Genuine ministers of the Gospel have been trying to let Christians know that there are many false teachers and prophets out there that are deceiving the people of God. Jesus also warned us beforehand that there will be false prophets and teachers with deceptive schemes which will be difficult for even the elect to discern (Mathew 24:24). What many of us have not considered is that these false prophets and teachers have given birth to many false believers whose assignment is to popularize falsehood among Christians.
These false believers are deployed into cities and towns to talk people outside of their churches to convince other Christians that their pastor is the most powerful in town, and that only their church preaches the truth. They advertise their false masters, popularize them and cause genuine ministers to feel inferior. Some of these ministers who find it difficult to go through the pain, difficulties, mockeries, shames and challenges associated with the cross of Christ are pressured to join the false bandwagon in order to become relevant.
They are trained to promote unbiblical principles among Christians and support what Scripture opposes. These progenies of false prophets and teachers claim that they are born-again but hate the cross of Jesus Christ. They speak in tongues and read the Bible but their gods are their bellies. They claim that they love Jesus but oppose everything about His cross and do not want to partake in His suffering. All that matters to them is how to amass earthly wealth and become influential in this world.
“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19). The Apostle Paul was emphatic on this and warned true believers to be careful of these fake believers whose activities negates the doctrine of Christ and His cross. Their doctrines are attractive, but their gospel is cross-less. They encourage people to confess Christ and lure them to their churches where believers are forbidden to carry their cross or deny themselves to follow Christ.
Why pastors should beware of these fake believers is that they are capable of turning a genuine minister of the Gospel into a false teacher. I had an experience while I was a senior pastor with Antioch Christian Centre in Nigeria where a sister came to me for prayers with three photographs of her male suitors and requested that I pray so that she may know how to discern which one of the three is her future husband. When I told her that I simply didn't didn’t have the answer she was looking for she got upset and shouted at me.
It was one of the most embarrassing moments in my life as a pastor. This kind of scenario can cause genuine ministers who are not strong enough to bow to pressure and start saying what God has not told them to say. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Some of these false believers migrate from church to church and many genuine ministers are unsuspectingly embracing them. They claim that they are divine helpers. They try to influence pastors with gifts and donations. They pretend to care for the numerical growth of the Church and advise pastors to abandon hard teachings and preach messages that will attract unbelievers.
Cross carrying and self-denial are non-negotiable in Christianity (Mathew 10:38). Christ and Him crucified is the message upon which Christianity is built. The message of the cross is weak and foolish to the world — but it is faith, wisdom and power of God to them who genuinely believe (1 Corinthians 1:24).