Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
Acts 17:10 As soon as it was night, the brothers and sisters sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. Upon arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Just because something is said from a church pulpit, doesn't automatically mean it is true. As the Berean saints did, we should also be doing. They examined the scriptures daily to see if the things being taught were so. We are responsible for the choices we make in our Christian walk and responsible to make sure the doctrines, teachings, and ministries we are living under are biblically sound and Holy Spirit led.
Jesus said to believe in Him because of what the scriptures said. John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Notice the method Jesus said to use for believing in Him. "As the Scripture has said," and not because He was putting on a big rock-star healing show, with fog machines and religious words being tossed to the crowd with a mind-numbing beat. I'm not going on a rant of, "Look at all the problems in the church." I'm concerned as to what we are adopting as spiritual based truth. I am pointing out a few things that should be investigated using the word of God. It is true that historically, the church grew and grows in the contemporary season of the times it is in. But hopefully, the growing church is led by the Holy Spirit and not the zeitgeist of the day.
Just because someone comes out with a new personal interpretation of a so-called bible, revelation, or a mystical discovery doesn't make it divinely inspired. Even if the person who wrote the self-proclaimed work says, it came by a vision, dream, or osmosis through a holy man. We, like the Bereans, should seek the scriptures to see if what is written is true. Our pedagogy should reflect the methods Jesus, Paul, and the other Apostles used in teaching the scriptures. They did not teach personal interpretations of the scriptures to accommodate the trends of their day. They continually referred to what the Word of God said, and taught the truth from that pivotal position.
We have been here before on numerous occasions throughout history. Jim Jones, who founded Peoples Temple, claimed he was a reincarnation of Christ and Buddha. The sad thing is that only a portion of the congregation walked out. Shouldn't have all the people walked out because of that nonsensical claim? If your pastor said, that he was Christ, would you stay in that congregation? James Warren Jones, and not Jesus, led nine-hundred people to their death by drinking the poisonous Koolaid. Prov 14:14a The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
The soulism emanating from the secularism sneaking into our churches has become palpable. We should be concerned if our Sunday services are becoming an electronic event of bits and bytes with pithy and cutesy sayings being proclaimed by a sloganeer rather than a shepherd called of the Lord. I am not saying this is going on in every church. However, we need to check the source of where these trends of pseudo ministries are coming from. We don't need another Sunday with self-proclaimed ministers pumping out uninspired monologues while having a sing-along of hallow praise and worship. Prov. 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death. We need the Word of God being ministered to our hearts and not a watered-down social review of how things ought to be in this day and age.
You might say, "But I feel good when I sing that popular song in church." Good for you, because there is a health benefit to singing happy songs as it releases the feel-good hormones of dopamine and prolactin bringing happiness and comradery. I feel good too, and get some of the same uplifting feelings when I sing along on FM radio, but I am fully aware that it is not praise and worship per se. It is a sing-along feel-good emotional experience. Don't confuse the feeling of a good body vibe and rhythm with the anointed presence of God. 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Yes, it is true that I experience God's intimate closeness as I walk through the day. I see God's hand in so many daily events. But these events do not become the doctrines of belief. These personal signs and wonders that we experienced are the developing love and relationship with our Lord. We may get a personal insight into a doctrine of belief but we cannot build our whole life and salvation on it. It is definitely a great platform to build from, but we are to live the full gospel of Christ by faith. Psalm 12: 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
So my friends, what are we to do if we want the anointed glory and not the worldly gorry in our lives? Like the Bereans, we should search the scriptures to find our way. The scriptures say to pray for our church leaders and one another. Col. 4:3a And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message. Eph. 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Our church leaders need prayer like never before. They are fighting a battle on two fronts. On one front, the social demands of people wanting their personal sin to be accepted as their human right, and on the other front, the demonic forces coming against the body of Christ. Our ministers need God's leading and help in expressing the heart of God to bring overcoming victory to His ecclesia. Heb. 13:7 Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith.
I have often reminded my students to go and find what I am teaching in the Word of God. I've expressed that they should not take everything I teach at face value, but, like the Bereans, go and see if these things being taught are so. We need the discernment of the Holy Spirit in all that we do, and that includes doing church. Col. 3:23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people. So, I say it again. "Where are the Bereans?" May God give us the heart of the Bereans so that we may be strong in our walk with God, and our understanding of His word. Amen!