Something “deferred” is put off, delayed, or suspended. The longer a person goes without seeing their hope realized, the more likely they are to become discouraged. Seeing one’s hopes coming to pass is uplifting. Many passages in Scripture are pleas to God, asking Him to bring about promises which seem to have been deferred (Habakkuk 1:2–4Psalm 89:46).

Of course, if hope is something which will never happen, it is false hope. That can only lead to grief. When a person comes to believe his hope is meaningless, he may become depressed. False teachers who claim those who pray and donate money will be rich and healthy are selling false hope. Others, who promote salvation by works instead of by grace, corrupt the hopes of people who believe they will go to heaven by doing good deeds. Those hopes are false, however. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8–9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Paul was so incensed by the false teaching that religious works were necessary for salvation that he commanded the Galatian believers, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). “Accursed” means devoted to destruction.

The hope of heaven that believers have is a sure hope (John 10:28–29). It is sure because it is founded on a perfect, sinless God (Hebrew 4:15Titus 3:51 Timothy 2:5).

False Prophets

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45, ESV

Did you know that there is a lesson to be learned in everything? I heard a gentleman talking and he said that someone called him a false prophet. He said that he started asking himself this question: “What makes a false prophet a false prophet?” Which lead me to question…what makes a false prophet?
Jesus, addressing the crowds, actually spoke of false prophets and their greatest distinction. We think what makes a false prophet is his or her teaching, doctrine, behavior or even followers. While all of those things can be likely indications, Jesus gives us the ultimate indicator of a false prophet in Luke 6:45: the heart.

A quick cross-reference to Matthew’s version tells us this in Matthew 7:16: “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” (ESV). The heart heavily determines whether our actions become that of a God-honouring, Christ-following disciple or an extremely passionate but sincerely wrong false prophet.

That’s why the heart matters to God because it can very much affect everything we are and do. Proverbs 4:23 tells us this: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (ESV). Matters of the heart are serious matters to God and should be serious to us as well.

Today, however, we live in a culture that does not take the heart seriously. The default is always to look at the surface—the image, the reputation, the face value—of things and people, judging their sincerity based on how they manifest on the outside. Anyone can deceive with the appearance, but the
heart motive can never point to a lie.

That’s why God instructed Samuel—and consequently all of us today, too—to judge according to the heart and not the outward appearance in choosing the anointed leader of a country (1 Samuel 16:7). That’s why David, after falling into sin, asked God to create in him first a clean heart.

God takes heart matters seriously because they act like rudders that may be small and seemingly insignificant but steer a whole ship into a course.

Consequently, God asks us to take the heart seriously—to guard our own hearts and to be vigilant of the heart motives of others.