August 9, 2022     3:26 pm
328. Week of Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity - Friday
Beware of false prophets!
          Beware of false prophets!   Mathew 7:15
          Of the salvation which is in Christ we know nothing, nothing at all, except what God's Word tells us. And this salvation does not become our own except through this Word. Hence this Word is the only means through which God reveals, and also gives, salvation to us. It is the only light in the darkness of death through which we must pass, the only remedy for the ravages of death. How highly we should prize this Word! How anxiously we should be concerned about having this Word preached to us and taught us in its truth and purity, unadulterated and unabridged. Therefore our Saviour said: "Beware of false prophets!" By false prophets those preachers are not meant that manifestly preach barren infidelity; on the contrary, such preachers as "come to you in sheep's clothing," those who pretend to be Christian preachers, and perhaps put on very holy and pious airs, but who adulterate the Word of God and teach doctrines that are not wholesome, but pernicious and disastrous to the soul. False prophets are especially those who teach the people to build their hope of salvation on their own works, their own doing and conduct, and not solely on the grace of God in Christ revealed and offered to us in His Word. Concerning these specious (superficially pleasing but deceptive) deceivers the Saviour says: "Inwardly they are ravening wolves." They destroy faith and salvation. And the world is full of such false prophets. Most pulpits are filled by them. "Beware of false prophets!" How shall we know them? "You shall know them by their fruits," says the Lord. By what fruits? Their teaching. Watch their doctrine, not their name and their demeanour; then you will know what they are, but, - mark well!- provided you yourself know God's saving Word.
          PRAYER: - My God, my God, let us keep Your wholesome Word, which out of great mercy You have given to us! Guard us against false prophets! Do not let them lead us away from the sweet comfort that true faith gives us. Grant us grace to try all preachers with regard to their doctrine, whether they are proclaiming Your Word truthfully. Let us follow Your admonition, and carefully guard against false prophets. Indeed, it concerns eternal salvation, both our own and that of our loved ones, O Lord! Amen.

Third Part : The Christian's Life and Death
August 9, 2022     3:26 pm