Applied Belief: Preachers going to Hell

Halloween is right around the corner but this article is not about make belief ghosts and skeleton stories. It is about a scary and unfortunate reality. Today there are many preachers that are going to Hell and they are trying to take as many people with them as they can.

Jesus says to “beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15) and the Apostle Paul adds that “fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)

In other words false prophets will arise from within the “Church” and lead many astray. These false teachers and false preachers will present a façade like that of a sheep; tender, beautiful, peaceful, and can do no wrong. I mean seriously who doesn’t love sheep! Yet Jesus points out these false teachers are not sheep, nor are they shepherds, they are ravenous wolves disguised as sheep.

How then can we tell the difference? How can we not be like Little Red Riding Hood? In this story there is no woodcutter that comes to the rescue after the fact. Yet, there is hope and salvation if we judge and discern who is a false prophet and who speaks the truth.

There are five questions everyone should ask when they read, listen, or watch their favorite preacher to determine if he or she is a true minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or a fake; a false teacher and preacher.

First, what percentage of what they say and write is based on scripture? You see many preachers today say really positive things but hardly any of it is grounded in the Bible. The Bible should be the basis and final authority for all matters of life, faith and practice.

Secondly, does the preacher cite scripture as in book, chapter, and verse? Again many priests and preachers use texts from the Bible but they never cite where it’s from. Did not go to school? Credit and recognition should be given to God’s word and not left open ended for one to guess if it is Holy Scripture or not.

Third, what do they say about Jesus, not just God? Jesus himself says in John 14:1, “Believe in God; believe also in me” and he adds in verse 6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” One of the biggest problems today is that people believe in God, but they do not believe and trust in Jesus. Many false prophets and teachers rarely if ever mention Jesus Christ. This should be a warning sign for you.

Fourth, does the person preach the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ unapologetically? I know that is a mouth full. False preachers add and subtract from the Word of God to their own benefit. The Bible clearly says in both the Old and New Testament that no one should “add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6)

Finally, and the most telltale sign, does the person’s personal qualities and actions glorify God or themselves? These false teachers and preachers with their smooth talk and flattery only draw attention to themselves and not to the Lord Jesus they claim to represent. The Bible is clear that “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

The good news for false teachers and preachers is that if they repent and truly turn, trust and believe in Jesus they will be saved. If they do not they will go to Hell. I know it sounds terrible but it is the unfortunate truth. False teachers and preachers are cowards for giving into cultural norms and not speaking the truth from the Word of God. They are faithless in that they have trusted and believed in themselves rather than Jesus. They are liars and there is no truth in them. There is only one place for people like this “But as for the cowardly, the faithless ... and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

About Rev. Marcos O. Almonte

Rev. Marcos O. Almonte is senior pastor at Brandywine Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist Church west of Philadelphia. Pastor Marcos is a graduate of Palmer Theological Seminary with more than 10 years working with families with an expertise in theology, trauma and addictions. Pastor Marcos and his wife Mary have three children, Carmen, Joseph, and Lincoln.

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