Perhaps Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland don’t know Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…” (Matthew 6:19). Maybe they don’t believe it, or somehow think it doesn’t apply to them. But they are not the only ones who have failed to take Jesus seriously. All their followers also ignore the seriousness of Jesus’ teaching – specifically these warnings:
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
Jesus knew there would always be con-artists who would take advantage of the gullible. That’s why He said “Watch out!” But how can we know who is legit and who is a fake? Jesus said to look to see their fruit:
By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. (Matthew 7:16-18)
Just as apples naturally grow from apple trees, multimillion dollar mansions appear for a person who serves money and not God (Matthew 6:24). Luxury automobiles, jets and expensive clothing naturally the one with an overblown ego. Deceit and corruption are the natural fruit of a life more characterized by greed than charity. Jesus says “Don’t be fooled!” This kind of discernment does not contradict Jesus’ command, “Do not judge.” (Matthew 7:1) We are not told to look down on these people, or presume to condemn them to Hell. We are told to recognize that they are bad apples and watch out for them.
The most obvious “bad fruit” from these “false prophets” is that they disregard Jesus’ warning about what happens to such people:
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19)
If they don’t believe those words of Jesus, why should you believe anything they tell you about Jesus? Don’t be fooled! Check the fruit!
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:20)
I followed this teaching for 11 years. I recall reading Mathew 6:19 but did not see myself as someone wanting to store up riches. This verse was taught to refer to people like Donald Trump. Most blind followers whole heartedly wanted to have their basic needs met. The likes of Osteen and Copeland prey on the ignorance and needs of others. Did I ignore Jesus’ warnings? Yes. I accepted the lies of men thereby rejecting truth of scripture. Some people who are deceived have no idea they are deceived. Nor are they searching for information about false teachers. With posts like this continuing to be posted, the individuals who eventually find this will be helped. Thank you!