Everything in life is about balance. There is good and evil, rich and poor, blessings and curses, and so forth. If all we ever did was tell people about the good in the world, they would have no idea that bad exists. Conversely, if all we did was talk about the bad we would get the feeling that there is no good. Jesus certainly did good and preached about good in his ministry. But he also spent a lot of time warning people.
Jesus warned of hell. He also warned about evil people. One of the most life-changing passages for me has been the Jesus’ discussion on false prophets. Jesus said, “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?” (Matthew 7:15-16 ESV). Jesus goes on to say that bad trees will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
It’s important to realize that Jesus isn’t warning people about some “slippery slope” to avoid. Rather, he’s warning the saints about people who are already ravenous wolves. These people will devour innocent people and the best bet for staying both physically and spiritually alive is to recognize these people and avoid them. In the next few weeks we will be looking at very distinct ways to recognize deceivers and wicked people who pretend to be sheep.