Ever since Christ left the earth, foretellers have tried to predict when He would come back. Some predicted His return in the 3rd century, the 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, and 20th. Some so-called prophets have set dates when certain events were supposed to happen, like the arrival of a doomsday comet, the antichrist, Armageddon, droughts to destroy America, a cure for cancer, a nuclear war. Some of these failed predictions even come from people within well-known religious groups. Jesus alerted us to beware prophets who not only get their dates wrong, but more importantly, mislead people with their false teachings about Him and the way they should live. We read in Matthew chapter 7: “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. … A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Jesus wants us to know that a true prophet accepts Him as God’s Son, who came in the flesh to pay our sin debt; He alone has words of eternal life. He alone is God’s appointed Ruler over all creation. A true prophet not only accepts these truths about Jesus but seeks to live by them.
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