We cannot trust every person who declares himself to be a Christian leader or teacher. Sometimes the devilís servants do that, too. As God has appointed people to work in the churches*, so the devil has appointed people. They carry out the devilís work on earth, and even in the churches.
You might think that it would be easy to recognise such people. However, it is not. The problem is in the impression that they give*. Even the devil can make himself seem splendid and wonderful*. In the same manner, people who serve the devil can seem to be good people. They can seem honest, and sincere, and even holy. In fact, they may genuinely be sincere: such a person may even convince himself that he is a true Christian. A person may do wonderful things in Christís name, but never know him*.
The teachers in Corinth, whom Paul warned about, had tried hard to impress people. They brought letters that recommended them. They spoke about the great things that they had achieved. They were skilled public speakers and powerful leaders. However, it should have been possible for the Christians to recognise them. Every Christian should know the gospel, the message of how God saves people by the death of Christ. These teachers declared a false gospel *. So it was clear that the results of their work could only be bad*.
Paul added that these wrong and evil teachers were themselves in great danger. God knew the truth about these evil men, and his judgement would be against them because of their evil works. The devilís servants may find work in a church on earth, but there is no place for them in heaven.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.