“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 NKJV)
The Corinthians had a problem. If someone seemed to talk a good Christian game, they’d follow them. Because of that, they were easy prey for those who would lead them astray. Paul had no problem describing these people as ministers of Satan who might look good on the outside, but deep down, their purpose was to deceive those who would follow Christ and lead them astray. In the long run, even if it waited until the end of this life, they would face an end that would be fitting for their spiritual crimes.
I see this in the world today. Many so-called Christian leaders have gained huge followings, raked in a lot of offerings – for Kingdom work of course, and have been well-respected by people of many different persuasions. Then the truth came out. Their downfalls were swift as their lifestyles proved them to be false ministers of the gospel. Perhaps the most tragic, but pertinent example would the that of Jim Jones. He began as the pastor of a local church who slowly led people away from the gospel and into his flock. Their end was death. Paul’s teachings give us two warnings. The first is to be careful of anyone who seems to be drawing people to themselves instead of Jesus. The second is a reminder to all God’s people that our lives should be tied into Christ and not to our own glory. If we continue to point people to Jesus, we’ll never be in the position of becoming false ministers of God.
Lord, give me wisdom and discernment in dealing with others. Help me to stay true to You rather than following popular but false teachers, and when I’m teaching others.