Question: I wanted to know what the consequences of following a heresy, and a false prophet are. I mean what will happen to believers who follow after a heresy, or a false prophet when they stand before God on Judgment Day?
Answer: Your question is relevant for today because there are a plethora of false teachers ensnaring believers into their web of false doctrines. The Bible says that the last days will bring about a lack of endurance in sound doctrine and a turning away from the truth in favor for fables (cf. II Timothy 4:3-4). I lean towards the audience in this passage being believers. Why? Timothy is exhorted by Paul to preach the Word, do the work of an evangelist, endure afflictions, and emphasizes to reprove and rebuke with patience (cf. II Timothy 4:2-5). There was a clear expectation for people to be whisked away by teachers that essentially taught them what they wanted to hear. I see the following consequences in Scripture as it pertains to following false teachers.
- Fascination with endless questions – I Timothy 1:4
- Victims of Satan’s deception – II Corinthians 11:13-15; II Peter 2:3, 13, 18
- Dull of hearing – Hebrews 5:11-12
- Bondage – Galatians 2:4
- Led away from the truth – II Peter 3:17
Those are just a few. I believe the biggest risk the believer runs by listening and following false teachers is the loss of rewards at the Judgement Seat of Christ (cf. I Corinthians 3:11-15). Believers are warned against these false teachers. They sneak in, use deceit, feign interest and concern, then lead people away from the truth. Believers are also strongly advised to rightly divide the Word of truth (cf. II Timothy 2:15). This is accomplished by sound doctrine from sound teachers.
Its important to note that loss of salvation is never on the table. In fact, salvation cannot be lost because of promises like this…
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” – John 5:24