We live in a society of the churched where just because a man, woman or ministry is successful we count them as being of God. This kind of rational can’t be farther from what the bible tells us. In fact, it was the many who put Jesus to death and the few who were His loyal followers and He explains that His way will be by a narrow gate in which not many are willing to go; Matt 7:13-14.
Never before have we been put in the situation where many are seeking out ministers and ministries of God to give to offer hope, encouragement and God’s counsel. This is good! But on the same hand can be dangerous and where a word of caution to all who would be reminded; not everyone who says, ‘Lord Lord’ is a true man/woman or ministry of God; Matt 7:21-23. Not everyone who sings in His name is of His. Not everyone who eloquently speaks of God are His. Nor who work signs and wonders, claiming it to be of the Holy Spirit – is true.
Being shut up in our homes we are at risk of gaining weight because we may use food as our source of comfort and something to do and should try to monitor this. Conversely we can feed our souls with junk food that is easily accessible through television and the internet. There is a real and present danger of opening ourselves up – to looking to be entertained in the name of God as opposed to looking to be fed the word of God in truth and encouraged in His Spirit through true ministers of God.
My exhortation is that we be careful and mindful of this in our selections.
If the majority of what is true below in who you are listing to may be evidence that that minister or ministry is a false teacher/preacher:
- Jesus Christ is not central to the message. The (full) Gospel is not preached. Nor is their exhortation that to be a follower of Christ we must die to self and live crucified lives.
- Does not teach living holy lives, and how to live in the world and not of it. (in fact, they talk act and look like the world themselves).
- Will fill a majority of sermon/teaching filled with jokes, stories of themselves and family, and current events and less on bible scripture, if at all.
- Does not expound scripture to teach how we are to live
- Speaker will ‘preach’ a subject and substantiate it using verses and bible stories – rather than preaching the word and expounding on it as the subject matter.
- Talks, teaches and promotes wealth and prosperity and the foundation of all their messages
- Spends money on promoting himself/herself and their ministry. They usually are quite wealthy and live lavish lifestyles.
- Entices listeners to buy-in through the promotion of book sales, conference/ticket sales, social outreaches, etc.
- Usually are dynamic and charismatic. Draws a crowd – megachurch; has many followers, obtains good reviews, uses music to create an emotional connection and response.
- Will teach grace as a cover all and excuse for sin, rather than that of the power of God working in us – so we may overcome sin.
- The message is feel good and not offensive. Offensive to mean that it does not point out sin. No conviction is felt but emotions are stirred
How many times are we admonished to ‘be not deceived’ when we read our brothers speak to us in scripture? And so, we must judge for ourselves in who we listen to and should not take this task lightly, for our own spiritual health depends upon it. Jude 1, 2 Tim 3.