Pastor's Pen 07/19/2016
A message from Pastor Berndt
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:15-16)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The problem with false preachers is that they look like a regular preacher. The eyes cannot see any difference. These false preachers will talk about Jesus. But they will twist and pervert the Word of God. False preachers will tell you all the things you MUST DO TO MAKE GOD HAPPY WITH YOU. The false preacher will not properly distinguish Law and Gospel.
Jesus teaches us that we will know the false prophets by their fruits. This means you will know them by their teaching--the false doctrine they bring into the church is poison. Beware and watch out for these false teachers. There are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1)
True preachers will proclaim Jesus Crucified and Risen for sinners with no strings attached. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1) True preachers proclaim that Jesus is for sinners. Jesus, who goes to Calvary's Cross to suffer God's wrath against all our sins. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”. (Galatians 3)
True preachers proclaim God's Word in its truth and purity. Jesus, crucified and risen for you, brings peace with God. It is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations. (Luke 24)
True preachers proclaim what Jesus has instituted—Jesus’ gifts of the Sacraments. What does Baptism give or profit? It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare. Which are such words and promises of God? Christ, says: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16) Luther's Small Catechism. The Lord's Supper is proclaimed and taught according to Jesus’ mandate and institution, that the Body and Blood maybe received worthily.
True preachers will encourage you to do good works of love and service for your neighbor. Good Works are NOT to get you to heaven. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3 )
Preaching has its heart and center in Jesus Christ for you, the sinners. The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1)
Rejoice, you the Baptized Children of God by the Holy Spirit's power, that you believe the Gospel. Rejoice and gladly hear God's Word and learn it.
Preach You the Word LSB 586:1
Preach you the Word and plant it home To men who like or like it not,
The Word that shall endure and stand When flow’rs and men shall be forgot.
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