Wednesday, December 07, 2005

False Prophets

“If anyone says to you then, ‘Look, here is the Christ’ or, ‘He is there, do not believe it; for false Christs and false prophets will arise and produce great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the chosen, if that were possible.” (Matthew 24: 23 – 25)

This is a bleak warning about the end-time period. When the world starts to unravel, people will be desperate looking for any means to save themselves. This period of uncertainty and desperation will be favorable in producing false prophets. What is most astonishing about this warning by Jesus is that he foretells that the false prophets will work great signs and miracles. Many will be deceived by this. Even the chosen will be disconcerted by this phenomenon. But because the chosen had long been anchored on God’s word, they will not be deceived.

How will the faithful be able to undress the false prophets? Christ taught that “By their fruits we shall know them.” The true Christians will look for the fruits of the Spirit among the false prophets. Are they patient? How do they handle delays, disappointments and obstacles? How do they cope with suffering? The false prophets will fail these tests.

Lord Jesus, grant your people the gift of discernment of spirits, so that we can discern the false and the genuine.

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Jesus is Lord.