“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
There are a lot of false prophets in the church today. We may not think of that as a very modern thing – after all prophets were really an old testament thing thousands of years ago. Nobody really claims to be a prophet anymore. Nevertheless, false prophets do exist in the church today. What’s worse, they’re often some of the loudest and most influential among us.
Jesus says they come to you as wolves in sheep’s clothing. This metaphor implies that we are sheep and the false-prophets are wolves. Naturally, sheep and wolves don’t get along very well. That’s because sheep are vulnerable and more or less defenseless against a wolf. False prophets prey on vulnerability. They preach on things that they know will pull people in. A common example would be prosperity gospel preachers who preach that by believing in God and following him, you will become rich, happy, and healthy. Another example would be those who say that all religions are equally good and that all good people go to heaven. Neither of these are scripturally accurate and neither stems from belief in Jesus.
Watch out for the wolves among you. Don’t be fooled by their sheep’s clothing. Be on your guard by immersing yourself in scripture and learning the word of God. When people try to lead you away from the gospel you’ve been told, don’t be easily persuaded. Read scripture, seek advice from trusted Christian mentors, and pray fervently.
A sheep is only vulnerable if it gets too far away from its shepherd. Stay close to God and the truth of his word and you will be safe from these threats. The farther you stray from the Good Shepherd, the more vulnerable you become to the wolves. They’ll find the vulnerable parts of you and lead you away to destroy you.
Stay close to God. Let his word protect you.
I know that I am a sheep and you are my good shepherd. Help me to be aware of false prophets in the church. Help me to be on my guard against their false teachings and help me to bring their lies into the light so that none may be led astray. Protect me and guide me always and never let me stray away from you.
In Jesus’ Name,