Towards the end of Christ’s most famous speech He uttered these striking words: ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves’.
The most famous speech ever made was the Sermon on the Mount, given by Jesus Christ to thousands on a Galilean mountainside. Towards the end He uttered these striking words: ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves’. ‘Beware!’ means – keep your mind focused on dangers. It urges us to watch out intelligently. Do we assess and evaluate the ideas about life which are pressed upon us today? Do we check out the various lifestyles and values on offer?
Christ is really saying: ‘Don’t be mindless about life, and indifferent to its purpose. Don’t be naïve, accepting without question all the ideas that come along, but think where you’re heading in life.’ What do we believe about this life, or about human nature or moral values, or about God?
People who promote wrong views about life come in sheep’s clothing, meaning that they are non-threatening in their message. They offer us whatever we want.
When Christ warned about false prophets He did not mean religious teachers only but non-religious ones as well. He included people today who challenge and contradict the morals and message of the Bible. He said that people who promote wrong views about life come in sheep’s clothing, meaning that they are non-threatening in their message. They offer us whatever we want.
False ideas, said Christ, are like a wide gate and a broad road. They are popular ideas that appeal to the crowds, like a lifestyle pursuing material things and gratifying every lust. Many false ideas tell us to forget about God and morals, and to forget about being accountable to God at the end of life. ‘Do everything to please yourself,’ they say, ‘liberate your animal nature and do just as you want in life.’
Who are the people who teach these things? They are those who today steer society, run the media and the entertainment industry, and who urge and legislate the abolition of morals.
But how may we be certain these are the false teachers? Christ gave this rule, and it is infallible: ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits,’ meaning their results. Look at the results of today’s popular ideas about life. Where have they led, and what have they produced?
We are told to get rid of moral standards, with the exception of a few that protect other people from harm and loss, such as murder, personal violence, child abuse and robbery. All other standards must go, so, gender distinctions are rubbished, homosexuality is approved (soon it will be a crime to disapprove of it), and free sex outside marriage is powerfully championed (with contraceptives given to teenagers in order to eliminate the consequences, and abortion offered if things go wrong).
Pride is OK (the ‘feel good about yourself’ idea), and greed too, whether in the form of covetousness, or drunkenness or other excesses. This is called ‘enjoying yourself’. Scanty clothes for sexual arousal are paraded and promoted, and foul language is plugged to saturation point on TV. Selfishness (it’s called ‘taking care of yourself’) is the ideal lifestyle.
But what have the advocates of these ideas (mainly anti-Christian humanists) achieved? Have they produced the sophisticated, liberal society they claimed would result? The result is that there has never been so much cheating, theft, fraud, violence, cruelty, coarseness, disrespect, porn, abortion, lust, separation and divorce, addiction, drunkenness, yobbishness, selfishness and misery in society as there is today! What a mess, and society is worsening all the time. This is not said for the sake of moaning, but because it proves that the opponents of morality have got it all wrong, and their ideas have failed.
I read recently a newspaper article which claimed that things have always been just as bad, the author mentioning the Elephant Gang of the 1950s, with their razors, bicycle chains and knuckledusters. I noticed from his photograph at the top of the page that he was not old enough to have been around at the time of the Elephant Gang, but those of us who were say that things were nothing like as bad as today – not even a tenth as bad. Muggings, for example, were rare in those days, and called ‘robbery with violence’, attracting stiff prison sentences. Now they are so commonplace that most muggers are never caught. Society has deteriorated beyond recognition.
The people who have destroyed biblical standards have produced a tidal wave of broken marriages, chaos and pain, and it will get much worse.
The people who have destroyed biblical standards have produced a tidal wave of broken marriages, chaos and pain, and it will get much worse. In their arrogance they have thrown away the standards of centuries, and society will reap the consequences.
Christ says such people are like ‘thorns and briars’, but they are so proud they will not accept their failure, and, it seems, so selfish that they don’t care about the people that get hurt. They seem to be driven by an irrational passion to promote sin and attack the Christian faith.
One eminent atheist was recently given a television series to present his hatred of faith in God! He claimed that religion was the cause of all wars, and should be got rid of. Had he never heard of Stalin’s murdered millions, and all the other ideological killings of communism? Did he not know about the long history of territorial wars that have dominated history and have nothing to do with religion? Was he unaware of the two terrible world wars? What caused him to relate such grossly inaccurate nonsense? Though an accomplished scientist he seems to have forgotten his history, and in his prejudice against God was carried away to say foolish things.
Wars actually prove the Bible teaching about human depravity, that while everyone is capable of doing some good things, all are weak and sinful at the same time. Constant cruel wars only prove the Bible right and atheists wrong. People who oppose God’s moral standards will never produce stable communities and real happiness.
The supreme teacher is Christ Himself, Who is both God and man. He reaches out to individuals to change them and give them new life and happiness. His teaching is perfect and His standards are pure. He lived a perfect life on earth and then died in terrible agony as God the Father laid upon Him the guilt of everyone who would trust in Him throughout the history of the world, punishing Him in their place.
He came to bring eternal blessing to men and women, and to give deep, inner spiritual change to those who believe in Him. He rose from the dead, and has since changed the lives of billions of people worldwide.
Don’t trust the present dominant teachers and moulders of society who are opposed to Christ and His moral standards. Don’t be shaped by atheism. Find out all you can about Christ, and seek Him.
* See Matthew 7 verse 15 for Sermon on the Mount speech.