555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

473. How Is the Distinction to Be Made Between the False Shepherd and the True?

The test that Christ gave (Matt 2424) whereby we may know the false prophets, and the true as well, is practical for every age. "By their fruits ye shall know them." The Scriptures specify the characteristics of the "false shepherd" in part as follows: They serve only themselves, mind earthly things, feign piety and sanctity, fear persecution, respecters of persons, deceitful workers, prophesy false peace, wrest the Scriptures, deny the Lord that bought them, preferring questions of vain philosophy to truths of Scripture, etc The "true shepherd" preaches the Word that is able to save and build up; he watches for souls, seeks the wandering, reclaims in love those repelled by uncharitahle-ness, is willing to make personal sacrifice, sympathetic, faithful in warning and reproving, tender in treatment of young and burdened Christians, persevering if by any means he may save souls. Thus it is grace, producing character, and not talents, that distinguishes the true from the false.