Before Breakfast: Romans 16:17-18
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple”
Apostle Paul, in this epistle to the church in Rome, warned them to be very careful of those who claim to be ‘men of God’ but with a contrary doctrine different from the one they have learned.
He said, these ones come with ‘sweet’ talks and motivational speaking to deceive the ‘simple’ for their personal gains and not for Christ.
It suffices to say that it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between those God really called into ministry and those their ‘belly’ called.
But if we are careful, we will see some traces that will reveal those in the latter category; because we shall know them by their fruits.
Some of their traits are:
1.Loving the applause of men than the approval of God;
2. Gratifying and indulging their sensual appetites;
3. Being full of head-knowledge without a heart-connection with Christ;
4.Being proud and naughty;
5. Seeking to glorify and honour self;
6. Laying more emphasis (boasting more of self) on themselves and less of Christ;
7. Preaching more about earthly riches and prosperity without messages on salvation and eternity;
8. Sometimes inviting worldly artists, comedians and singers to ‘minister’ so as to pull in more crowds.
Aside the afore-stated, there are many other traits that can be seen in the lives of those called by their ‘belly’ and it takes being well-rooted in the word of God and a discerning Spirit to know them.
It is therefore very important to note the fact that, it is not all messages you listen to, not all churches/program you attend and being careful about the type of books we read so as not to be misled.
We actually need the spirit of God to help us identify such people, and that means we also have to be filled with Holy Spirit. The bible says the spirit searches all things. (See 1 Corinthians 2: 10 – 11)