Friday, November 23, 2007

Are You A Berean?

Matthew 16:12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the yeast in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

How many times have you been told to beware of the teaching that comes out of our pulpits? I would guess not many, but this is exactly what Jesus was telling the disciples in this passage. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the religious leaders of their day. They were the ones who interpreted the Scriptures and taught the people; they were the ones in the synagogues and temple telling their congregations how they should live; they were the ones that the people of Jesus day looked to for an example of godliness. But Jesus here tells His disciples that they are to be aware of the teachings of these men.

This New Testament is full of passages that tell us that we are to be aware of what we are being taught. For example Jesus said in earlier in Matthew that there are false prophets that come in among us disguised as sheep, but they are really ravenous wolves who will destroy us (Matthew 7:15). Peter also tells us that false prophets and false teachers will appear and rise up among us, that they will bring in destructive heresies, and that many will follow their ways (2 Peter 2:1-2).With all of these, and many more, warnings we had better be aware of who is teaching us and what we are allowing them to teach.

But how, you ask, do we do this? In Acts 17:11 we are given the answer; this verse says "The people here were more open minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." This verse is talking about the people of Berea; they are praised because they not only received the message with eagerness, they then went home and searched the Scriptures to make sure what they were being taught agreed with what was written. We could eliminate a lot of false teaching in our churches today if the people in the congregation would not blindly accept everything they are being taught, but would listen to what is being said and then search the Bible for themselves to see if what they are hearing is true.

I encourage you to be a Berean; open your bible and make sure what you are being taught agrees with what you see there. I don't care if it is your paster, a preacher on the radio or TV, or even me. If what you hear doesn't agree with what the Bible says it is false teaching and you need to run from it.
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1 comment:

Deborah said...

Amen, and amen!!!

Sooooooo true! You summarized the issue very well, Chris. Nothing more needs to be said.

God bless you!