Jesus expects and commands us to distinguish between wolves and sheep (Matt.7:15-16)
A wolf is known by his appetites. A wolf wants to use the sheep to fill his own lusts, and does not care about whether this hurts the sheep or not.
A man who rapes children is a wolf, not a misguided sheep.
A man who molests children is a wolf, not a misguided sheep.
A man who beats his wife, cheats on his wife, demands complete and absolute obedience from his wife, and believes that he is the voice of God in his home, is using his wife to fill his own lusts for self-importance, power, and self-worship to the hurt of his wife. He is a wolf, not a sheep.
A man who has his children in absolute terror, who holds or gives his favor to his family based upon his whims and his lusts for power and control is using his God-given authority to destroy and devour the sheep. He is a wolf, not a sheep.
And here is a biggie. Matthew 18:15-18 are the instructions of our Lord concerning brothers who have sinned against each other. They are not intended as instructions on how to deal with wolves. Wolves must be cast out and left in the hands of God. Wolves have no problem pretending to be sheep – even to the point of tears and all of the right words. But Jesus said that you will know them by the fruits, not by their tears and empty words.
Before you apply Matthew 18, you must ask yourself if you are dealing with a wolf or with a sheep. Jesus commanded us to tell the difference. You will know them by their fruits (see above).
It is true that everyone struggles with sin. Brothers and sisters in the faith hurt one another, for they still fight against the Old Man. But there is a difference between struggling with anger and raping a child.
There is a difference between struggling with gossip and molesting a child.
There is a difference between angry words spoken in haste and deliberate and careful abuse of a wife.
There is a difference between struggles against lust and planning and executing the plan to carry on an adulterous affair against your wife. A wolf uses his mistress, his wife and his children to satisfy his own lusts, and he does not care who he hurts in the process. He is a wolf, not a sheep.
I do not say this to minimize anger, gossip or even lust. I say this to clarify the behavior of a wolf and the behavior of a sheep who is going astray.
Sheep going astray may fall into grievous sin. A wolf is something else entirely.
This should be obvious, but it apparently is not. So here is a guide. Sheep sometimes go astray. That’s what sheep do. Apply Matthew 18, Gal. 6:1, and other passages that teach how to deal with brothers who are entangled in sin.
A wolf, on the other hand, views people only as objects to be used and discarded to fill the lusts of the wolf. Wolves devour and destroy.
Jesus commanded us to tell the difference, if we have the courage.
(Can a wolf be born again and given a new nature – of course. God can do as he pleases. But we will never bring that about by pretending that the wolf is a sheep. God will not be mocked.)
Hope this helps. If you refuse to tell the difference between a wolf and a sheep, please never hold church office, for you are putting the sheep in danger, and God will hold you accountable.
15 responses to “Things that should be obvious to every Christian”
Reblogged this on Graciebird and commented:
Thank you, Pastor Powell. We live in an upside down world right here, right now in our Christian communities that want to call wolves sheep and sheep wolves. Those who say they are Christians need to learn to discern the difference.
Wonderfully put. I am passing this on to friends.
But how does one tell the difference? The molestation is the easy one, but psychologically abused women don’t talk.
They do if we learn how to listen.
Yes! Amen! Thank you.
I am a product of childhood molestation by an evil step father. Children don’t talk either. They are scared into silence. This one became an abused woman in marriage and still didn’t talk. None of it is easy.
I live in prison with a wolf. I can tell you first hand that every single Christian brother and sister turned a deaf ear when after 25 years I finally gained the courage to talk. Christians shoot their wounded. I was shunned, demeaned, isolated, ignored, told I was selfish and asking too much of others. Not one man was willing to confront my husband or come along side my poor children. Wolves are great pretenders.
Terry, It sounds like you had more wolves around you than your husband. ((((HUGS)))) That is not the way that you should have been recieved.
Terry, have you been to http://www.cryingoutforjustice.com? You’ll get some good support and resources there. 😦
There are a lot of wolves that have been able to masquerade as a sheep for years in our churches.
It might be helpful to remember that at the time of the reformation, the church needed some direction on telling the difference between a true church and the false church. They rejected the view of the middle ages – that the true church was submissive to the pope – but that left questions to be solved. So they turned to the scriptures.
A true church is where the sheep are gathered. The sheep gather where the word of God is preached. Jesus said that they hear his voice.
A true church is where the sacraments are lawfully administered. The sheep gather where baptism and the Holy Supper are rightly offered.
And, pertinent to our discussion, a true church is where church discipline is administered according to the word of God.
What you are describing is not a true church. The true church distinguishes between sheep and wolves and provides a safe fold for the sheep.
There is another blog in this, so I will have more information. But I would beg you to look for a true church that is not afraid to protect the wounded, the hurt, the scattered and the lame. They are around.
We all make mistakes, We all err. But a true church would not turn their back on a sheep being devoured by a wolf.
Find a church; learn of Christ’s yoke. His yoke is easy. If you find your yoke impossible, it can only mean that you are not carrying Christ’s. Put it off, and find a safe fold.
More to come, but I am also a pastor, and have my fold here. I don’t have the time to write that I would like to have.
Thank you for that accurate description. I have recently been speaking to some that are not attending at all, because of bad experiences. It is difficult to find words that get through to them. To find another church. Keep shopping until you find one who teaches the Word of God alone. You put it so plainly and it makes so much sense. Some don’t believe there should be pastors. They don’t want to sit in the congregation and straight forward. I don’t know what they are looking for. They would prefer to stay at home with family and friends and simply enjoy the day. I didn’t see God being worshiped in the examples that I was given. Their churches and leaders must have been full of wolves to have left them feeling so hardened against church in general.
Thank you for the comments and encouragement. I will continue to read and look for resources to help me deal with the trauma I have experienced.
However, it seems almost impossible to find churches that function as they are called. Very discouraging.
So clearly put! Thank you.