2 Corinthians 11:12-15
But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 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.
There are good people in this world, and then there are bad people. Everybody knows that. Did you also know that there are people who say that they are Bible-preaching pastors, but they aren't? There are people who twist God's Word until it fits their little agenda. These people can say that they are disciples of Christ, and sometimes they seem genuine, but they aren't. They don't serve God; just the opposite, in fact.
So how do you tell who's right and who's wrong? These 'ministers of Satan' can talk their way through some sticky situations, and can often convince people to do crazy things in the name of a God who disagrees with their actions.
Here's how you tell: if they are preaching Jesus as the only way to salvation, they are good. If they are saying that you can get to heaven another way (enough good deeds, lots of money...) then they aren't going Biblical. The only way to heaven is through Christ, with this prayer (or one like it):
"Father, I know that I am a sinner, worthy of being cast from Your presence. But I also know that Jesus came down to die on the cross for my sins. I pray that You will forgive me for my sin, and come into my life. I need You, God, to fix where I'm at. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
If someone says that they know of another Christ, they're wrong. The only Christ (meaning Messiah) is Jesus. The only way to get to God is through Him. That prayer is your only chance to get to heaven.
As we evaluate different groups, consider this: as long as they preach Christ and His love for us, and His death and ressurection on the cross, they are of God.
In His Service,
Response Question: Are there any other ways to tell if a group is really of God?