How often have you heard the words: false prophets? The Bible is full of stories about prophets. Jesus says in Matthew 7:15, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves”. Later in Matthew 24:11 He says, “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” From the early days of the world there have been false prophets. In Deuteronomy 13 we can read about false prophets and their gods. False prophets have been around forever and they are still around us today. We know this because of what Jesus says in Matthew 24:24-25, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive . . . See I have told you ahead of time.”
I’m sure you’ve heard your minister or a televangelist say something false prophets. About people who will approach us and try to convince us that our beliefs are wrong. I know I’ve heard it said multiple times in our church and from others as well. And rather we like it or not, there are people who have or will try to convince us of our faith. But who are these people and how do we know when we’re being approached or when we are simply having a fun conversation about our Savior? Honestly, it’s hard to tell. No one is going to wear a red flag that reads, “I’m a false prophet. Do not listen to what I say.” No, we have to know our Bible well enough that we can recognize it if they are speaking the truth or something they made up.
If someone would ask you, how do you know that your belief is true, how would you answer? If you said, “My parents told me so.” They would say, “How do you know they’re not wrong? Have you ever read it in the Bible?” Would you say, “Yes I read it a few weeks ago in 2 Peter.” Or would you stutter and hope the conversation would change. You wouldn’t have any proof or reason for your belief and you’d lose the argument. This is why it’s so important to study the Bible and learn for ourselves. Because sometimes—over time, the Word gets mixed up from people spreading it but never bothering to look it up again or truly study what it means.
We can’t straight up say, “They’re false prophets!” when they don’t do everything exactly the way we would do it. We can’t just assume this is how God wants us to live and judge anyone who doesn’t live exactly how we assume. We have to study the Bible. Study the words Jesus said; study the words God said through His prophets. We have to pray for God to open our ears so that we can hear clearly what he is trying to teach us. So, when someone questions our faith, when someone is trying to change our belief, we know our Bible well enough so that we can stand firm on what Jesus said.
There are people who have changed the scripters to suit their desires. And we can clearly read in the Bible that what they’re doing is wrong, but in other cases it’s harder to understand if it’s right or if it’s wrong. This is why we pray for understanding when we read the Bible. Most everything that Jesus said, He said in parables. This can make His words hard to understand, but if we pray for understanding and read with an open mind, willing to learn, we can understand and know how Jesus wants us to live.
When people question us about our faith, or want to change it, we can stand firm on the word of God, knowing that our beliefs are true and were taught by the greatest man that ever lived . . . Jesus.