Guard Against the Wolves

It grieves me this morning to discover another self-proclaimed “apostle” who is foolishly wrecking marriages behind closed doors while gathering fame in public. Nothing done in the dark will remain hidden. (Luke 12:2-3)

Parents, pastors, and church leaders guard your families and churches against the impulsive wolves in sheep’s clothing who are seeking crowds in the name of “building the Kingdom.”

How can you recognize false leaders? They follow the predictable path of promoting themselves and their ministry while rejecting Godly authority. They use Jesus as a means to an end of popularity and position. Beware when self-appointed ministers possess a track record of jumping from church to church, excusing turmoil in their life, advising against godly principles, and disregarding the wisdom of the scriptures.

Deception comes with great fanfare. Emotionally driven platforms and a pursuit of spiritual giftings without the foundation of knowing and obeying God’s Word is a telltale sign of a misguided leader. When a ministry is built on charisma alone, its followers are not pursuing Jesus. They are seeking affirmation and a position to satiate an undisciplined desire.

Pride is the intoxicating wine of assurance that the gullible soul drinks to suppress the conviction of the Holy Spirit’s voice. The Apostle Paul warns of this end-time arrival of self-absorbed leaders. He says, “For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”

(2 Timothy 3:6–7 ESV)

You may say, Stephen, shouldn’t we love these misguided leaders into wholeness? Yes, but with this narrative, we cannot overlook vital dynamics. Carnal leaders must first realize their pride and desire a change. This is true repentance. Broken leaders must humble themselves under healthy men and women of God and lay aside their “ministry calling” to move forward in healing. As expected, the simple dynamics of humility, repentance, and restoration are never absent from the process of spiritual maturity. A loving response toward immature leaders is to aid them in eradicating the plague of pride within their lives.

I write this warning to fathers, mothers, pastors, and faithful leaders. We are entrusted with the charge of keeping the wolves out. We can take note of this warning in Paul’s continued directive to Timothy. He says,

“I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2Timothy 4:1-5)

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