true or false?
"You refuse to believe because you are not My sheep." —John 10:26
Some leaders in the Church do not believe in Jesus. They bear "the title 'brother' " and enjoy the status within the Church, but they do not live holy lives, nor do they intend to repent (see 1 Cor 5:11). They are false brothers and sisters (Gal 2:4). Satan makes use of their position in the Church to lead people away from their "sincere and complete devotion to Christ" (2 Cor 11:3, 13-14).
How can you discern if someone is a false Christian and thereby prevent him or her from influencing you and others? (1 Cor 5:11)
- They "belong to the world...theirs is the language of the world and...the world listens to them" (1 Jn 4:5). How does their talk compare to Ephesians 5:3-4?
- They don't acknowledge Jesus Christ as come in the flesh (1 Jn 4:2-3). How do they act in the presence of the Eucharist? Do they acknowledge the Virgin Birth and Mary? Is their devotion real or merely lip-service? (Mt 15:8)
- They do not produce good fruit (see Mt 7:20)."You will know them by their deeds" (Mt 7:16). Do they bear the undeniable fruit of holiness, faithfulness, and the fruit of the Spirit? (see Gal 5:22) Have many come to conversion or lasting faith through their leadership?
- They don't use the sacrament of Confession.
- They rebel against or even leave the Church (1 Jn 2:19).
"Do not be led astray any longer. 'Bad company corrupts good morals' " (1 Cor 15:33).
Prayer: Jesus, may false Christians come to know you as Lord, Savior, and God, repent deeply, and bear lasting fruit for You.
Promise: "No one shall snatch [My sheep] out of My hand." —Jn 10:28
Praise: After realizing she was in the choir to glorify herself and not God, Maria took some time off to re-orient.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007
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