Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Barnyard Basics 2 - Savage Wolves

Acts 20:29-30 “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

In this passage, Paul is referring to a natural creature to describe a spiritual type of person. We’ve already learned what sheep are - now we’re going to find out about wolves.

Naturally speaking, wolves are one of the domestic sheep’s worst enemies. They are vicious and opportunistic predators. Wolf packs have a clear hierarchy and alpha wolves dominate by strength. Cooperating together with clear strategies, wolves try to separate the weak from the strong.

Paul calls this type of people savage. They don’t care about the sheep - all they're interested in is what they can take from them. They “speak perverse (twisted) things to draw away disciples.” Wolfish people are those who are directly and purposely opposed to God’s sheep - or more accurately, God's shepherds. After all, the spirits that drive these
predators know this concept..."strike the shepherd and the flock scatters."

Some wolves hunt from outside the flock. They are the people you hear on the TV mocking and blaspheming our Shepherd. They’re heard every week in college classrooms as they ridicule the lone sheep who dared to stand out. They’re even attacking the flock from the podiums of our government, trying to shame believers out of their faith. These attacks are easily seen but still effective far too often.

Jesus knew that there were wolves in the world. He knew that there would be people that violently oppose and seek to prey on His flock. He warned us in Matthew 10:16 and Luke 10:3 that there would be times when His sheep would be surrounded by wolves! But according to John 10:12-14, our Shepherd will never leave us alone in those situations! Follow Him, and it will ultimately work out for your good!

There are other wolves that are more dangerous. Jesus describes them in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” According to Jesus, some wolves disguise themselves as sheep. They infiltrate the flock, often going unnoticed by the sheep. But listen to me - these people are not confused about their identity! These are not wayward believers, they’re not saints living in sin, and they’re not mistaken leadership. These are not sheep. They have no connection to the Shepherd at all!

You can hear the howling when a so-called “christian” professor wonders out loud if the book of Genesis is true or not. You know you’re dealing with a wolf when a preacher tries to distort God’s commands to give credibility to sin. You’re being attacked by a wolf when a congregation member tries everything they can to separate you from your flock! Don’t be deceived!

Their goal is the same as any other wolf, to “draw disciples after themselves.” Their method is also the same, “speaking perverted things.” The only difference between the wolves outside and the wolves inside is the sheep disguise. Wolves in sheepskin hide their fangs inside spiritually-sounding words.

Every sheep needs to understand something, wolves only want to eat! They don’t twist God’s Word by mistake. They are trying to scatter the flock (according to John 10 :12). They can be false religions and militant atheists attacking from the outside, or they can be liberal theologians and slick-sounding preachers on the inside - but they’re both trying to steal your very life.

Wolfish teachings must be openly opposed! You can’t play games with a wolf. You can’t sit down and talk with them, hoping that they mean well! If someone is twisting the gospel of Jesus Christ to draw people out of their flock, you cannot stay with them! Your spiritual life depends on staying with the Shepherd and following His voice!

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