Growing up in Florida, I had ample opportunity to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.  My family had citrus fruit and vegetable orange-treeplants growing in the yard so we had fresh pickings all season long.  We became capable fruit inspectors

Finding the sweetest, most pure tasting selections demanded more than a quick, visual check, however.  The most orange orange did not always guarantee  it would be ripe.  We had to peel it and taste it in order to know for sure.  Tomatoes needed a gentle squeeze and a quick turn to look for bruises before picking, and even then it may turn out to be mushy inside.  Coincidentally, I was at the store recently selecting some Plant City strawberries.  After placing two containers of luscious-looking berries in the cart, my husband reminded me that I should turn the carton over to check the bottom, just in case some were rotten.  No one wants to eat or buy rotten fruit!

We must be no less diligent as Christians! 

We must be Fruit Inspectors of all that is being offered by authors, speakers and Christian leaders today!

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 
You will know them by their fruits…”
(Matthew 7:15-15)

Jesus is warning us that there will be false teachers who appear to be Christians, but actually want to destroy us.  And the way we will be able to recognize them is by what they produce, their fruit.  This includes their teaching, speeches, and writings.  Their work must be inspected.

Over the last five years, I have done a good deal of  ‘fruit inspection’.   There have been a couple of bad apples that I’ve had to toss into the trash bin. 

         Joel Osteen
         Rick Warren
         Joyce Meyer
         Beth Moore ( This one was REALLY hard!)

Now, I know, some of you may be saying that I’m being judgmental or too critical.  These are respected leaders in the Christian community! 

We must remember, though, that a person’s standing in the Christian community or their popularity is not what is important.  Whether or not their books make the best seller’s list or everyone’s doing their latest Bible study is NOT a criteria for godly teaching.

Remember in Acts 17 when Paul commended the Bereans as being ‘more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica’ because the Bereans ‘searched the Scriptures daily’  to see if what Paul and Silas were teaching was true?   

 They checked up on Paul’s fruit!   

We are commanded: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”   (James 7:24)  In this way we “should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting…” (Eph. 4:14)

The only standard by which we can decide which ‘fruit’ is good or bad is Scripture.  With Scripture we can ‘rightly divide the word of truth,’  (2 Tim.2:16)  keeping the good fruit and tossing the bad.

As diligent Christians, we MUST be fruit inspectors!