Good and Bad Trees

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7:17-20

I asked a few old veteran preachers one time, “How do you know if a man is called to preach?”

Surprisingly, they all gave me the same answer, “Can he preach the truth?”

That may seem like a strange response but I think that is exactly what Jesus is saying here. Remember, we are not judging fruit to discover who is a child of God or not. The fruit inspection is being done to recognize false teachers/prophets.

Jesus is telling us that a man anointed by God will preach the truth in sincerity. This does not mean he will not make mistakes. It simply means that the reason he does preach the truth is because he is called of God to do so. One who is not called of God will preach of his own will and the contents of his messages will be his own opinions.

Further, we should look at the results of a man’s ministry. What does the congregation he preaches to regularly believe and how do they act? A congregation seldom rises above the level of its pastor. If a congregation rejoices to hear the doctrine of grace and is loving and warm, its pastor is probably called of God to preach and has been placed there by God to feed that congregation. However, if the congregation has no desire for doctrine, or is rude and judgmental of others, look no further than the pastor for the influence that brings these behaviors.

When we discover a false prophet, we should ignore them. God is the best judge. He will take care of them.

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