For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.2 Corinthians 11:13-15
While the ways of men suggest that the student will always be better than the teacher, however in Luke 6:40 says that a disciple is not above his teacher. But everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. It is only natural therefore that the person we choose to be our leader or the church we select to attend is a matter of great importance that makes or breaks our Christian lives.
If we choose to follow false preachers and false prophets, in no time we shall become one like them. And if we choose to be trained by God-fearing and Bible practicing preachers, likewise we too shall become favorably God-fearing ourselves.
It is said that globally there are over 41,000 different types of denominations from the charismatic branch alone. These numbers show us undeniable proof that something adversely wrong is going on with this particular group, resulting in the garden variety of divisions sprouting all over the world uncontrollably. If you are looking for a description fitting to a generation as mentioned in Matthew 24:5, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”, this generation is probably living in it right now. We are already witnessing many coming in the name of Christ and many are or have been deceived.
Today, to differentiate between the real and the false among pastors and preachers, is not an impossible feat. If we study and take heed to the warnings taught by Christ Himself, all preachers during the last days shall have one common identity, both the good and the bad, all of them come in the name of Christ. You probably not be able to find any preacher from any church who does not profess their allegiance to Christ Jesus in present times. You can check this point out in any pursuit to identify false preachers.
Some of the notable American preachers like John McArthur, Paul Washer and Steve Lawson, are pinnacle examples of Bible teaching and Scripture adhering preachers. If they are to be used as the yardstick for us to measure the characteristics and nature of what makes a preacher a good preacher, we will likely come to several identical salient points found in the leadership qualities of these fine men.
A good preacher starts his preaching with the Bible and ends it with the Bible. In between his sermons, it is also all about the Bible, God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Simply put, a good preacher teaches nothing other than teaching straight from the Bible. They do not deviate from Scripture, they do not talk about themselves or do they talk about the people around them. It is always about God and God’s word. They do not change to speak about what makes you and I happy, or discuss ways on how to attract blessings from God, and neither do they promise anyone anything on God’s behalf.
They highlight the will of God, the purpose of Christ and they warn about disobeying God’s commandments. They do what they are simply called to do; to preach God’s word. The good preachers will teach us about Christ and to be like Christ. And their followers and people who embrace good teachings can be seen loving God, loving His ways and loving His commandments. Sin is an overcame matter; a spent force, because God-loving people are natural born again believers; they are like new wine in new wine skins. Technically, they do not pour old wine into themselves.
On the other end, the most common type of false preachers are those whom I term as accidental preachers. These are not false preachers by intent. They do not set themselves up for a career path to become professional liars. But rather, they are like you and I, the common Bible believer, who once attended church on Sundays as teenagers and they grew up embracing pastoral duties along the way. But like other believers, they too struggled in life. Growing up as ordinary Christians and their experiences mold them to what they are in later parts of their leadership years in churches.
Accidental preachers are lukewarm. On good days they are 110% for God and the Bible. And on such days they make a lot sense from what they teach or impart. But on bad days, they tire themselves with motivating others. When church attendance starts dropping, they look for ways to get people to come listen to them. Like extroverts, the sight of many people drives them to speak well. But when the numbers dwindle, so goes the same for their zeal. Thus the accidental preachers are more like motivational speakers rather than godly preachers. Instead of teaching about God’s ways and God’s will, they resort to a pitiful cycle of entertaining the desires of men, in order to avoid being shun by them. When the motivation dries up, accidental preachers will turn to all kinds of worldly ways to keep their fire burning, but without the oil.
Then we have the professional prosperity preachers. They are like monks from temples, worshiping only the idolistic god of money. Everything the prosperity preacher speak, say or do, in one way or another is always about wealth, health, money or opportunity. They use greed as the catalyst for their preaching. People who desires to become rich and wealthy are often found among members of churches run by prosperity preachers. On Sundays, their theme messages are usually about succeeding or winning in life. Singing and worship becomes their undertone used to flatter the God Almighty into giving in to their demands and requests. Unless there is something for them to gain, there’s no reason for them to attend church or to worship God.
This group are the carefree, ignorance is bliss type of preachers. They go about their lives aimlessly and even in their pastoral duties, they speak, preach and teach aimlessly. Words from them is tainted with worthless promises. Not only they promise glory for themselves, they also promise glory for other believers on God’s behalf. They believe they are anointed with authority to speak God’s blessings onto everyone who cross paths with them in life. Nobody is rejected by God and everyone shall inherit the kingdom of heaven, the good, the bad and the evil. According to frivolous preachers, we shall all be one big happy family in heaven, next to the evildoers, the wicked minds, demons and the devil himself.
To these frivolous preachers, nothing is more precious than plain vanity and the pride of life. On their social media channels, they parade themselves out in the open for all to see, like idols or like catwalk models during fashion shows. To them, the truth and the Bible is about their glory and not God’s glory. It is what they eat, what they wear and where they go to for their next social event, or which mega church shall invite them to speak next, these are the things that are of paramount importance to them. These are the fools described in the Bible, so to speak.
The worse type of false preachers are the ones who believe in speaking things into existence. These are the ones cautioned in Bible, known as the ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). They come to sheepfolds dressed like other sheep. When they speak, most of the time their words are focused on something else other than from the Bible. They talk about prosperity, your life and the pleasures that entertains most itching ears. Prospects of goodness are used as baits to lure people into their cult.
And once the crowd acquaint themselves with their delusions, the wolves would then move on to lock them down with suggestive messages that subconsciously directs the human mind into another realm. Once inside, they occasionally use Scripture to reassure others that they have the powers to call or speak things into existence like God Himself. Or they would perform healing sessions except that the sick are never really healed but merely fell into an illusion of make belief during the height of their procession. These are dangerous wolves and all they do is they devour. They are no more than modern day sorcerers and witches.
Every preacher today associates himself with Christ. The good ones will teach us the ways and the will of Christ. The bad ones will use Christ to facilitate their nefarious motives. Hence, whosoever preacher that we choose to follow, whether we like it or not, shall eventually make or break our walk with God. As mentioned again above, everyone who is perfectly trained will be exactly like his teacher. The more you learn from good teachers, the better and the closer you are with God. And likewise, the longer you stick to the company of false preachers, the quicker your day of reckoning would also come.
In summary, the good preachers will teach us for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that those who believe in Him and obeys Him, shall not perish but have eternal Life. But the false preachers will claim instead, for God so loved you and I, that He is willing to do anything for you and I, as long as we say with our lips that we believe Him.
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