We’re looking at identifying good or bad spiritual influences in our lives. We looked at two tests or “fruit” yesterday, today we see two more.
They are Short-Lived
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Jesus is saying that false teaching is like a tree with bad fruit…it’s best use is as firewood…
It has no lasting value…no help for the future. Just a little warm glow while it lasts, then it’s gone forever.
This is why we so often go from false teaching to teaching…so many spiritual books at the bookstore – they never truly satisfy, or last.
We are sometimes tempted to say…it’s okay. I know it’s not true, but it’s fun, or it makes me feel good and inspired to read it.
But they are not harmless. This is like saying you’ll keep a dead tree standing, just in case you need it for firewood some day.
False teachings are dangerous, because they get inside our heads and hearts. They can suck up our time, energy, devotion, everything. They can consume us. Better to cut the tree down and have a big bonfire today.
This is the difference between a wolf and a lost sheep who’s wandered away…Jesus points us to the inner motivation, as he did over and over again in the Sermon on the Mount.
He says a wolf is ravenous…so hungry, he/she will do anything to get their desire, whether they are hungry for control, power, money, fame, etc.
Wolves exist, since the first church was established, there have been those who’ve sought personal gain from Jesus & church, and they still exist today…
But if you are truly seeking to follow Jesus, you can probably identify some times you’ve strayed towards a false prophet too.
We’ve all been there. I know I’ve read, and really liked, things in the past.
But later, as I grew as a follower of Jesus, realized they were not helpful at all.
Wish someone had told me: you deserve better….the real thing earlier.
It’s good to recognize you’re not always right, gone astray, and decided to pursue the truth. You should be much more concerned if you were completely certain of your own righteousness and thought you had nothing to learn.
Question: Who has been a negative spiritual influence in your life? Did they seem more like a sinister wolf, or a misguided, lost sheep?
Cast: Redeem the Commute
Watch the Video: : https://player.vimeo.com/video/68812542