mean you wanna pull Dr Seuss off the shelves, have you read Jeremiah? Or Jesus for that matter Jesus?

And to be honest with you, something that I have repented of, and still repent of, is spending too much time apologizing for scripture. And doing all this mental and linguistic gymnastics to get scripture to say what I think it ought to say.

You know what I mean? All the preachers know what I mean. To help God along with what he ought to say, instead of just letting him say what he wants to say.

And I think God has just worked in me over the last few years to show me, just how arrogant that is of us.

Just like I told you last week – Learning to do this dance with scripture and letting scripture take the lead.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. (2 Peter 2:1)

So it’s interesting that the ultimate in heresy – is to deny the ‘Lordship’ of Christ. What does that mean, LORDSHIP? Well it just means that he’s the boss. And he gets the final say.

Story – @ Coffee – “Your Opinion” I remember awhile back, a man from the church scheduled a coffee with me, so we went out and were drinking coffee, and he was wanting to talk about the cultural, polical issues of the day, and I wasn’t really that interested in doing that. And he told me “David, I want to hear your opinion.” And I thought about it for a minute and I said “Do you really need another opinion?” “Well not just another opinion, YOUR opinion.” And I said something that it kind of unusual for me to say, but I said “It’s not my job to give my opinion. I’m a man of God, and my responsibility is to speak from Him.”

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)

So it’s scripture that equips the man of God to do his work.

For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

So that’s the responsibility of the teacher or prophet or pastor, to speak “From God”

Story – Grace saying I don’t like you

My daughter has just come out a phase where she learned a mean phrase somewhere and so we had to work to get her to not say it anymore. The phrase was “I don’t like you!”. And we’re like “Where did she hear that?!” But anyways, there were these times we’d go to the store and we’d pass by someone in an isle and she turn to them and say “I don’t like you!” And we’d be shocked “I’m so sorry! She doesn’t know what she’s saying!!”

God is not a child that needs to be apologized for. He is a full-grown deity. And he can relate to us how he chooses. And he doesn’t need you, me, or anyone else following him around trying to prevent his PR nightmare. Either he inspired the book or he didn’t. And if he did, then let him say what he wants to say. And if you’re thinking, yeah but there’s some stuff in there that’s probably not right. Well he’s God, if we wants to, he can come correct his book, but until then, stop apologizing for him. And don’t worry, if you think I’m talking to you, I’m not. I’m talking to myself. I’m 38, God’s eternal. He might have some better ideas than I do. Holy Smokes.

Personal: Do I give God the final say in deciding what’s true?

10. Do they chase after applause or eternal commendation?

For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:18)

You see, false teachers want it here and now, they want the accolades, they want the notoriety, they want the fame, they want their face everywhere.

Paul’s only concern was God’s approval.

The approval of man, when it comes to ministry is a mixed bag. Sometimes people love you, sometimes people hate you. And of course, it feels a lot better when people love you. But the true teacher won’t be ultimately motivated by that. We’re not man-pleasers.

Look at what Paul says earlier in this letter:

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: (he’s talking about ministers) as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. (1 Corinthians 4:1)

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. (1 Corinthians 4:3)

My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. (1 Corinthians 4:4)

Me : Early pastoral ministry – family left

I remember years ago when I was just starting out in pastoral ministry, and there was this big high profile, influential family that had been coming for years that left the church because of me.

They took their students out of the youth ministry and the entire family left.

And they wrote an email to pastor Marshall blaming me for it.

I remember how strange that was for me, and when I was a processing all that, I was talking to Pastor Marshall and he told me something I’ll never forget. He said ‘It’s a lot easier to please God than to try to please everyone else.’

But the false teachers of Paul’s day, just like the false teachers of our day, will be supremely concerned with being loved by the crowd.

And as we’ve talked about, that is disastrous for multiple reasons:

  • The truth is rarely popular.
  • The crowd is always stupid. People are smart, but crowds are stupid. Remember that.
  • The crowd will never make up their mind. – What makes you loved today will make you hated tomorrow. Crowd pleasers will be as wishy-washy as the crowd itself.

You’re never gonna be everything everyone wants you to be, but the thing that matters is for you at the end of the day to say “I believe God is pleased at what I have done today.” – If you can say that, then you’ll sleep fine. Because it’s not about everyone thinking you’re the best, it’s about you being true to who God has called you to be.

Personal: Do I care too much about what other people think?

And I tell you what, living for other people’s approval will steal your joy.


Closing Statement

Scripture has a great deal to say about what it calls False Prophets, False Teachers, False Apostles. We live in an age of loud voices and many who speak with authority. It is vitally important that today’s Christian use discernment in deciding which voices to hear and which voices to ignore.

Thankfully, the New Testament writers give us many principles that will enable us to discern the true teacher from the false teacher.

  1. Do they build up the church or tear it down? – True messengers of Christ will build the church, unify the church, and even reform the church, but they won’t tear it down.
  2. Do they acknowledge or minimize the work done by others? The true teacher will honor and build upon the work done by those who have gone before them.
  3. Do they elevate scripture or apologize for it? True teachers and prophets will have the humility to let God speak for himself.
  4. Do they chase after applause or eternal commendation? Men and Women of God must be motivated by God’s approval, not man’s.

The questions also apply to you: Are you taking your place in Christ’s Church? Do you acknowledge and appreciate the people who sacrificed for you? Do you give God the final say in deciding what’s true? Is your greatest motivation pleasing God or man?

Which leads us right to Jesus.

You wanna talk about someone whose motivation was eternal. Jesus was rejected, mocked, humiliated tortured, and killed. But on the third day, God raised him from the dead, and he offers forgiveness, love, grace, and mercy to all who would call on his name.