Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. -Matthew 7:15-20
Check out last Sunday’s sermon here.
Life is like a path. Everyone is going somewhere. As you walk, you come to a fork in the path with two gates, the narrow gate of Christ and the broad, easy gate of destruction. As you take the gate, narrow and difficult (yet filled with joy), you soon find others along the path. They help provide perspective to Christ's call for caution.
Some walk in stride, easy breezy. You cover ground, step by step. Some sneak upon you and trip your feet. They scrape your knees with subtle jabs, and quarrels about temporary things. Others come along for a moment, fancy dressed in suit and tie. Yet, they walk in step with sinister motives. They soon pass by, slinking off, your friend trapped between fangs and jaws. One even calls you away to stray. He yells from the broad path, loud and boisterous, “Come over here! I’ve found Jesus and much more!”
Or, maybe you face none of those, because you see that those are you. Tripping, snatching, calling, slinking. helping others away from Christ with subtle jabs and temptations to take the path of ease. Waiting for that fatal word, “I never knew you,” spoken from the Christ you claimed, for naught. May it never be said of me, Father!
Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He gave His life for us, for cheats and wolves. And He offers forgiveness. He offers grace free of charge.
For what is it that this time that He bids you to return, weak-kneed to that fountain of grace? Wolf or whelp, his forgiveness is free to you all the same. And, His path is narrow and joyful as it was the time you heard of it before.
Let us cling close to that Good Shepherd. He is the only hope to remain protected from wolves and faithful to glory.