The saddest aspect of this illustration is not the false preacher, or the false teaching— it is the Christians who don’t study the Bible.
Because the false preacher and their lies have no power over the one who is educated in God’s word — for by knowing that which is true, you will be able to recognize that which is false.
However, like the blissfully ignorant sheep depicted in the drawing, the complacent Christians of today accept the word of the preacher without searching the scripture to confirm its authenticity.
They fully rely on the revelation of the preacher as their source of truth— so, the foundation of their faith rests on what “Pastor said”, rather than what “God said.”
The problem with this, is that what “Pastor said”, may be a lie.
They may say that you don’t need to repent of sin, or that the fear of God is Old Testament and it isn’t relevant today and doesn’t apply to you.
They may say that God wants you to name it and claim it all for yourself; that God wants you to be rich and never suffer, to never be sick and never have a bad day— and if you don’t know any better, that message will be preferable to you.
You will be as one of the people that Paul warned Timothy of who “will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” ( 2 Timothy 4:3-4 )
In these days of chaos and confusion the children of God must be students of the word so that they will not be deceived.
We must be like the believers in Berea, who after having listened to Paul and Silas preach the word of God, “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.” ( Acts 17:10-11 )
And listen, any pastor, preacher, or teacher called by God— the true Shepard who loves the sheep will not he offended by that— They will encourage it!
They will in fact lead you to the scriptures.
They will give you a vision of God and not of themselves.
They will not bring you to ”their church”, but they will bring you to Christ.
Brothers and sisters, be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have! ( 1 Peter 3:15 )
Don’t rely on another person’s vision or their interpretation of the Bible — you must mediate on God’s word for yourself. It must be written in your hearts, and that only happens when you spend devoted time in daily study of the scriptures.
When you do this, ask God to illuminate what you don’t understand, and give you deeper revelation of what you do.
Become like a Berean so that you will be certain that what “Pastor said” is indeed what “the Lord has said.”
“There are ministers who never speak of repentance or self-denial. Naturally they are popular but they are false teachers.” – JI Packer
Repent Believe Persevere