a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15
Rude Awakening #87: Many of those beliefs were probably copied and pasted from other church booklets.
Have you ever asked yourself what you believe? Or have you ever heard something preached that caused you to tilt your head and wrinkle your brow in doubt? Ever wanted to stand up and ask the preacher, “Where is that in the Bible?” You probably should have - respectfully, of course. If we preach it openly, we should be held to account for it openly.
Back to the point: What do you believe, and why do you believe it? Are you comfortable enough in the word to back up your beliefs with scripture, or do you break out into a sweat when asked a Bible question and simply say, “That's a good question for Pastor Bob.”
If that's were you're at today, I'd like to encourage you to consider digging into the Word for yourself. If we don't know what the Bible teaches, we won't know if we're being taught truth or opinion. Consider this admonition from Paul to Timothy:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Tim. 4:2-4)
Imagine this: A friend of yours who's never been interested in God before, meets you later today and asks you in all sincerity, “What must I do to be saved?” And he's serious! What would you tell them? Would you quote some phrase you heard preached by Dr. Rev. Smith or would you take them to the scriptures, say, the Book of Acts where we can read exactly what the apostles preached? Does it really even matter so long as we all just try to be good, tolerant and nice to puppies?
Here's a portion of what Jesus commanded his disciples:
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:15-16) Sounds a little different than just try to be a good person.
I explore the gospel a little deeper on the videos below if you're interested.
The point is this: The consequences for adding to or taking away from the scriptures are mind blowing! So is not knowing the Word of God and not having a love of the truth! If we don't know the Bible for ourselves, we won't know if we're hearing false doctrine. Check out a simple Bible study here and just feast on the word!
God gave us his Word for our salvation, understanding and growth. He gave it to each one of us to read and study – not to just a few church leaders. We should be maturing in Christ, sharing in the treasure of promises in the scriptures and ultimately turning around and teaching others to teach. The Word will save us if we believe it!
Do you believe that?
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