[This is the sixth post in a series about the Blessed Hope–the return of Jesus Christ]
Who can forget the iconic Looney Tunes character, Wile E. Coyote? The Coyote repeatedly failed to catch his always-elusive prey, the faster and smarter Roadrunner. The Coyote’s ridiculous contraptions and ill-fated plans always made me wince, then laugh. Instead of capturing his prey, Wile E. ended up eating dirt.
But real wolves are not cartoon characters. There is no comic relief when watching movies like The Grey, where Liam Neeson’s character suffers through the bitter Alaskan cold and fights for his life against a circling pack of unrelenting predators.
Jesus spoke of wolves when He told his disciples to watch for His return. The first sign He told them to look for is false prophets. He described them as not just wolves, but ravenous wolves.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15 nkjv).
Hungry wolves are vicious and powerful. They run down the vulnerable and isolated. Their keen senses scout prey and their sharp fangs devour the innocent. They kill by repeatedly biting their victims on the hands and face. They are predators with unbelievable endurance.
How do ravenous wolves symbolize the false prophets and teachers of our day?
First of all, they pretend to be sheep and are very good at it. They clothe themselves in everything that is outwardly Christian. They may pray, quote well-known verses, and attend church regularly. They sometimes hold positions of teaching and authority. They may even be pastors.
False prophets may be as pleasant as a vase of Sunday flowers on the outside, but have the stench of dead roses on the inside.
False teachers often twist Scripture or omit important parts of verses or passages.
So how do we guard against them? Knowing what the Bible actually says is the only way we can discern what is true.
When you study the Word it’s like staying one step ahead of Wile E. Coyote and watching a falling boulder crush his teaching to dust.
I’ll write more about false prophets in the next post.