The other day I was watching some political commentary on TV about the upcoming election. There were two participants in the discussion (plus the host) one a syndicated conservative commentator himself and the other a former chief aid to Chuck Shumer.
Somehow the subject matter got around to abortion and the conservative made a remark something to the effect ‘VP Biden calls himself a Catholic but supports Abortion on demand’ to which the former Schumer aid responded; ‘How dare you question Mr. Biden’s Faith.’
I had two immediate observations: 1) He (the Schumer aid, sidestepped answering the question and 2) He (a non-believer I think) immediately imposed Matthew 7:1-5 upon the the other guy.
Since I have Previously posted on Matthew 7:1-5, Is Judgment Always Forbidden?,The Most Popular Bible Verse Among Unbelievers, The Whole Counsel of God; suffice it to say that Biblical Judgement (Discernment) is warranted at all times and Mr. Schumer’s former aid should know better than to try and deflect answers.
I will concentrate today instead on a much neglected (my opinion) aspect of our faith, that is How can we tell if someone is saved or not?
Most Bibles are sectioned off somewhat around Matthew 7:15-20 with a Heading of A Tree and Its Fruit. Here the theme is knowing the difference between TRUE FOLLOWERS and FALSE PROPHETS, we will know both by the fruit or works of God they bear.
Ye shall – In v.15 Jesus said theses False Prophets would disguise themselves as gentle, innocent sheep. But YOU can see through their camouflage and distractions.
know them by their fruits. – All false prophets lack Good Fruit. Oh they got fruit, it is just rotten to the core. It goes against the very Word of God.
Do men gather – When you are hungry Physically or Spiritually, mankind will gather almost anything to eat.
grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? – But even the most suborn and foolish should know enough that while Grapes and Figs are Good to eat, the little berries found on thorn and thistle bushes are not. Yet false prophets will lead men to these time and again.
Thistles and Thorns can never never produce fruit, it is not in their nature. The same is true for those who claim to be children of God but are just great pretenders or as Jesus said Wolves in Cheeps Clothing.
Is our “Judging” others Faith Biblical and Important? In a word YES! James dedicates most of Chapter 2:14-26 to the subject. Someone can claim to be whatever they want, in my example above Joe Biden claims to be a practicing Catholic but is pro-abortion, but if their lives (Fruits) do not bare witness to that claim they are Liars and False Prophets.
The Apostle John in his 1st Epistle 2:3-6 makes the same point only this time with an inward focus. Are we really children of God that we claim? Are we working for the Kingdom or our own Glory?
As always we need to take in the Whole Counsel of God and no go off half Cocked and start accusing and aggressively pointing fingers at everyone claiming they are False Prophets. Matthew 7 is part of the Sermon on the Mount and earlier in that Sermon Jesus said “Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the [b]gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.
The Bible clearly teaches we need to be bold and point out the false prophets but doing so with a gentle spirit of humility that shows Christ in us. We need only the Word of God to be our weapon of choice and we need only use it in a manner that mortally wounds the sin while bringing peace to man.
What type of Fruit are you known by?