Christian Radar

Be skeptical, especially of yourself.

Matthew 7:15–20

“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 thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Christian eyes have a kind of radar. Part of Christian eyes is being skeptical enough to test things, even when they look good—especially when they look good. That’s what the sheep’s clothing bit is all about.

Discernment here is essential but also tricky. Thankfully, the Lord gives us a specific instruction for this—check the bottom line. You will know them by their fruits.

Things that look good need to also be good. That is, your Christian eyes, which see all things in terms of the kingdom, should be able to discern some kingdom benefits. That’s the only fruit that matters.

This doesn’t mean we should reject things just because they look good; it’s just that appearances can be deceiving. In fact, appearances are often intended to be deceiving. That’s the lesson of “Beauty and the Beast.”

It’s also part of the lesson of the very next passage in Mathew.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” — Matthew 7:21–23

They did a bunch of works that look good. But are they good?

Obviously not.

The flip side of this message is watch out that your own works might be ones that just look good. This is where many of the Christian eyes concepts converge.

Don’t get distracted, especially by exciting things or ideas.

Be honest with yourself about how little you know.

Double check everything.

Seek the Lord’s will in all things (pray without ceasing).

Even tomorrow’s lesson fits in—watch out that your ego doesn't get in the way.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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