Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fierce Wolves

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted [perverse] things, to draw away the disciples after them. [Acts 20:28-30]

What are these ‘perverse things’ which are a disturbance and a danger to the church? One of the major characteristics of false prophets in the Old Testament was their amoral optimism, their denial that God was the God of judgment as well as of steadfast love and mercy. They were guilty, Jeremiah said to the people, of ‘filling you with vain hopes … They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, “It shall be well with you”; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart they say, “No evil shall come upon you.” ’ Similarly, God complains: ‘They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.’ Such talk was, to say the least, a grave disservice to the people of God. It gave them a false sense of security. It lulled them to sleep in their sins. It failed to warn them of the impending judgment of God or tell them how to escape it.

Stott, J. R. W., & Stott, J. R. W. (1985). The message of the Sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) : Christian counter-culture. The Bible speaks today (199). Leicester [Leicestershire; Downers Grove, Ill., U.S.A.: Inter-varsity Press.

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