Wednesday, December 26, 2012

False Prophets in the last days

Matthew 24:3-13
3.          As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
4.          Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you.
5.          For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.
6.          You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
7.          Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
8.          All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9.          "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
10.      At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
11.      and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
12.      Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
13.      but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Who are the false prophets in the last days mentioned in these verses?

If now is the last days, has the false prophets appeared?

If you wish to avoid their deception, can you, first of all, recognize them?

Matthew 24:21-24
21.      For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again.
22.      If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
23.      At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it.
24.      For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.

Our Lord Jesus prophesied in the Bible that the false prophets in the last days will deceive the chosen ones as well!

Obviously, they will deceive Christians.

Is there anyone deceived?

If you wish to know who are the false prophets, you must first understand who the true ones are.

Our Lord Jesus is the true prophet and He explained who the false ones are in detail right after these verses. He warned those living in the last days that they must keep watch for the Lord’s coming! Actually, all who go against what our Lord Jesus said are false prophets!

Matthew 24:37-42
37      As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
38      For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;
39      and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
40      Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.
41      Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42      "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

These days, those who come in the Lord Jesus’ name say, “No need to alert. We don’t know when the Lord will be back or He must delay His coming.”

They are the false prophets mentioned by our Lord Jesus because what they say deceives Christians, making them unprepared and missing the chance to be caught up to heaven.

Matthew 24:44-51
44      So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45      "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?
46      It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.
47      I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
48      But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,'
49      and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.
50      The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.
51      He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

2 Peter 3:3-6 also says,
3        First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
4        They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
5        But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
6        By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

The apostle Peter also warned that scoffers will come in the last says, scoffing those who keep watch for the Lord.
Indeed, the Lord is tolerating those unbelievers before His coming, so that they can have more time to know Him.

2 Peter 3: 9-14
9          The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10      But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
11      Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
12      as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
13      But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
14      So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

What the apostle Peter said in his letters are consistent with that mentioned by the Lord Jesus, the true prophet. He admonished those living in the last days that they must “look forward to the day of God and speed its coming”

18 They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires."
19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

The Bible also says that those who don’t keep watch for the Lord, who follow their own ungodly desires and scoff are sensual and don’t have the Holy Spirit.

Those who don’t have the Holy Spirit always scoff those who keep watch for the Lord’s coming and become false prophets to deceive Christians in the last days.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
1.          Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
2.          for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3.          While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Aren’t there a group of people who come in His name saying that this is a day of peace and safety?
The Bible says plainly that these people can’t escape the disasters in the coming days because they don’t listen to the Lord and keep watch for His coming.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-6
4        But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
5        You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6        So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

Brothers and sisters, we are sons of the light. We don’t belong to the night or darkness. All things related to the Lord’s coming are plain to us because the Bible is unsealed. Both the weekly “2012 Glorious Hope” sermons and the happenings in the world these days tell us that the Lord is really coming!

Are you watchful for the Lord’s coming today? Can you distinguish the false prophets?