Listen, Receive, Verify!
Mass media has been both a blessing and curse for the church. The Gospel message has reached more people than ever before, and the Bible is at the fingertips of everyone with a phone. Along with the spread of the truth, false doctrines have grown. Charlatans have stepped into the pulpit, claiming to teach the word. Many people have been led astray by the pomp and show, the fast-talking, emotion-grabbing speakers, and the promise of worldly blessings. They have been deceived. People reject the sound teaching of Scripture for approval of their desires (1 Timothy 4:3-4).
When faced with the amount of available “Christian” teaching today, we need to be careful that we are not led astray. In Acts 17, Paul arrives in Berea from Thessalonica. Those in Berea “received the word with all eagerness (Acts 17:11).” The Greek word for “received” (dechomai) carries the connotation of a willing and deliberate acceptance of what is being given. We should also "receive" the teachings of God's Word. In so doing, we are nourished, encouraged, and increase in maturity. However, we must be careful.
The Bereans did not blindly receive the words of Paul. After hearing the Word, they were “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:11).” The “examining” that took place was not a cursory search. They scrutinized the teaching and performed investigative research into the Scriptures for verification. When we listen to the giving of the Word, we should follow after the Bereans’ example: Listen. Receive. Verify.
The next time you listen to on-line sermons or teachings, read an article or book, or attend a Sunday school lesson, take notes. Afterwards, in your daily devotional times, reflect back on what you heard and search the Scriptures to see if what you heard is true.
Sola Dei Gloria
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
Help us to recognize who the false teachers of Your Word are. They say things that are in the Bible but doing it for personal gain instead of gaining people for You. That is the reason we need Your help to recognize the truth. Thank you for letting us listen to Your Words so we can use them in our own life and to help others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!