I have a hard time believing some fairy tales I've read. The one about Little Red Riding Hood, for instance. That kid must have had a learning disability. Just think. Here's a wolf disguised as her grandmother and she couldn't tell the difference. Either she was off a bit off or her grandmother was really ugly. Maybe Red's mama rocked her too close to the wall when she was an infant? ('Rock, bump, rock, bump, rock, bump...”) That'll do it. But dull though she was, even (A Little Slow) Riding Hood could tell that something wasn't quite right with grandma. 'What big eyes you have grandma!” 'What big ears!” 'What big teeth!” 'What bad breath!” (I just made that last one up. Did you notice?)
When something was off she asked questions. That's not bad advice for Christians who never ask questions, who just plunge head first into everything they hear. Maybe they're not quite as swift as Little Red ...? We're constantly bombarded with Christian messages today and most are anywhere from okay to excellent. They help us grow. But, if we could hear well enough, a few of these messages have a distinctive wolf accent.
1. Is Jesus and his work on the Cross truly exalted to the highest place or does someone use Him as camouflage to exalt himself and manipulate others? (1 Corinthiens 12:2)
2. Is what is taught really based on and in agreement with all the Word of God? (1 John 4:6)
3. Do the 'manifestations” of a ministry build up the Church or do they simply stir human excitement? (1 Cor. 12:7; 14: 4, 5)
4. Does this message motivate us to go and tell others about Jesus, or is it mostly about us? (Acts 1:8; 2: 17, 18, 21)
5. Do the fruits last more than a few weeks? We sometimes get caught up in outward manifestations but the most important thing is a passionate love for Jesus and my brother, and a pure life, full of faith and good works.
6. What does the 'anointing” of God in you say? (1 John 2:24-27). The Spirit says, 'Amen!” to the truth. If He's silent or troubled, be careful. And if you don't have a regular time spent with God, how are you going to know Him well enough to judge?
7. What do other mature Christians think? (1 Cor. 14:29b). We also need to be careful to not be like those who are fully capable of identifying imposters without wanting all that God has for us. That's also a sin and we can find ourselves in big trouble with God if we lose our first love.
God shook the Ephesians with this word:
'I see what you've done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can't stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out.
"But you walked away from your first love”"why?
"What's going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you've fallen? A Lucifer fall! "Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I'm well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle. "You do have this to your credit: You hate the Nicolaitan business. I hate it, too.'' (Revelations 2, The Message).
Test teachings and ministries. Don't just swallow everything you see because it wraps itself in robes of Christianity and success. Otherwise, like little Red Riding Hood, you're in danger of being swallowed yourself.
Hmmm... If men knew what they were saying about each other, there wouldn't be four friends left in the world. Blaise Pascal