Matthew 7:15-20 – Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.
Every life is producing certain characteristics based on what it is being nourished by. A life nourished by Jesus Christ is being conformed into a servant’s role looking for ways to enrich the lives of those around them. A life void of Christ is dangerous in its motives. It may look good on the surface, but underneath is the drive of self-interest at cost to others.
A prophet is one who is proclaiming to speak on behalf of God. Jesus wants us to remember a simple truth, do not take somebody at their word, take somebody by their character. As an apple tree does not produce oranges and an orange tree does not produce apples, so true Christians do not produce the selfish works of greed, sexual immorality, harsh condemnation, gossip and slander, etc. It’s not that Christians don’t mess up and sin, it’s that it’s not a consistent pattern that you could define them by.
Who are you allowing to speak into your life and influence you? If you are always feeling bad about yourself, that you can never measure up; or someone is not pointing you to Christ as much as to themselves, or glorying in themselves instead of glorying in Christ, you should pray for them while avoiding having them as a major influence.