Be Careful – By Their Fruits You Will Know Them

For every good thing about something or someone you read about on the internet, you can find the opposite and for every bad thing about something or someone you read about on the internet, you can find the opposite, too. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Do the research yourself. “15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:15-16)

About 7 years ago, I started getting harassed on the internet for expressing a political view that someone didn’t agree with. It was one of the few times that I ever mentioned politics. That person harassed me for about 4 years. I finally had to go the police and file a report because it just became too much. Wherever I was on the internet, like Live Journal, You Tube and even my own website, tommylane.net, this person went to those sites and slandered my name with serious false allegations and even threatened my life, once. The allegations that this guy purported were preposterous, but anyone who didn’t know my character, could have believed them. People that knew me would never have believed these lies because they knew my character. They knew my personality. They knew what I stand for. He attacked my character and my belief in God with some of the nastiest, most venomous and perverted statements you could possibly think of.

As a believer, have you ever felt isolated from friends or loved ones because of what you believe and who you follow or because you think differently from them? I’m not talking about the so called Christian who badgers everyone with his or her beliefs: who beats people over the head, figuratively speaking, with a Bible in one hand and a fist in the other; giving orders and commands to set people straight. God doesn’t want you to do that, either. Most people don’t want to be told what to do. As a matter of fact, most people run away from that. I never liked it, either. I used to run away from it, too. Still would. I believe in the spirit of cooperation, not lording over people.

In the book of John, Chapter 17, Jesus spoke these words to His Father in Heaven:

“14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”

This means that if you follow Jesus you should expect adversity from those in the world that want no part of Him. They will hate you because they hated Him. Jesus declares here, that though believers are in the world, they are not of the world. Expect adversity from those, too, who take things out of context from the Bible. The Devil is very clever at confusing people. He knows the bible inside and out. He is a very skilled liar and the father of lies. He wants to bring you down with him because he knows his days are numbered. He wants you thrown together with him into the Lake of Hellfire that was prepared for him and his angels. (Matthew 25:41) He wants you to feel the hatred of the world, in the hope that you will give up your relationship with Jesus to avoid it.

When I was baptized on May 25, 1991, the pastor who immersed me in the water, picked a verse of scripture for me that was probably the best verse that anyone could have picked for me. It’s an encouraging verse; one with power. It is found in Ephesians 6:10: “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”

The Lord knew I was going to make mistakes. We all do. He knows how the Devil deceives and attacks. He knows the road is tough. He knows everything, after all. I am reminded by that verse, that I can rely on Him. He has the power to get me through anything. Nothing is too big for God. Nothing is too hard for God. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

If you want to know biblical truth, research it yourself. Prayerfully study the words of Scripture. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand the Gospel. Jesus promises that He will. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

Learn about the character of Christ. Learn what He is like and let Him dwell in your heart. He wants others to see Him in you so that they can be drawn to Him, too. Jesus’ character will be seen in the lives of real Christians because He is dwelling in their hearts. He wants to dwell in your heart. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

So, don’t believe everything you read or hear unless you test the fruits by studying and researching the Scriptures prayerfully for yourself; precept upon precept, line upon line. If what was written or spoken is not according “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)

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